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My car has started honking at random. Mostly it’s short honks while driving or stopped, the confusing part is that it will do it when it’s off and locked (these honks are long). I know there isn’t a fuse or relay for the horn, so it leads me to believe it’s a short in the horn wire perhaps. I have had someone take a look and could not find a short. How do I even begin to fix this issue? Is the issue even the horn or security system? Could it be somehow linked to my automatic engine throttle light being present (red lightning bolt) ?
 

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2016 Chrysler 200 S, 1998 Sebring JX
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421 Posts
Welcome to the forums. Does the horn honking seem to be temperature-related, like being parked in the sun as opposed to sitting overnight?
I have had plastic steering wheel horn pads that distort slightly when hot and trigger the horn switch. If you can catch it while it's doing it, try lightly tapping the horn pad and see if it stops. Disconnecting the horn pad wire temporarily may help diagnose this. You don't want to just begin replacing parts yet.
The throttle light probably is a separate issue and not related to the horn circuit. There may be a fault code stored in the PCM that would help in diagnosing this ETC issue.
 

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Lisa, it sounds like your TIPM needs to be replaced. TIPM stands for Totally Integrated Power Module. Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram vehicles are notorious for TIPM failures. I replaced my TIPM less than a year ago because my wipers, rear defogger, and head lights were all doing weird things. My sister's Jeep did the horn honking and light flashing thing several years ago. In both cases, replacing the TIPM solved the problems.

The good news is that you can replace the TIPM yourself very easily. The job requires only a flat blade screwdriver, a wrench, and takes 15-30 minutes to complete. Go to TIPM Rebuilders and choose the correct make, model, and year of your car. Browse the site to find installation videos that explain the whole process. It's very easy to do yourself.

TIPM Rebuilders sells the rebuilt unit for your car for $295.

One thing to note: In the installation video, he shows you to disconnect the positive and negative cables and then tie them together with a wire tie in order to drain electricity from all of the capacitors in the car. In the 200, the battery is located inside the left front fender, so it would be a big pain to do this at the battery. Inside the engine compartment on the driver's side of the firewall, there are large electrical connectors for jump starting the car. I disconnected the black negative one, and used a large gauge piece of bare copper wire (Home Depot) to connect the black wire to the red terminal. Just make sure that the copper wire does not touch anything but the black cable and the bolt in the middle of the red cable. No need to disconnect the red cable... but you MUST disconnect the black cable.
 

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2016 Chrysler 200 S, 1998 Sebring JX
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Don't guess with parts, it can get expensive and frustrating. Always diagnose first.
 
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