2003 Corolla Clock

Hi all!
I was wondering if anyone can help me… I’ve had my 03 Corolla for some time now. I haven’t had any major problems with it… She’s been great, but last week I noticed her clock has been appearing and disappearing… Is a repair like that I can do myself? Or if I take it to a mechanic would a repair like that be expensive? Could it possibly lead to any electrical issues in the future? I appreciate any responses.

It’s a common problem on that car. You can definitely fix it yourself if you are able to remove it and are experienced with a soldering gun.


I have a watch on my wrist and that’s all that I really need. I was given a talking clock (nice female voice) that I use when driving at night. My digital clock on my radio works but I rarely use it because the control panel clock is ensconced in a sea of numbers and other information.

The first step I would take is to determine if the voltage going into the clock from the car is OK. This can be done with a cheap voltmeter, or with a 12 volt, low-current lightbulb and a couple of clip leads–preferably in lighting conditions that make it easy to see if the light from the bulb is steady. Try to tap into the 12 volt line as close to the clock as you can.

If you don’t have either the meter or bulb, check connections in the wiring that carries 12 volts to the clock for dirt / corrosion at the fuse and at any other connectors in the wiring between the fuse block and the clock. Also make sure that the ground connection for the clock is clean and tight. If these all look clean, then the chances are that the clock is dying.

Another option is to remove the clock and take it to some electronics repair place. (Maybe you have a friend who is a hobbyist) Have the tech connect your clock to a 12 volt power supply or battery. If the clock is going south, it will show the same fading that it does in the car. If it works fine out of the car, then the problem is in the car–specifically in the 12 volt supply to the clock or the ground connection for the clock.

Before you go to a whole lot of trouble, you might look into what a new clock would cost.

Good luck!

Corolla is probably the biggest sales volume car in the world. Your mechanic should be able to get a replacement clock from an auto recycler yard without much trouble.

A new replacement clock is $272.

Here’s a video on how to repair the Corolla clock.

Go to the discount store and purchase a little stick on clock which will set you back less than $10. Stick it over the indash clock.

That’s what I use on my truck @Triedaq, and I must say it works great. Not quite as cosmetically appealing as a built-in, but not distracting in appearance either. They are commonly available for $2, new including battery, at flea markets here in San Jose.

Use the $270 for a vacation instead.

I had a 2010 Corolla that did that, but it wasn’t the clock… The radio panel would do it and it was HIGHLY annoying. Yeah, it bothered me, but I ignored it most of the time bc it would tend to fix itself eventually. Since it’s just the clock on yours, I wouldn’t worry too much about fixing it. You can always go to Walmart and buy a car clock in the automotive section if you really WANT one in your car. I have a 2014 Corolla now and so far so good with my clock/radio panel. fingers crossed

Salvage yard clock about $15, but you might end up with the same problem. OTOH $272 is a lot of used clocks.