Stebel/Nautilus horn troubleshooting - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 24 Old 10-29-2019, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Stebel/Nautilus horn troubleshooting

It's been seriously cold on recent mornings. Unfortunately, I'm finding that my Stebel horn does not care for temps around freezing.

Two days in a row, the horn hasn't worked in the cold. Instead of the usual ear-shattering blast, I get a grindy/whirring noise, with a very weak horn sound.

The first time it happened, I blamed it on overloading the electrical system. I was parked, engine idling, heated jacket liner and grips turned up to max. Voltage monitor LED showed a dip into the 12.1-12.7V range when I tried the horn, so I figured it simply wasn't getting enough juice to work.

Then yesterday afternoon, it was warmer & the horn worked as usual.

This morning, again it was right around freezing, and the horn wouldn't work at all. I turned off the heated gear altogether - but there was no voltage dip. So, the horn was barely drawing any power. No wonder it barely made any sound.

Is there anything further I can do to troubleshoot or fix the Stebel? Something I can replace that's related to working in cold weather? Or is it just plain worn out?

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post #2 of 24 Old 10-29-2019, 12:28 PM
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Could it somehow have water (condensation) in it?? Freezing when below 32F....

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post #3 of 24 Old 10-29-2019, 12:46 PM
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Some mentioned to spray WD40 or some other lubricant into the intake to make a stuck horn work again. May also help with low temperature failure? A high quality lubricant (rather than WD40) may be the better option.
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post #4 of 24 Old 10-29-2019, 01:44 PM
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Make sure plastic horn piece firmly attached to the body.. they get loose over the time.
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post #5 of 24 Old 10-29-2019, 02:29 PM
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And to be sure make certain that it's wired in with a relay.
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post #6 of 24 Old 10-29-2019, 02:36 PM
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I have the same experience ,,,,but also in the summer time ,,,,,,,,,,,,,i the morning seems like having some water inside,,,,,,,,,,,,after some reptead signals it comes back to live.
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post #7 of 24 Old 10-29-2019, 02:44 PM
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My Nautilus had a similar failure mode in cold and sometimes weather. I'm pretty sure it was related to the air seal between the compressor and the horn. Eventually, the structure that held them together deteriorated and allowed some play, and it worked only above freezing and dry. I got a little more life out of it by zip-tying the parts together, after the shitty plastic clip that held the parts together finally broke. Eventually it just fell apart everywhere.

I bought a cheap China-made knockoff for like $15, which lasted for two years and then broke in a similar way. I'm now on my second Chinese knockoff and this one uses a different attachment method and has been rock solid over 3 years and 60k miles.
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post #8 of 24 Old 10-29-2019, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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The original company (Stebel) went out of business, didn't they?

https://www.amazon.com/Stebel-116900...a-684885462432

Specs of this Amazon listing state 18 amps at 12.1 volts draw. That's north of 200 W. Jeez no wonder my voltage monitor LED goes red if I lay on the horn (and it's working)!

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post #9 of 24 Old 11-04-2019, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Removed and inspected horn over the weekend. It sure LOOKS fine. Could not find any loose bits, including the electrical connections.

Temp this morning was around 40F, and the horn worked fine. Jacket liner and heated grips were going, so there's clearly enough power available.

If the non-working thing returns with colder weather, I'll suppose I'll R&R the whole horn. I'm sure existing one is long past any warranty period. I've been happy with it since I got the bike, so no big deal to spend ~$33 on another one & enjoy several more years.

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post #10 of 24 Old 11-05-2019, 11:12 AM
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Do youse guys really find that many reasons to use the horn? I got one of those noisy things and it worked kinda. I took it apart and adjusted it, actually I F'd it to death and it works now.
But I've probably used the horn 3-4 times in the several years I've had the bike. I guess I'm guilty of not flashing my high beams at others too.
I live in the big city too.
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