The vehicle: 2004 Vue, 128,000 actual miles. 4-cylinder, pretty vanilla, all-original everything except of course wear parts (tires, batteries, and so on). It’s our fourth Saturn, we’ve loved all four of them, and we’re REALLY sorry there won’t be any other new Saturns in the future. (My step-son owned a Saturn because of all the great things we had to say about them, and he was a USAF Academy Graduate on his way to fighter pilot training at the time. Also, my older brother recently bought a used Relay minivan for the same reason. They both also loved their Saturns.)
OK, what I have already looked at or tried, and what I already know or suspect:
I’ve already changed the relay. I now have a spare relay in my fix-it kit, there was nothing wrong with the original relay.
Checked all the wiring I could trace, no nicks, breaks, shorts, cuts, etc. (The wiring harness of course disappears in places going through things on its way from the horn to the fuse/relay box and the switch in the steering column, but it is in perfect shape where I -can- see and inspect it…)
This seems to be related to the cold. I’ve seen a few odd things when trying to search for details about this problem, regarding something to do with plastic parts in the steering column shrinking in the cold and shorting the horn button “on.” No details, no, “How I fixed it” information, just, “It’s stuck.”
I’m not too sanguine about diving into a steering column loaded with explosives (airbags are activated by explosive charges) if I can help it, but I need to fix this problem permanently so I can be shot of the annoyance. Not having a horn is dangerous. Pulling the horn relay every time the temperature approaches 3C/38F or less is not a permanent option, either.
So, any best guesses? Is this actually likely to be a temperature-related issue? If so, is the problem in the steering column switch parts? Is there an improved/fixed switch to replace it, or is there a modification that can be made to stop this from happening?? And if the column is the problem, what’s the safest way to de-fang the boomies in the airbag system so I don’t wind up eating a face-full of airbag parts? (Pulling the battery cable of course I already know about.)
Inquiring minds would appreciate knowing. Thanks in advance for any help.