The horn is an important safety feature in your Chrysler 200. Driving your vehicle with a broken horn can be dangerous for you and others on the road. If the horn does not honk in your 200 when you press the button on the steering wheel, it can have various causes. What these are and what you can do about it, we explain in this article.
Some of the common causes that stops the horn from working normally on your Chrysler 200 are faulty integrated relay, faulty horn, corroded or worn out connector, broken wire, broken clock spring or bad horn button.
1. Faulty integrated relay
Unlike most other cars, Chrysler 200 does not have any traditional fuse or relay for the operation of the horn. The horn switch communicates with the speed control switch, which in turn communicates with the steering control module, and the steering control module communicates with your totally integrated power relay. To check any fault in this system, you will need a scan tool.
This video better explains the unusual horn circuit in Chrysler 200.
2. Bad horn
A broken horn could be the reason why you can no longer honk on your Chrysler 200. Horns rarely break down, they can last decades and can even outlive the life of the vehicle. Still, it can fail depending on how often you use it. In particular, if the horn is working but sounds off, it’s because one of the horns has worn out.
You can test the horn on your 200 by checking the voltage at the connector or with a test light.
3. Broken wire or bad connector
The horn sits at the front of your Chrysler 200 where grime and other small particles can build up over time. This can lead to corrosion on the connector resulting in poor conductivity. You don’t necessarily have to replace the corroded connector, in most cases the connector can be cleaned with WD-40. For safety reasons, make sure the battery is disconnected when cleaning the connector, and the connector is fully dry before you plug it back in.
If you don’t see any corrosion on the connector of your 200, then its time to perform the voltage test with a multimeter, or you can also use a test light. Turn on the multimeter and insert the probes into the connector, one at each point making sure the metal part of probes don’t touch each other – otherwise it can cause damage to the vehicle’s electrical system. After inserting the probes, ask a friend to press the horn button in the vehicle. The multimeter should read 12+ volts, if it reads 0 volts then it indicates conductivity failure in the horn system: a broken wire, bad connector, broken clock spring or faulty switch can be the cause.
Rodent Damage: If bite marks or the like are discovered, there is a high probability that a rodent has let off steam in the engine compartment of your 200. Then it is important to carefully examine all other cables and hoses for damage, including electrical wires for the horn.
4. Broken clockspring
The spiral cable or clockspring is a spiral-wound special rotary electrical connector in your Chrysler 200 which allows the steering wheel to turn while still making an electrical connection between the buttons on the steering wheel, including horn button, and the vehicle’s electrical systems. The clockspring is located between the steering wheel and the steering column. The clockspring contains delicate wires that can get damaged during servicing or due to overuse if the vehicle has put on too many miles.
If the clockspring is damaged in your 200, you may see other system malfunctions as well. For example, the airbag warning light may illuminate in the instrument cluster, or other buttons on the steering wheel may stop working. But in rare cases, it is possible that only horn wire in the spiral gets damaged.
It is not feasible to repair a damaged clockspring. They are relatively inexpensive and once found defective should be replaced with a new one.
5. Faulty horn button switch
Another reason for non-functioning horn can be failure of horn button in the steering wheel of your Chrysler 200. Over time, depending on how frequently the horn has been used, the button may eventually wear out and cease to function.
There are many reasons why the horn may not be working in your Chrysler 200. When looking for the reason, you should always start with the most obvious cause, bad horn.
In any case, it is advisable for laypersons to visit a workshop as you can easily do more damage to your vehicle, especially to the electrical system. An expert mechanic can diagnose the issue while you sip coffee in the waiting area.