Ok. Ok. We all know what a horn is. It’s the thing in a vehicle that typically goes “honk”. However, do we all know how a horn works? Do we all know fun facts about horns? Do we know the hilarious things that my brain will come up with that a horn is not? Stay tuned to learn!
(By the way, I’m sorry this post is so late. It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at CMAC!)
To know what the heck a horn IS as it pertains to an automobile, we must first explore what the heck a horn IS NOT. A horn is not:
So…what the heck is it then?
A horn is a sound-making device in a vehicle used to warn others of the vehicle’s approach or presence, or to call attention to some hazard. For years, they have been electromagnetically or pneumatically activated, but nowadays, they can also be digitally activated. This post will focus on the electromagnetically activated horn.
An automobile horn doesn’t typically look like the ones featured in my doodle above, unless it was on an old-old vehicle—like a Model T or something. I was just going for an identifiable image in the doodle. They look something like this:
Electromagnetic horns work by using the scientific law of elasticity—the strain of an elastic object is directly proportional to the stress applied to it.
The horn is made up of a flexible metal diaphragm, a coil of wire connected to a contact, a switch, and housing that is typically plastic.Horns are usually attached to the frame at the front of the vehicle under the hood. This provides an electrical ground for them. They are connected to the battery, but the electrical circuit is incomplete until the switch is activated.
The sound comes from the fast vibration of the diaphragm, and is amplified by the shape of the housing.
I know some people learn better by watching a video. Here’s a little click bait for you:Click on this link to a video on YouTube. You won’t BELIEVE what happens next!
So, there you have it. Now you know what the heck a horn is NOT, what it IS, and perhaps found a new appreciation for mariachi bands.
Tell me what other automotive parts baffle you. I’ll tell you what the heck they are!