Click and Clack Talk Cars: Cheap Fix for Slow Clock

Photo by Jay Cox/Flickr.

Dear Tom and Ray: The clock in my Jeep Liberty requires resetting every two weeks. Apparently, the clock is moving backward in time. After two weeks, the clock will be three minutes slow. What causes this? Is this an indication of a larger problem? – Atom

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
By Tom and Ray Magliozzi

TOM: Yes, it’s an indication of a larger problem. The problem is that Chrysler wasn’t aiming for bulletproof quality when they made this vehicle.

RAY: And apparently, they opted for a nine-cent clock. That’s why it runs slow: The clock is cheap junk, Atom.

TOM: The problem now is that it’ll cost you a lot more than the clock is worth to remove and replace it. You don’t say what year Liberty it is, but the clock probably is part of the radio display. So you’d have to replace the entire audio system just to fix the clock. And unless you’re still under warranty, that’s hardly worth the cost and trouble.

RAY: Besides, if the problem is in the manufacturing or design of an inferior part, you’ll only be replacing it with another one that’ll run slow, too. Maybe slower!

TOM: So you’re a candidate for a solution we haven’t recommended in many years now: Go buy one of those three-for-a-dollar, stick-on digital clocks, and slap it right over where your clock is.

RAY: It might not be any better in quality (it may even be the same clock!), but at least if it runs slow, you’ll have the satisfaction of ripping it off the dashboard, tossing it out the window at high speed and replacing it with a new one for 33 cents.

TOM: Actually, we don’t want to condone littering. So after you rip it off the dashboard, take it home with you and run over it a few times in your driveway … then sweep up the remains, and dispose of them properly, Atom.

Wait! Don’t buy another car without the mechanic’s checklist that’s included in Tom and Ray’s pamphlet “How to Buy a Great Used Car: Secrets Only Your Mechanic Knows.” It will help you get a good used car and avoid the clunkers. Send $4.75 (check or money order) to Used Car, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

Get more Click and Clack in their new book, “Ask Click and Clack: Answers from Car Talk.” Got a question about cars? Write to Click and Clack in care of this newspaper, or email them by visiting the Car Talk website at www.cartalk.com.

(c) 2013 by Tom and Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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