Car Horns Are Too Angry So This Guy Built A Nicer One

Photo: Mark Rober/YouTube (screengrab)
Photo: Mark Rober/YouTube (screengrab)

Horn etiquette is pretty bad these days. Most people just lay on the horn and scare the crap out of everyone else on the road—this is not cool, so YouTuber Mark Rober devised a contraption that nice-ifies the horn-beeping process. Here’s what he did.


As rapper Lil B explained, basic horn etiquette works like this: two short back-to-back beeps means you’re in a good mood, a single beep is still fairly pleasant, and a one or two second honk means you’re ready to fight.

The problem is that today’s horns are hard to modulate. It’s difficult to press the button without looking like a jerk. That’s why Mark Rober installed a new horn with “courtesy honk” and “one notch nicer than courtesy honk” buttons. Here’s how it works:

Rober also put in a ridiculous air horn, because everyone needs one of those. His buttons are actually fairly well integrated into the dashboard, though the total systems are a bit chunky, requiring an entirely new horn and amp for the two “nice” honks, and another horn with a compressor for the air horn. Since his Jetta already comes with two horns from the factory, he’s driving around with a total of four. That seems slightly like overkill.

But if packaging four horns is what it takes to add a bit of niceness to this world, I guess I’m OK with that.

Sr. Tech Editor, Jalopnik. Owner of far too many Jeeps (Including a Jeep Comanche). Follow my instagram (@davidntracy). Always interested in hearing from engineers—email me.



Counterpoint: If you’re using your horn to let someone behind the wheel of a goddamn car know “it’s time to stop reading that text,” they deserve to have their eardrums blown out of their ears, full stop.

Whether or not the horn is loud and hostile enough to present an adequate “get fucked” to the dumbasses I encounter on my commute is a major point of evaluation when I am car shopping.