Horn Switch Sticking 1998 Rodeo

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Horn Switch Sticking 1998 Rodeo

Postby robertgarven » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:36 pm

Friends,
Its been awhile since I have been here, and that means the Rodeo is behaving just fine. I have a problem with my 1998 Rodeo horn that I hope someone can help me with.

I had put an air horn (I loved) on years ago, and every few years it would go off sometimes, during the night. It got more frequent so I removed it and installed a new OEM Isuzu horn from Jerry Lemond (our Hero)! When I hooked up the battery the horn went off instantly, so I removed the fuse. After getting everything back together, I put the fuse back in and pushed on the horn button on the steering wheel and the horn stopped. I am not an expert, especially when it comes to car electrics, but it seems to me that the switch that engages the horn on the steering wheel is worn out and sticking some time coming on randomly.

Is there a way to safely remove the steering wheel cover and replace that button/switch without setting the airbag off???
Is there a replacement switch available, this seems so easy there must be a catch.........

I appreciate any and all suggestions and Thank You in advance for your comments and help! I love this vehicle and have 108K miles on it and pretty sure it will last me the rest of my life, so I want to keep it functional. But every time someone almost crashes into me etc. I need that horn! :-)

Sincerely,

Rob
Last edited by robertgarven on Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Horn Switch 1998 Rodeo

Postby robertgarven » Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:10 am

Wow, I just searched and found someone here in 2012 with this same problem, but no solution and at least 4 more with the same issue on my first search, all with no answers on how to solve. I am hoping there has to be a way to remove that cover and either buy a new cover, or horn switch assembly.
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Re: Horn Switch Sticking 1998 Rodeo

Postby Buster28 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 6:03 am

robertgarven wrote:Friends,
Its been awhile since I have been here, and that means the Rodeo is behaving just fine. I have a problem with my 1998 Rodeo horn that I hope someone can help me with.

I had put an air horn (I loved) on years ago, and every few years it would go off sometimes, during the night. It got more frequent so I removed it and installed a new OEM Isuzu horn from Jerry Lemond (our Hero)! When I hooked up the battery the horn went off instantly, so I removed the fuse. After getting everything back together, I put the fuse back in and pushed on the horn button on the steering wheel and the horn stopped. I am not an expert, especially when it comes to car electrics, but it seems to me that the switch that engages the horn on the steering wheel is worn out and sticking some time coming on randomly.

Is there a way to safely remove the steering wheel cover and replace that button/switch without setting the airbag off???
Is there a replacement switch available, this seems so easy there must be a catch.........

I appreciate any and all suggestions and Thank You in advance for your comments and help! I love this vehicle and have 108K miles on it and pretty sure it will last me the rest of my life, so I want to keep it functional. But every time someone almost crashes into me etc. I need that horn! :-)

Sincerely,

Rob

The Horn Switch does not directly operate the horns, the Horn Switch actually grounds one side of the Horn Relay coil. The other side of the coil is connected to the 10Amp fuse. The two horns draw a lot of current so the likely cause for horn problems is the Horn Relay. Stupidly, the Horn Relay is mounted to the Alarm snd Relay circuit board so it is not easy to replace and the circuit board is expensive and probably hard to source after 22 years.

I recommend testing the Horn Switch before removing the Air Bag to determine if the switch is actually the problem.
There is an electrical connector for the steering column that can be disconnected to test the switch. The Horn Switch connects to Pin 12 of 13 Pin connector designated I-32.
The connection on the Alarm snd Relay circuit board connector is on Pin 20 of connector designated I-42. You can also test the horns by grounding these pins.

Locating the 13 pin connector at the base of the steering column should not be too difficult.
The wire in Pin 12 should be Orange/Black
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Re: Horn Switch Sticking 1998 Rodeo

Postby robertgarven » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:55 pm

Buster,
Thank you. My car never had an alarm and only one horn, on the pass side behind grill. My horn is working for sure just seems like whatever mechanism in the pad that springs the switch off or back is worn. With the horn disconnected, and the fuse in, when you press the horn pad, you can hear the relay click on that board. I had that out before to fix the wiper problem, and hope I dont have to work on it again.

I did not mention this because I did not want to confuse anyone trying to help, but my battery has been draining at night, after I removed the horn fuse that stopped. I am still thinking the switch that grounds the horn is bad and is connecting intermittently due to wear, age etc.. I want to try to repair this if I can, but also thinking of just hooking up a horn button to the left of my steering wheel. I have 2 dead buttons next to the 4 wheel drive switch, but was wondering were I would find power to operate it...... Not my #1 option but maybe a solution. Obviously this was a common problem on the 98 rodeo and amigo as I found way more exact examples as mine than I was expecting. Can try to check those connections but assuming they all work, what next?

Thanks again!

Rob
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Re: Horn Switch Sticking 1998 Rodeo

Postby Buster28 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:01 am

If you disconnect the 13 pin connector and connect an ohm meter between pin 12 and ground you can test the Horn Switch by repeatably operating it and see if the ohm meter responds each time. If you determine the Horn Switch is actually defective you can decide if you want to remove the air bag and fix it or use a separate switch.

If you hook up a switch that grounds Pin 12 of the 13 pin connector the Horn Relay will operate and sound the horn when the switch is operated. You don't need a +12 Vdc power source unless you plan on bypassing the Horn Relay and operating the horn directly with the switch.
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Re: Horn Switch Sticking 1998 Rodeo

Postby 98HPasSport » Tue May 18, 2021 2:26 am

I ran into this problem before and taken the driver's airbag/horn center assembly apart. I found that the horn switch is just a paper thin pressure pad that gets flattened over time from age/wear and needs to be replaced. Unfortunately you can no longer get this horn switch pad (it's about $600).

You would have to replace the whole driver's airbag/horn switch center assembly with another used one, hopefully in better shape and not flattened like yours. Either from a junkyard or eBay. Note that 98-02 and 03-04 have different steering wheel designs and not the same.

Another cheaper way is you could also cut the horn switch wires and extend them to a separate stand alone switch on the dash or wherever you wanna put it. Just keep in mind it that takes getting used to not having your horn switch in the steering wheel anymore, especially in a panic situation.
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