How to Troubleshoot a Dixie Horn

Written by christopher godwin
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How to Troubleshoot a Dixie Horn
The Dixie Horn was popularised on a 1969 Dodge Charger in the TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard." (car image by jodi mcgee from Fotolia.com)

The Dixie Horn is a novelty car horn that plays the first 12 notes of the song "Dixie" when the button is pushed. The Dixie Horn can be mounted in your car as a replacement for the factory car horn sound that came with your car, or it can be added as an auxiliary horn. Fixing a broken Dixie Horn can be challenging. Diagnosing certain problems, however, for proper repair or to determine need for a replacement unit can be done by most car and electronics-savvy consumers.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Contact adhesive
  • Contact adhesive remover
  • Sharp knife
  • Contact and switch cleaning solution
  • Cotton swabs
  • Ear plugs
  • Compressed air

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Inspect the tubing that connects the trumpet to the mounting hardware for any tears, holes or other damage. Torn tubing can often result in less audio output or no audio output at all.

  2. 2

    Check to make sure all of the wires are still securely connected to the relay, compressor and trumpets. Apply more contact adhesive if connections are loose.

  3. 3

    Disconnect the 12-volt relay and the wires attached to it during set-up with contact adhesive remover and a sharp knife, noting where each wire should go during reassembly. Make sure none of the contacts on the 12-volt relay look burnt out, bent or crushed. A damaged connection point on the 12-volt relay can result in no sound or low audio output. Check for dirt and debris that could prevent proper contact connection. Clean the contacts with a contact and switch cleaning solution and cotton swabs if necessary.

  4. 4

    Inspect the compressor for burnt or damaged areas. Test the compressor by turning the car on and getting somebody else to blow the horn while you are under the bonnet, wearing ear plugs to prevent damage. Remove the compressor and clean the valves with canned air to make sure debris, oil or dirt are not causing faulty operation.

Tips and warnings

  • You can replace the plastic tubing with the same gauge and length of tubing from a hardware store or auto parts supply shop. Double-check it's the same type of tubing, which is usually noted somewhere on the tubing itself.
  • Don't attempt to fix the 12-volt relay yourself unless you have knowledge in electronics repair. There is risk of electrical shock. You can further damage the device while you are trying to repair it if you don't know proper procedures. Contact the retailer who sold you the Dixie Horn to procure a working replacement part.

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