Hella Horn vs cold weather
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This is a discussion on Hella Horn vs cold weather within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hey all, So recently I noticed that my hellas are only working when the weather is warm outside. I did ...

  1. #1
    Registered User WrxNate's Avatar
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    Hella Horn vs cold weather

    Hey all,

    So recently I noticed that my hellas are only working when the weather is warm outside. I did replace the relay recently due to the original shorting out. Any ideas of were to start in diagnosing? I do realize that there was to be in issue in the wiring due to cold weather (around freezing) making it not work.

    As always, thanks for the help guys.
    Nate | Stink Eye Mob #023

    2014 WRB WRX Hatch

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    Registered User DorBink's Avatar
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    Just a suggestion but check were you have them grounded. Might be exposed to some winter elements or loose.

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    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    Make sure there isn't any crud caked in the piezo elements. That and check the grounds, as suggested.

    Out of curiosity, why did the original relay short out? I used my Hellas with the included relay in all sorts of winter conditions without issue, including temps below zero Fahrenheit, but I kept the relay tucked between the fusebox and the battery, so it was pretty well protected from the elements, and all of the cable terminals were soldered with heat shrink tube over them.
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
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    For External Use Only irickchad's Avatar
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    I'm having a ton of issues with mine right now. Wired as a single horn they work just fine. Wire them together with the Subimods harness and I get nothing. They were working, they just suddenly stopped one day. Tried replacing the relay. No Dice.

  6. #5
    Registered User WrxNate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    Make sure there isn't any crud caked in the piezo elements. That and check the grounds, as suggested.

    Out of curiosity, why did the original relay short out? I used my Hellas with the included relay in all sorts of winter conditions without issue, including temps below zero Fahrenheit, but I kept the relay tucked between the fusebox and the battery, so it was pretty well protected from the elements, and all of the cable terminals were soldered with heat shrink tube over them.
    I will have to check the ground when I get home/have some time when it's cold. I replaced the relay cause i'm assuming it went out due to water. They worked for a while, then we had a bad rain storm and they stopped working. Switched out the relay, wrapped the relay in electrical tape, and it's worked since. Then when the temp went below 35 they stopped working, and when it was over 35 they work again. That's why I wasn't sure if it was the ground not working in the cold or what?

    FWIW I have the relay behind the crash bar as Subimods suggests.
    Nate | Stink Eye Mob #023

    2014 WRB WRX Hatch

  7. #6
    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WrxNate View Post
    I will have to check the ground when I get home/have some time when it's cold. I replaced the relay cause i'm assuming it went out due to water. They worked for a while, then we had a bad rain storm and they stopped working. Switched out the relay, wrapped the relay in electrical tape, and it's worked since. Then when the temp went below 35 they stopped working, and when it was over 35 they work again. That's why I wasn't sure if it was the ground not working in the cold or what?

    FWIW I have the relay behind the crash bar as Subimods suggests.
    Hmm... I wouldn't typically recommend placing electrical bits in that area, especially "high voltage" parts like direct relays (relative to the other signal voltages in the engine bay). Behind the crash bar really doesn't offer much protection aside from direct exposure to oncoming water. It's still quite susceptible to drips and cold temperatures though. Just look at how dirty that area gets. My car has no electrics there aside from the factory outside temperature sensor, and that's fully waterproof. My opinions of Subimods are not secret, but their harnesses are quite popular, so I'll try to keep my bias to myself.

    Here's a test for you with the setup you have: On a cold day when the horns aren't working. Try warming up the relay and horns themselves with a hair dryer part-by-part and see if that has any effect.

    Metal contraction due to the cold (especially in the relay) might cause an open circuit, but automotive parts are built to withstand extremely cold temperatures, so I doubt an average wintery day would have any effect, but it's possible.


    Electrical gremlins aren't fun, hope you get it sorted out soon!
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  8. #7
    Registered User WrxNate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    Hmm... I wouldn't typically recommend placing electrical bits in that area, especially "high voltage" parts like direct relays (relative to the other signal voltages in the engine bay). Behind the crash bar really doesn't offer much protection aside from direct exposure to oncoming water. It's still quite susceptible to drips and cold temperatures though. Just look at how dirty that area gets. My car has no electrics there aside from the factory outside temperature sensor, and that's fully waterproof. My opinions of Subimods are not secret, but their harnesses are quite popular, so I'll try to keep my bias to myself.

    Here's a test for you with the setup you have: On a cold day when the horns aren't working. Try warming up the relay and horns themselves with a hair dryer part-by-part and see if that has any effect.

    Metal contraction due to the cold (especially in the relay) might cause an open circuit, but automotive parts are built to withstand extremely cold temperatures, so I doubt an average wintery day would have any effect, but it's possible.


    Electrical gremlins aren't fun, hope you get it sorted out soon!
    Lol, yea I totally understand, but give my extremely low knowledge of electrical wiring and being kinda scared to try it at the time I went w/Subimods. I would think that w/it wrapped in electrical tape that it wouldn't be effected by the cold, but what do I know! Hmm, good idea, I'll have to do that test (this weekend hopefully). Thanks for the advice. It's just confusing thinking that the cold is what is killing the horns. I will double check the ground too though as you never know I guess.
    Nate | Stink Eye Mob #023

    2014 WRB WRX Hatch

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