Is my car clock not working a sign of electrical problems?

I drive a Toyota from the early 2000s, and recently the clock has been out of whack. It doesn’t work anymore, and all I see is a blank screen. It’s not a big deal since I use my phone for the time, but I’m worried it’s an indication of more serious problems with my car. Is my car clock not working a sign of electrical problems?

Elaine Duvet · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
That sounds frustrating! I’ve had that happen as well with my old Honda after I took it to the auto shop. Luckily my mechanic provided a code to reset the clock.
While it’s always best to
take your vehicle to a professional
to get to the root of the problem, there are a few factors that could give you some more information.
Here’s what we know about why your car clock may not be working:
  • If your clock resets when you turn the vehicle on, there may be internal wiring issues, or problems with fuses, the battery, or the ignition.
  • It’s possible that there’s a gap in the wiring sending currents from the battery to the clock. This requires an expert with special tools to investigate.
  • Your vehicle’s fuses control the power flow throughout the car, even to the radio. A poor connection or blown fuse can interfere with the power to your clock.
  • Often the battery is to blame for why a car clock resets itself. Even when the engine is off, the clock still requires a constant flow of electricity from the battery.
  • There could also be an interrupted electrical connection when your car is started. An ignition switch braking contact, commonly known as a loose or dirty ignition, could be decreasing the voltage or interrupting the flow to the radio when it’s on.
Now that you have a better idea of where your broken clock could stem from, you can take action by contacting a qualified mechanic in your local area. Another way to take care of you and your Toyota is to make sure you’re protected when you’re on the open road.
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