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Every so often, my dashboard lights go out. And at other times my horn does not honk. There seems to be no specific time when this happens (ie, cold, hot, mornings, evenings). Any ideas?

Check for bad grounds…Behind the dash, this is easier said than done…

Those 2 problems are likely unrelated. The horn fault could be in the steering wheel contacts and the dash lights fault is probably in the rheostat, which may be part of the main lighting switch all depending on year and model, etc.

The horn on my buddy’s car went from working intermittently to not at all. The relay on his 2001 saturn is located on the horn itself. While checking for votage and continuity at the horn/relay we discovered the contacts were pretty corroded. Cleaned them up and viola, honked like new. For the dashboard lights, I’d fiddle with the dimmer switch, maybe even pull it and replace it if it were under $20. Otherwise, check the other posts for ideas.

Good luck!

You are describing a possible “open”, not a “short.”

Yep, shorts mean two wires connecting together where they shouldn’t and melt the wire or blow the fuse. Poor connections, rust, bad grounds, bad switches, etc. cause opens in the circuit and loss of power to whatever is on the circuit. Ground connections for more than one circuit can be shared at a single point and would be the first suspect, but you need a service manual to trace the circuit and find out where the ground locations are.

This has nothing to do with you being short.