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Horn not working- notes dodgy earth
Hi all,

I know that this is a much reported problem. The horn works with ignition off but with engine running...? Well, I have just solved the problem on my Berlingo and just thought I would share a few notes and observations with fellow members. FIRSTLY.... disconnect the battery and wait for at least 10 minutes before commencing work. Prior to disconnection of battery check that when the ignition is turned on that the airbag warning lamp comes on for about 6 seconds. If it does not leave working on the airbag for a lot longer. Half an hour should do it (I'm being ultra cautious!)
Removal of the airbag. I was pretty scared with this idea but, when needs must! So, there is no need to remove the instrument housing as in some reports. However, it will make the job easier if the top and bottom steering column cowling parts are removed (remove the three torx in the under part). This will allow the insertion of a screwdriver into the airbag release slots (3) to be performed from underneath. More room to manoeuvre. The location of the release slots are contained in other threads on this site. Insert the screw driver approximately 20cm into the wheel housing and push the handle of the screwdriver towards the steering wheel grip to release the airbag unit. Note that there is a RED wire and BLUE (block connector) to be removed. The blue connecter is prised up by lifting small retaining lugs towards you. Be careful, they are plastic! In my car there was a second such block connector which was GREEN. This was not attached to anything so make sure you replace the correct one if confronted with this situation. IMPORTANT. DO NOT place the airbag unit in any other position than in the same position as it was removed from the steering wheel. Plastic upholstery and badge up! DO NOT place in the sun. Place in the cool place and remember, when removing it, do not have it directly in front of your face! With a small piece of wet & dry clean the eight 'brass' looking contacts in the steering wheel and airbag unit ..carefully (4 in airbag unit, 4 in steering wheel body).
The BLACK wire that is connected to the steering wheel body (which would be under the airbag) is the earth. It is a pretty shoddy connection being dependent on a spring action holding it in place. I cut off the connector (having disconnected it) and soldered on a eye connector. I then drilled a small pilot hole in suitable place nearby in the steering wheel metal body and fixed the earth wire by means of a self tapping screw. Remember to clean/hoover out any metallic debris. Reinstall by reversal of dismantling. Reconnect battery and hopefully, as mine, job done. Please note, I am not a professional motor electrician so this comes with my own warning of 'if you are unsure then don't do it'!
If this post needs putting elsewhere then please, Mr moderator, do as best suits.
I also found that the under bonnet earth strap, low down behind the battery, is not, as sometimes reported, the horn earth point. I don't know where it is!

The whole job took me about an hour as I took time to make sure contacts were secure and clean. Well, I think that is it. Any questions then please ask.

Regards, El Berlingo
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to El Berlingo for this post:
  • ddb
  Glad you got a result but you have reinvented the wheel.
Hi Geoff,

Thanks for your reply and comment. There are many threads and suggestions in relation to this problem. My aim was just to give a few notes, on my experience, in rectifying this really annoying fault.
Best wishes,

El Berlingo

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