Saturday, August 17, 2013

2002 Subaru Impreza Digital Clock Fix

Sometime last week while making my longer commute to my new job, I realized that the digital clock in the Subaru was no longer working. So today I decided to take a look at things. I didn't think it was a fuse issue because everything else is fine and I can't imagine there being a single fuse for that clock. I checked them all anyways because it's always a good starting point. In order to gain access to the wiring of the clock (which along with the connector, was the next best thing to look at) I needed to remove a few things. If you put the in dash cup holder in the open position, you will see 2 screws (one on each side) that need to be removed. Then you can just pull the cup holder all the way out. Then you need to remove the trim surround from the radio and HVAC controls (just the trim). If you don't have the right tool, you can make due by wrapping a shop rag around a flat blade screqdriver. The trim is held on by 4 fasteners (one at each corner). Next you'll want to remove the 2 vents and the trim piece that's connected to them. This piece is pretty stout so just grab it and pull. It's connected with the same type of fasteners as the radio surround. Before you remove the top surround/vents all the way, you will have to unplug the connector for the hazards. You're now looking at this. 

This is clock still held into its housing. You can see the 2 clips on the front of it. Just reach in underneath it (just above the HVAC tubes) and gently push these plastic pieces in while pushing up and this clock surround will pop up. Once the front is up, you can just pull the back up and other 2 fasteners will pop out. Unplug the clock and take it into the garage.

The clock is held into the housing by 4 connectors (2 on top and 2 on bottom). Use a really small flat blade screwdriver to gently pry these up. 2 are easy and the other 2 are more difficult to reach. Now you're looking at this. After looking at things, I could see that one piece (looks like some sort of diode or resistor) had broken loose from the board. Since it was obvious, I figured I'd start there. The piece can be seen in this picture and it's marked 510. I had done some research on this issue and found it be fairly common on the Bugeye Imprezas. Typically, the piece breaks loose on the left side as you're looking at it from this picture. Mine was broken on the right side. This is much harder to gain access to in order to fix.

In the above picture, you can see that in order to get the tip of my solder gun down in there, I decided to break the connector. This connector is one of the 2 that is more difficult to get to and the other 2 really appeared to do the brunt of the holding so I figured it would be fine. Below you can see the new solder on. I laid down a pretty fat bead on each side just for good measure. Then I went back out to the car and plugged it in, turned on the key and the clock worked fine.

These are the buttons that control the clock. There are 3 of each of these so be careful not to lose them. These go back in the clock housing first and then the clock gets re-connected.

Another shot showing the the connector that I broke in order to make getting in there easier.

All back together and functional. Make sure the buttons all work before putting the trim and cup holder back in. Done. Took about 10 minutes.

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