Horn sounding when keys touch the steering collumn

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J4yman

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I thought I had fixed the horn issue. It sounds as it should when you press the button. The thing I noticed the other day when I was adjusting my shifter plate I had the keys in the ignition and it was on. I must have knocked the keys against the steering collumn and the horn sounded. I then checked it out and touched the keys to the collumn to check it and it made a little spark as it touched and the horn sounded. I mean it's no big deal other than I am not sure it is a big deal and something is wrong. The simple fix would be to have less keys on my fob so they won't dangle and touch. But the question really is should it be happening and if no then what could be the fix. It's a 1972 Crossover. Other than that the horn is great. It took me a while to figure it out but I think it's all good.
 

ozziedog

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I’ve never tried this and im running mine through a dash switch right now so can’t check. As far as I know, there are two slightly different steering column wiring configurations and the Chang was around the year of your van. I’m thinking out loud that maybe it’s possible to have the wrong ‘earthing’ and causing this or maybe that’s why they changed it. I’m sure the more electrical types will pop along shortly to tell you what’s what.:)

Ozziedog,,,,,,,,,,it’s all magic them electrics :)
 

kreemoweet

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It's normal, because the steering column is part of the horn circuit, and it is normally "hot". The ignition housing (and your inserted keys)
is grounded, so when the keys contact the column, it grounds the horn circuit and allows current to flow, sounding the horn.
 

J4yman

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This phenomenon has NEVER occurred with my family's 1973 VW Type 2, when either my father or myself were driving it!
It wasn't when I was driving it. It was when I wast adusting the gear shift plate. I happened to have the ignition on and the keys were resting on my shoulder and pressing againt the colum and setting the horn off. When I did it independently to check I got a little spark and the horn sounded. Strange but apparently it's how it is. I do have a few keys I probably need to remove which means they won't be long enough to touch once removed.
 

ozziedog

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This phenomenon has NEVER occurred with my family's 1973 VW Type 2, when either my father or myself were driving it!
You don’t got enough keys Nigel, I’ll have a rummage about and we can collect some for you, ;)
Im gonna try this when I get home tonight with a bit of wire :)


Ozziedog,,,,,,,,,,,,,where would you like them posted?;):);)
 

Coda

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It wasn't when I was driving it. It was when I wast adusting the gear shift plate. I happened to have the ignition on and the keys were resting on my shoulder and pressing againt the colum and setting the horn off. When I did it independently to check I got a little spark and the horn sounded. Strange but apparently it's how it is. I do have a few keys I probably need to remove which means they won't be long enough to touch once removed.
It's a known phenomena. I'd advise either repaint the column (or the part which is bare) or stop worrying about it.
 

naskeet

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You don’t got enough keys Nigel, I’ll have a rummage about and we can collect some for you, ;)
Im gonna try this when I get home tonight with a bit of wire :)


Ozziedog,,,,,,,,,,,,,where would you like them posted?;):);)

The only keys that I presently have on the VW Type 2 key ring are as follows:

(a) RAC & AA telephone-box key
(b) garage-door key
(c) ignition cum door key
(d) engine-compartment hatch key
(e) fuel-filler-cap key
(f) radio-antenna key

When I sort out the fitment of some deadlocks on the doors & hatches, plus some sort of additional lock on the fuel-filler flap, I will have a few more keys.
 
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naskeet

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The paint on my 1973 VW Type 2 steering column is most certainly intact! I also have two six-position Austin Montego / Metro relay-mounting blocks suspended beneath the horizontal steering-column support bracket, but I have yet to paint those home-made aluminium mounting brackets, which is another job for the future!
 

naskeet

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It wasn't when I was driving it. It was when I wast adusting the gear shift plate. I happened to have the ignition on and the keys were resting on my shoulder and pressing againt the colum and setting the horn off. When I did it independently to check I got a little spark and the horn sounded. Strange but apparently it's how it is. I do have a few keys I probably need to remove which means they won't be long enough to touch once removed.

Why would you have the ignition on whilst adjusting the gear shift plate!?!

I have a nasty suspicion that when the ignition-distributor shaft is in a certain position, leaving the ignition on for more than a short while, without the engine running, could potentially burn-out or otherwise shorten the life of the ignition coil.
 

ozziedog

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Why would you have the ignition on whilst adjusting the gear shift plate!?!

I have a nasty suspicion that when the ignition-distributor shaft is in a certain position, leaving the ignition on for more than a short while, without the engine running, could potentially burn-out or otherwise shorten the life of the ignition coil.
That is indeed a fact Nigel, even though I know somewhere between nothing and zero about elecktrickery. I was informed of this at a very early age but wasn’t sure exactly what it buggered up as I’d always thought it buggered up multiple items as in coil, points, condenser, rotor etc etc.
Having the ignition on may be on the list of ‘not a great idea’ type of thing but I’m not sure that it qualifies for a ‘telling off’ or maybe perhaps even a ‘naughty step warning!’ Reckon that should do it. ;)

Ozziedog,,,,,,,,, J4yman !! This is an official naughty step warning:):rolleyes::)
 

naskeet

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That is indeed a fact Nigel, even though I know somewhere between nothing and zero about elecktrickery. I was informed of this at a very early age but wasn’t sure exactly what it buggered up as I’d always thought it buggered up multiple items as in coil, points, condenser, rotor etc etc.
Having the ignition on may be on the list of ‘not a great idea’ type of thing but I’m not sure that it qualifies for a ‘telling off’ or maybe perhaps even a ‘naughty step warning!’ Reckon that should do it. ;)

Ozziedog,,,,,,,,, J4yman !! This is an official naughty step warning:):rolleyes::)

It distresses me to learn of people who put themselves, others or their vehicles at risk through lack of appropriate knowledge; one of the penalties of being a long-term educator.

When the engine isn't running, current only flows in the primary coil if the contact-breaker points are closed, but under these circumstances it is a constant current so there is no rate of change of magnetic flux to induce a current in the secondary coil.

Hence the primary coil provides solely resistance to the flow of steady current rather than resistance & inductive impedance to a rapidly changing current. More current is flowing and for a longer uninterrupted duration, so one would anticipate a greater heating effect.

With no high-voltage back-EMF induced in the primary coil, there would be no effect on the capacitor (aka condenser) and given that no high-voltage current is induced in the secondary coil, the HT cables, rotor-arm and distributor cap are irrelevant.
 

ozziedog

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So, does that mean in real terms that we’ll all understand, does that mean he has to go on the naughty step in real life? :)

Ozziedog,,,,,,,,,,, ten minutes enough maybe ? :rolleyes:
 

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