My Horn Sucks - An Outlier or Normal

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.

Captain_Zap | July 29, 2013

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

highfalutintodd | July 29, 2013

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.

bradslee | July 29, 2013

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.

portia | July 29, 2013

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.

Maestrokneer | July 30, 2013

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

mikefa | July 30, 2013

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.

Brian H | July 30, 2013

A pressure/button problem. Mechanical.

defmonk | July 30, 2013

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.

pebell | July 30, 2013

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.

pebell | July 30, 2013

typo: .. the more *likely* ..

ColonyGolfer | July 30, 2013

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......

eAdopter | July 30, 2013

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.

PBEndo | July 30, 2013

My horn blows.

cgiGuy | July 30, 2013

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.

Bamboo8 | July 30, 2013

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.....

Velo1 | July 30, 2013

My horn is the opposite, it blows.

Neech | July 30, 2013

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.

Brian H | July 30, 2013

At least it doesn't suck!

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

Velo1 | July 30, 2013

@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.

Velo1 | July 30, 2013

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

DTsea | July 30, 2013

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

stickhog | July 30, 2013

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

yoohootesla | July 30, 2013

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....

portia | July 30, 2013

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

fritzlan | July 30, 2013

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.

danej | July 31, 2013

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!


Mark Z | August 1, 2013

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.

mattj | March 25, 2014

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.


carlk | March 25, 2014

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.

Brian H | March 25, 2014

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

holidayday | March 25, 2014

Yes, the horn should react differently to different pressure on the steering wheel.

A quick bump against the wheel should give a polite "beep". The kind of beep that is good for alerting the inattentive driver in front of you that the light turned green 5 seconds ago.

A hard push should provide a loud "honk" to let the person (who just cut you off causing you to slam on your brakes) know that you are there and had to take emergency measure to avoid an accident.

I'll have to try the horn the next time I visit the showroom.

Captain_Zap | March 25, 2014

I'm afraid to honk my horn. First, I might get shot.
Second, it is only legal to use them in an emergency situation here. Anything else can be considered aggressive behavior.