Horn self-activates intermittently

I have a '98 Honda Civic lx 4-dr. sedan. While driving, the horn will start to beep- stating with short “chirps” and progressing to louder, longer duration, and shorter intervals between. This has been happening randomly, with incidents every 3-8 days. I just noticed that the indicator light for the anti-theft system blinks on at the times the beeps (the red light that blinks when the anti-theft system is activated with the remote lock). What could be causing this. I took it to a mechanic and he pulled 2 switches from the steering wheel column and something from the driver’s door cavity and told to drive it this way for two weeks or until another occurrence. Five days later I drove into the mechanic’s while the horn was blasting. He replaced the things he had removed and pulled the relay? and gave it to me saying that the problem is with the anti-theft system which is wired through the radio and to take it to a dealer and give him the relay,possibly it could be a weak or bad radio. I haven’t taken it to the dealer because of the expense involved, so I’m driving without a horn (I know, bad idea). Any ideas on the cause or suggestions for remedy appreciated. Thanks for reading.

I assume the tech removed the horn relay. I would try replacing that and disable the power to the anti-theft system since it appears that is the real trouble. You may need to replace the unit with a new one if you want to keep it.

The horn might blowing from a defective clock spring. Honda calls it a wire reel.

The clock spring is located behind the steering wheel. And what it does is it allows the electrical connections between the controls on the turning steering wheel, (horn, cruise control) to the wiring harness in the steering column. Sometimes a clock spring can develope a short or an open circuit where the horn blows on it’s own, or the horn doesn’t function at all.


Thanks for your response. How do I disable the power to the anti-theft system?

Thanks for your reply. Does this mean removing the whole steer wheel or just opening it up? I’m not sure if this is the same thing the mechanic first did. From what I could tell, he removed the top piece in the center of the wheel and removed the two switches or circuits, I forget the exact term that he used, but there was one on each side. But I know he didn’t say anything about a clock spring.

After thinking more about this, disabling the anti-theft system may not be so easy to do as removing the power to it as it may effect the starting of the vehicle. Instead, you could remove the wire from the system that controls the horn relay. That will eliminate the horn problem until you can get this figured out and still allow you to use the horn in case you need it.

This sounds like a great idea. Would you happen to know where I might look for the system that controls the horn relay? Is this something I would be able to do myself? I have very limited knowledge of where things are in cars.

I’m not sure where things are in your model car either. You might find the wire from the AT system connected near the wiring to the horn relay. Look for a wire tap on the wires to the relay.

One way around your problem would be to find a mechanic who could bypass the wiring and have the horn relay operated by a horn button that can be mounted on the side of the steering column. These auxilliary horn buttons are sold in auto parts stores. It won’t look original, obviously, but for a 12 year old car, this may be an inexpensive way out.

Thank you. I know of a mechanic who specializes in Honda and Toyota. I’m going to give him a call and find out if he can do this or has any other solutions. I should have done this in the first place. Many thanks to all who replied to this problem!