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My Horn Sucks - An Outlier or Normal

You will never get my new S85 away from me. It is amazing but I wonder if others are experiencing a sub-standard horn. I'm used to a horn that can deliver a polite beep to the guy in front of me who does not see that the light has turned green. I can tap on my horn - nothing. I can hit the horn with the heal of my hand - nothing. I can pound on all corners of it and 20% of the time I get rude blaring sound.

I'll live with it if needed but it seems like the MB influence did not make it up to the horn. I called Matt at the San Rafael service center and he tried a few of the cars in the shop and said that this was "normal." A disappointment if true.

Curious about what others are experiencing.

Our horn is quite hearty. It sounds like a real horn. It can be startling.

Agreed with Captain_Zap. I was shocked the first time I sounded the horn on my Model S. It's quite loud and noticeable - and not difficult at all to activate. Call Tesla Service - sounds like you've got a glitch.

Yes, like both Captain_Zap and highfalutintodd said, my MS horn is always loud and startling whenever I use my hand to honk the horn or use my iPhone Tesla App remotely to honk the horn. Never have a problem.

I think I have the same as OP, when in a situation to beep so eone, nothing, I had to hit it really hard and still not much. The remote from the app is fine though, so not the horn itself just how it is activated.

Does anyone else have a somewhat annoying delay between pressing the horn and it sounding?

Yes agreed - takes a lot of push force to sound the horn - a very loud but decent sounding horn - but wish it could be sounded with a gentle tap that allows a more friendly horn when needed.

A pressure/button problem. Mechanical.

You're referring to the MBs having two actuation levels on the horn, right? I don't think Model S shares that feature. It does take a fair amount of pressure to get the MS horn to sound. When it does sound, you get the full Monty.

The MS doesn't have that feature, but I agree with mikefa that it should. Especially since this is an electric vehicle. "Full Monty" horn is fine for all normal traffic situations, where you typically want drivers of other vehicles to hear you. But the situation where you, at low speed, drive up to a pedestrian or cyclist who is oblivious of your existence due to the lack of engine noise, you want to be able to give him/her a signal that doesn't have you worried about that persons heart condition.

There is talk about making an artificial "engine-like" noise mandatory _at all times_ for electric vehicles. I shudder at the thought. But the more people complain about not hearing EVs approach, the more like it will be that such laws will be implemented. Having the means to politely warn people of your approach, in situations where "full monty" horn is ridiculous and even counterproductive, would go a long way to preventing that.

typo: .. the more *likely* ..

I complained about this problem when my Signature Model S was delivered last October. The tech came out to look at it and disassembled the horn apparatus on the steering wheel. The problem is that the three pivot springs in the horn have too much tension. I nearly have to stand up to apply enough force to sound the horn and you lose the ability to make a "hello" soft beep. The Model S only allows the "get out of my way" long beep. I suggested they fix this on future models, but it appears they didn't......

Same problem on my car delivered in June. There's a delay when pressing the horn, and no way to emit a polite beep/chirp to alert someone ahead. I think it's a safety issue when so much force is required, and there's such a delay.

My horn blows.

This is also similar to the high-beams. A quick "flash" is not possible. You get about a full 1-second high-beam. Not a big deal, but no longer useful for telling someone "go ahead" when they're waiting to turn into traffic. Very fine line with horn/brights between a friendly gesture and an aggressive one.

Yep I agree with the OP. Not only is the horn hard to activate but it does not sound "appealing". I figured with time it would loosen up. Most things tight loosen up with repeated usage. But I am not in love with that sound.....

My horn is the opposite, it blows.

My horn doesn't want to work when I need to give a quick "watch out where you are going" honk. I have to hit it several times in different places and by then the moment is lost. There must be a sweet spot where it will work consistently but finding it in a split second is not easy.

At least it doesn't suck!

I foresee a lot of aftermarket mods and upgrades to the horn.

@Neech - let's us know if you find that "tweet" spot. I have been calling for a pedestrian horn for day two. Day one was all about me and my Model S.

"for" = from. ...from day two.

It's a nice loud American style car horn. I like it.

First person to mod their MS to do something like this will have a very popular YouTube video:

As the proud owner of an "enabled" 60, I gotta agree with you folks... the horn could use an upgrade. In Honolulu, people take offense when someone honks at them with a loud horn. Which reminds me of one of my rides I had in my Berkeley days. It was a Citroen. And yes I know it had less than a " normal" appearance. However, it had a city and a country horn all on the same stalk... as I recall. When I honked as a warning in town, it was usually received with a smile or at least a knowing nod. Ah, those were the days....

Turning on the AC to 10 makes a loud enough sound to warn people walking nearby, but still not really a solution :)

Thanks for all of the feedback folks.

So I was right, the horn really does suck.

Yes, if you lean on it it makes lots of sound which is what it needs to do in an emergency.

What it doesn't do and what every other car I've owned does is have the ability to make a polite short beep for minor and close-up needs.

This is a disappointment in an otherwise amazing vehicle. And yes I get it, it's a beta version, in its first year and, the horn still sucks.

I'll just leave this here:

If you are on the West coast, you can order a free "honk suppressor". If you get one and put it in your Tesla, please post a picture here.

Or, we could stage a "honktervention" - I will send you one now!


76 is sending me a honk suppressor as well. The horn is so loud that one person ahead of me got out of their car to fight. Tesla needs to add an icon at the top of the touch screen for a light pedestrian beep.

Sorry this is an older thread, but the problem still persists.

The Tesla (well, every car really) needs the 1970's/1980's Mercedes "City Horn" option.

But in the short term, a better performing steering wheel horn switch would be a huge improvement. Or maybe there is a software thing that can be done.. no idea how it's controlled.


Absolutely. There are a lot of people walking or jogging on the winding roads in my neighborhood. I need something polite and even pleasant just to announce I'm coming.

Driving slowly, open window and squeeze off "Ah-OO-Gah" from a rubber bulb-driven real horn!

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