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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I just got a 1996 RAV4 (3 door) and I can't figure out how to set the time on the clock. For some reason it doesn't have the 3 buttons to make adjustments like in the 1998 models. So how do you do it on this car? Yes, I have searched the manual and it makes no mention of the clock.
 

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1998 Rav4, manual transmission, 2WD, 5-door, JDM engine installed in 2013
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Xylene,

Can you take a photo of the clock and post it here?

For now, I suspect someone installed an aftermarket clock in your Rav4. Options:

-- Disconnect the battery for a couple of minutes. Re-connect the battery. Does the clock reset to say, 12 o'clock? It may or may not. If it does reset, wait until it's a few minutes before noon or midnight where you are, disconnect the battery for a minute, then re-connect.

[Edit: Stuff deleted, per Xylene's point that the 1996-97 does not always have a tilt steering wheel. This means the trim around the instrument cluster is more difficult to remove and may require taking steps that free up the steering column to a large extent. LabCoatPaul says this is the only way for a 1996-97, and he may be right.]

-- Purchase a second hand, preferably re-furbished clock from eBay or a salvage yard. (The original clocks often have an LED light failure, such that the display fades. If one is handy with a soldering iron, the fix is easy. Youtube videos and/or this forum give instructions for the soldering repair.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Xylene,

Can you take a photo of the clock and post it here?

For now, I suspect someone installed an aftermarket clock in your Rav4. Options:

-- Disconnect the battery for a couple of minutes. Re-connect the battery. Does the clock reset to say, 12 o'clock? It may or may not. If it does reset, wait until it's a few minutes before noon or midnight where you are, disconnect the battery for a minute, then re-connect.

-- Download the attached pdf file. Remove your Rav's clock from the dashboard. Look for a part number and manufacturer name printed on the clock. Report here what you find.

-- Purchase a second hand, preferably re-furbished clock from eBay or a salvage yard. (The original clocks often have an LED light failure, such that the display fades. If one is handy with a soldering iron, the fix is easy. Youtube videos and/or this forum give instructions for the soldering repair.)
Thanks Elle, but those are the instructions for a 1999 RAV4. I have a 1996 and taking the clock out is way more complicated then that (see Lab Coat Paul on Youtube:
)

Here's a picture of my clock without the 3 buttons at the bottom:
Hood Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive design Automotive mirror
 

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1998 Rav4, manual transmission, 2WD, 5-door, JDM engine installed in 2013
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Xylene, thank you for pointing this out. I note that LabCoatPaul does not pull the steering column fully out. Instead, he frees enough of the steering column that he can lower the column some and remove the instrument cluster trim.

I have had the steering column fully out (which is not so bad). Merely lowering the steering column, while it remains connected near the firewall, takes fewer steps of course.

Such are my thoughts, anyway.
 

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Does the clock light, when the ignition is on? If not, was the clock optional back then?

If it does have one, ditto on disconnecting the battery at ~11:50 a.m., then reconnecting at 12:00 p.m. is the easiest route. But you may lose your radio's settings. The owner's manual should describe how to reset it otherwise; check eBay for one.
 

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The 1996 owners manual shows the same 3-button clock (page 85) as my 1997 model. If you don't have buttons, the clock would probably be aftermarket.

My 1997 model has the tilt steering that makes it easier so the column doesn't have to be dropped if you want to remove the cluster bezel. The 1996 manual also shows the tilt lever so tilt steering must have been optional for '96 too.

I was able to get the clock module out to repair it by removing the radio bezel, the climate control face plate, and the instrument cluster bezel screws along with the main dashboard bezel screws. It wasn't necessary to fully remove the dash bezel (the black part) or fully remove the cluster bezel to remove the clock. It was only necessary to pull the dash bezel forward a couple of inches to get a stubby screwdriver in behind to unscrew the clock from the dash and unplug it. Use a mirror to see the back of the clock.

It looks possible to do this even if you don't have the tilt steering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The 1996 owners manual shows the same 3-button clock (page 85) as my 1997 model. If you don't have buttons, the clock would probably be aftermarket.

My 1997 model has the tilt steering that makes it easier so the column doesn't have to be dropped if you want to remove the cluster bezel. The 1996 manual also shows the tilt lever so tilt steering must have been optional for '96 too.

I was able to get the clock module out to repair it by removing the radio bezel, the climate control face plate, and the instrument cluster bezel screws along with the main dashboard bezel screws. It wasn't necessary to fully remove the dash bezel (the black part) or fully remove the cluster bezel to remove the clock. It was only necessary to pull the dash bezel forward a couple of inches to get a stubby screwdriver in behind to unscrew the clock from the dash and unplug it. Use a mirror to see the back of the clock.

It looks possible to do this even if you don't have the tilt steering.
Thanks cRAVe. I'm going to take it apart soon to figure out if it aftermarket. I thought it looked funny without the 3 buttons.
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Look for hidden time set buttons. I installed an aftermarket clock back in the day, and I hid the buttons inside the pull out ashtray. Yeah, it was an old car. Look inside the glove box, under the dash, etc.
 

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Any update on this ?
A bit late of a response, but from the posted picture looks like it's a blank plate.
From what I recall the clock may have not been standard on all, so there would be a blank piece. If I recall my previous RAV didn't come with a clock and had the blank, and I had bought a used clock and had to tap wires to make it work, using the Haynes manual for reference. :)
With a quick search, there are several older threads which others also had the blank and installed the OEM clock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi DJ Sueno, yes. I took the dash apart and there is a blank plate where the clock should go. I guess my RAV4 didn't come with one :( I thought about buying a used clock and adding it in but tapping in wires seemed like a lot of work. Can you send me some of those links from those older threads? I can't seem to find them.
 

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you can get the power for a clock at the radio.

or just replace the radio with a new media player (no cd works off your phones music)
click here for the media player radio thread
it has a hands free for the cell phone and xm sat radio as well as HD radio tuner when you are in the larger city's.
cd quality sound on the am and fm tuner when the hd tuner is locked to a hd station.
pretty cool.

and there is an xm special right now for $11/ month when you new subscribe.
 

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Hi Iowagold,

Not sure what getting power at the radio means. Do I have to get clock harness and connect it to the radio harness?
the radio harness has the power you need for a clock.
so you could tap in to the radio harness for the 3 wires you need
battery, accy or key on, and ground.
or just get a good radio with a clock is where i am going with this.
 

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On a somewhat related note…can anyone explain why the clock in my 99 only turns on if the car is very hot? It only turns on if the car has been sitting in the sun all day and the interior is at least 80-85°.
 

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1998 Rav4, manual transmission, 2WD, 5-door, JDM engine installed in 2013
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