Aaron Widmar
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Why Did the Time on My Car’s Clock Reset?

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Car’s Clock Reset time suddenly explanation
Photo: The News Wheel

You start up your car like you always do, shift into drive, and head out on the road. It’s then that you realize the clock isn’t displaying the correct time.

If your car’s clock reset, it could be for a variety of reasons. These are the most common explanations of the suddenly different time on the vehicle’s clock-radio.

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4 possible reasons your car’s clock reset

The battery

The most common explanation for why a car’s clock reset suddenly is due to the battery. The clock relies on a constant flow of electricity from the battery to keep it running, even when the engine is turned off. If that connection is ever interrupted, the clock will reset — just like unplugging a digital clock from a wall socket.

Start by checking the connections at the battery terminals. Perhaps the components jostled loose over time and interrupted the connection briefly.

If the battery connections are secure, test the battery charge to ensure it’s still filled. A near-empty battery can sometimes briefly lose charge entirely when the engine starts and then regain it. This could happen if the temperature has been frigid, the car hasn’t been run for a while, or you’ve been messing with the electronics after the engine was turned off.

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The fuses

Your car’s fuses control the flow of power throughout the vehicle, including to the radio. If a fuse blew or came loose, there may not be a consistent stream of electricity to the clock, causing it to reset. You’ll need to investigate how to properly access and reset your vehicle’s fuses.

The ignition

The problem could be coming from an interrupted electrical connection when the car is started. A loose or dirty ignition (an ignition switch breaking contact) could be briefly dropping the voltage or interrupting the flow to the radio when it’s turned.

The wiring

If all else fails, you may have a gap in the wiring that’s sending the electrical current from the battery to the clock. Investigating this will require special tools and expertise that should be performed by a mechanic.