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bill, dodge master tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 1632
Experience:  25 years with dodge drivability and electrical expert
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2004 Dodge Durango: Horn stays on when connected; Had dealer

Customer Question

2004 Dodge Durango : Horn stays on when connected; Had dealer look at it when in for airbag recall. was told that it had a bad horn switch or pad. I thought it was part of the air bag. My diagnoses was that it has a short because when you open the door and the light comes on that is when the horn goes off
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  bill replied 2 years ago.

as part of the recall you ONLY get the air bag NOT the cover which contains the horn switch, takata is ONLY replacing the part under the cover, although if the dealer had known this when they were doing the recall there would likely have been no labor to install the cover, since it has to be separated from the air bag to replace the air bag.

now how did you perform the diagnosis?

the horn switch is NOT hardwired to the horn relay and the computer that controls the horn function has the ability to turn off the horn if it determines there is a problem that will keep the horn on, which is likely what is happening, as the communication bus goes to "sleep" the horn is turned off and when you open a door the bus "wakes up" and the horn goes off again, this can easily be caused by a faulty horn switch

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I replaced the horn relay then connected the horns. No sound, opened door then horn went off and stayed on until I removed battery cable.Did inform dealer and I was informed after diag that the part was 800.00. My jaw dropped. Been trying to find part number and direction for replacement of the pad. I'm hoping I can find this at a much reduced price, and that I can install it myself.
Expert:  bill replied 2 years ago.

800.00 what was the dealer trying to sell you?

that sounds like a complete air bag assembly which with the recall on the drivers air bag in effect that raises a red flag BUT looking at the parts catalog I can see a problem, the air bag cover is not serviced separate from the air bag, which leaves only a used part as your parts choice, now you will have an issue here if you use a used one with the recall you MUST use ONLY the cover from the used part and NOT the complete assembly, assuming the recyclers will sell one (that tacata problem is causing liability issues with used air bags, the recyclers may not want the liability of selling a potentially dangerous part)

now you can put in a call to the customer assistance hotline in the back of our owners manual and ask for assistance, since this is a safety issue they MAY be able to come up with a solution for you

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I want to start off and say thanks for your time and expertise. Just so I understand what your saying, the horn pad is part of the airbag that is why it is not serviced separately. If that is true I should have a new horn pad sitting on my steering wheel per the recall. Which leaves a couple conclusions, a) They mis - diagnosed the problem b) the new airbag and old airbag both had faulty horn pads c) airbag wasn't replaced. I will be calling that number but I would like to have any necessary facts before I call, like a dealer trying to sell me a part that they already installed
Expert:  bill replied 2 years ago.

tonight when i get home i will upload a copy of tje pertinent recall instructions for you so you can see what is involved in the recall, YOU DO NOT GET a new air bag cover/ horn switch with the recall JUST the air bag, your cover is reused, now the problem dodge decided NOT to service JUST the cover and still do not service it so the only choices here are used or a new complete air bag with cover