Dash Pod Clock Fault
The dash clock pod in the 450 has a habit of suddenly losing a lot of time. Time to fix.
My Dash Pod Clock Is Slow
Uh huh, it's a fairly normal complaint.
What's The Problem?
The clock mechanism is only held in place on the PCB by the 4 solder connections that it uses to
receive the necessary power it requires to keep correct time. The clock mechanism isn't heavy but,
over time, the vibration of the car and the constant heating and cooling of the clock housing causes
the connections to crack. This gives intermittent power to the clock so it will slow or stop.
Why Does The Clock Get Hot And Cold?
The clock is sitting on the dashboard directly in front of the windscreen, during the day the
dark coloured clock pod absorbs the heat of the sun which causes expansion. At night, it cools
down and the clock internals contract. This movement over many years eventually creates a
split in the solder points which can be seen very clearly in one of the pictures below.
Lesley is a new friend who just happens to own a smart car and probably the only smart car
owner I didn't meet through one of the forums. She mentioned to me that her clock had
stopped keeping good time and spotted the opportunity to finally get this information on
the website. Armed with some Torx screwdrivers I attacked her car in her work's car park.
How Do I Fix Mine?
Remove your clock from the car. This one was removed at 11AM so the time was way out.
Pull off the decorative fascia ring.
Pull the bezel off, this can be levered from one side if it's tight.
Pull off the hands...
...making sure you don't lose either one of the hands or the 2 black plastic caps.
Tip the pod forward and the face will fall out.
Unhook the flat cable from the tabs underneath the foot of the pod.
Push the black tabs outwards (circled white) and pull the PCB out of the pod.
It can be tight so a spoon down the side can help to carefully lever the PCB out.
Feed some of the flat cable through so you can pull the circuit board clear of the pod.
2 small buttons will probably fall out of the pod too, don't lose these.
Circled in white in the picture below are the 4 main suspects that cause a faulty clock.
Take a close look at them and you will see that 1 or more of them will be cracked all the way
around. This depends on how good your eyesight is or if you have a jewellers loupe or magnifying
glass. On this particular clock all 4 of the solder pads had cracked. It couldn't have got worse.
Dab each solder pad with a resin flux pen. This cleans the area and allows the solder to flow better.
Quickly apply heat to reflow the solder and repair the joint, add extra solder if you like.
You can see I have reflowed all 4 pads and added a bit more solder for extra strength.
Make sure the clock buttons are placed back into the clock pod.
Reassemble the clock pod to its original glory. It is important that when you
push the hour hand back on to the clock face that you don't push too hard.
If you do it may touch the face and stop the clock from working.
A good tip is to place a business card or a piece of doubled over paper under
the hour hand as you push it on. When you remove the paper it creates a gap
between the hand and the face. It also makes sense to put the hands back on
so they both face straight up (12'o'clock) they they are correctly aligned.
Job done. Refit the clock and plug it back in to the connection on the underside of the safety
triangle. Set the time using the buttons on the back of the clock and enjoy your freshly fixed clock.