1997 XJ starts honking horn by itself. Goes Crazy. - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 16 Old 12-19-2012, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
KevLaredo
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1997 XJ starts honking horn by itself. Goes Crazy.

So I am sitting at my desk at work and someone outside started honking like a madman. I walk outside to see who it is. It was my Jeep. I haven't driven it for two hours so I was obviously confused. So I jumped under it and disconnected the horns. Next I heard a relay clicking so my buddy and I traced it to being under the dash. I disconnected this wire to get the relay to stop clicking.




My truck will still start, but I have no idea what I disconnected or what it controls. Also, what is wrong with my Jeep? I can't afford to have any more major problems.

I am really starting to regret buying a "reliable" Jeep Cherokee.


-97 XJ Cherokee Sport. Bone Stock. Inline 6, selec-trac and factory tow package with Chrysler 8.25 Rear. ▀ lllllll ▀
-98 White ZJ Grand Cherokee Laredo. 3.5" Rough Country Lift, Manik Brush guard, Hella 500 Fogs, 31x10.50x15 Cepek Crushers, K&N cold air intake, 4.0L I6, Cobra CB. SOLD
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-19-2012, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
KevLaredo
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Just reconnected the wiring harness pictured above. The relay stopped clicking, but the horns will still go off if I try to connect them. I thought it may be the clockspring, but they go off no matter what position my steering wheel is in. I also checked both fuse panels to see if anything is melted, everything looks ok. Any other ideas?

-97 XJ Cherokee Sport. Bone Stock. Inline 6, selec-trac and factory tow package with Chrysler 8.25 Rear. ▀ lllllll ▀
-98 White ZJ Grand Cherokee Laredo. 3.5" Rough Country Lift, Manik Brush guard, Hella 500 Fogs, 31x10.50x15 Cepek Crushers, K&N cold air intake, 4.0L I6, Cobra CB. SOLD
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-19-2012, 09:48 AM
Pats94
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Sounds like it's part of your security system

If its stock it sucks and if it scares the hell outta ya its just about right!
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-19-2012, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
KevLaredo
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It definitely was not security related. It was very inconsistent honking. No pattern to it at all. And the relay was going crazy.

-97 XJ Cherokee Sport. Bone Stock. Inline 6, selec-trac and factory tow package with Chrysler 8.25 Rear. ▀ lllllll ▀
-98 White ZJ Grand Cherokee Laredo. 3.5" Rough Country Lift, Manik Brush guard, Hella 500 Fogs, 31x10.50x15 Cepek Crushers, K&N cold air intake, 4.0L I6, Cobra CB. SOLD
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-19-2012, 10:29 AM
DoctorTim
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this is an electrical problem, there are so many possibilities. buttons, connectors, short circuit (hot wire melted the insulation and can be rendomly comming into contact), etc..

plug everything back in, i want you to take off the plastic cover for the steering column, get a rubber mallot, and start banging around. if the honking is somewhat related to vibrations you are causing then you have a short circuit somewhere, this is caused by bad wiring or bad buttons.

if it is vibration related, disconnect the plug directly beneath the steering wheel, it should be right where the clockspring is. or if you can get into the steering wheel itself, disable the buttons, the point of this is you want to start disconnecting things as close to the button as possible. if the honking persists then you know its not the switch, if it stops, you know its the switch (or any wiring between the switch and the place you disconnected)

if it is not vibration related then im at a loss, in fact i cant see this being anything else other than the harness or the button.

good luck.
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-19-2012, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
KevLaredo
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Ok. Thank you for the responses. A bit more info for you guys. Now when I connect the horns they do not go off until I hit the button or put the key in the ignition. As soon as I turn the key to the on position the horn goes off and stays on until I pull the key back out. Instead of being sporadic it is now one long continuous beep... Which relay is for the horn? I can't seem to locate it with the owner's manual.

EDIT:

Never mind. I pulled the fuse on the kick panel, which was labeled "horn relay" in the manual (fuse number 21, 15 amp). I thought there was an actual horn "relay" though under the dash near the steering wheel?

-97 XJ Cherokee Sport. Bone Stock. Inline 6, selec-trac and factory tow package with Chrysler 8.25 Rear. ▀ lllllll ▀
-98 White ZJ Grand Cherokee Laredo. 3.5" Rough Country Lift, Manik Brush guard, Hella 500 Fogs, 31x10.50x15 Cepek Crushers, K&N cold air intake, 4.0L I6, Cobra CB. SOLD
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-19-2012, 11:40 AM
CCKen
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There is a horn relay in the Junction Block. See pic.



Here's your horn circuit diagram if it will help.

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post #8 of 16 Old 12-19-2012, 11:57 AM
CCKen
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Reference the above diagram:

Note that there's three ways the control coil of the horn relay can be activated to pull in the power contacts of the horn relay. The relay control coil is looking for a ground.

1. Horn Switch: The horn switch is depressed, providing a ground.

2. Overhead Module: A Remote Keyless Entry fob Lock or Panic button is depressed, signaling the Overhead Module to provide a ground to the relay. Or a Security Key Immobilizer system activates the Overhead Module, like the RKE system.

3. Or one of the above control circuit wires is shorted to ground.
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-19-2012, 12:02 PM
Pats94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevLaredo View Post
It definitely was not security related. It was very inconsistent honking. No pattern to it at all. And the relay was going crazy.
Yes it can be.

If its stock it sucks and if it scares the hell outta ya its just about right!
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-19-2012, 02:44 PM
RLE
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The same thing happened to our XJ as what happened to KevLaredo. About three years ago as I was sitting in the living room the Jeep began honking like crazy.

The electrical guy who helped me with it concluded it was a shorted horn switch. That is a thin metallic sheet that is located inside the airbag module/horn pad.

You probably SHOULDN'T attempt to take the airbag module apart to get at the metallic sheet, but here in Africa guys will try anything. They got the switch out, took it to someone who said he repaired it, and installed it again and it worked for a week, then sounded off again. So I ended up running the two horn wires to a push button switch I mounted in the dash. So it has a horn.

If a shorted horn switch is your problem, you might try getting an airbag module from a junkyard. Chrysler doesn't sell the switch separately, according to the parts catalog I have, but they just sell the airbag/horn module as pn 4798-182.
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post #11 of 16 Old 12-19-2012, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
KevLaredo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCKen View Post
Reference the above diagram:

Note that there's three ways the control coil of the horn relay can be activated to pull in the power contacts of the horn relay. The relay control coil is looking for a ground.

1. Horn Switch: The horn switch is depressed, providing a ground.

Ok, so I know it can't be this. The horn button worked like it should before I put the key in. I could press it, it would honk. If I didn't press, it wouldn't honk.

2. Overhead Module: A Remote Keyless Entry fob Lock or Panic button is depressed, signaling the Overhead Module to provide a ground to the relay. Or a Security Key Immobilizer system activates the Overhead Module, like the RKE system.

I don't have a key fob, but it does have the little overhead module thing... I did a headliner recently, so it may have been reconnected improperly, but that was about a month ago.

3. Or one of the above control circuit wires is shorted to ground.
Hmmmm....
For now, I have just pulled the fuse and relay. Gonna be doing some more research tomorrow. Thanks for all your suggestions! I WILL keep you guys updated.

-97 XJ Cherokee Sport. Bone Stock. Inline 6, selec-trac and factory tow package with Chrysler 8.25 Rear. ▀ lllllll ▀
-98 White ZJ Grand Cherokee Laredo. 3.5" Rough Country Lift, Manik Brush guard, Hella 500 Fogs, 31x10.50x15 Cepek Crushers, K&N cold air intake, 4.0L I6, Cobra CB. SOLD
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post #12 of 16 Old 12-20-2012, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
KevLaredo
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So I been thinking. Is there any reason I cannot just wire my horns up to a different switch? I'm thinking about relocating the button to the kick panel or something. Is there any reason to fear that I will cause further electrical issues by not addressing this problem further?

-97 XJ Cherokee Sport. Bone Stock. Inline 6, selec-trac and factory tow package with Chrysler 8.25 Rear. ▀ lllllll ▀
-98 White ZJ Grand Cherokee Laredo. 3.5" Rough Country Lift, Manik Brush guard, Hella 500 Fogs, 31x10.50x15 Cepek Crushers, K&N cold air intake, 4.0L I6, Cobra CB. SOLD
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post #13 of 16 Old 12-20-2012, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevLaredo View Post
So I been thinking. Is there any reason I cannot just wire my horns up to a different switch? I'm thinking about relocating the button to the kick panel or something. Is there any reason to fear that I will cause further electrical issues by not addressing this problem further?
Yes. It may not fix the issue. Then the effort would be pointless.

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post #14 of 16 Old 12-20-2012, 08:14 AM
CCKen
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Leaving the horn circuit intact, as shown in the above diagram, and the clockspring is defective, the clockspring may eventually let the horn relay control coil voltage bleed accross to the cruise control circuit, then to the PCM 5 volt reference signal(s) to some of the engine sensors, causing engine performance problems.

If you are going to bypass the factory installation with a horn button on the dash, you should remove the horn relay from the JB and leave it removed. Use a seperate relay for the new horn circuit. You can buy a 40 amp relay with a mount tang on it from Advance Auto Parts for around $6.00. Protect your new circuit with a 15 amp mini fuse.
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post #15 of 16 Old 12-20-2012, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
KevLaredo
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Right. That's what I am referring to. I would like to leave the horn relay out and wire up either a custom horn or my existing horns to a different switch. And yes, I would do a whole new wiring setup with a relay and an inline fuse holder.

-97 XJ Cherokee Sport. Bone Stock. Inline 6, selec-trac and factory tow package with Chrysler 8.25 Rear. ▀ lllllll ▀
-98 White ZJ Grand Cherokee Laredo. 3.5" Rough Country Lift, Manik Brush guard, Hella 500 Fogs, 31x10.50x15 Cepek Crushers, K&N cold air intake, 4.0L I6, Cobra CB. SOLD
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