7 of the Most Common Issues With Cuckoo Clocks

by Gregory Burton


If you've purchased a cuckoo clock, you know it's an intricate, unique and stunning timepiece. The majority of the time, it will run like clockwork, but once in a while, it may falter or skip a beat. If yours happens to experience one of the common issues with cuckoo clocks mentioned below, just follow the steps provided to get it back up and ticking again.

The Cuckoo Stops Working Entirely

It doesn’t take long to get accustomed to the sweet sounds of the cuckoo bird each hour. So when it stops functioning, it can really feel as if something is missing. If your cuckoo has stopped working it could be that it was turned off or that it’s been damaged. We recommend bringing it in to get checked out in this case.

The Clock Cuckoos at Different Times

It’s 2:17pm, and your cuckoo is calling away. You know this isn’t right because it normally calls on the full and half-hour, so what happened? It’s not your cuckoo, in fact, it’s the minute-hand. If the minute hand is in the wrong position, you’ll need to move it to the proper time to get your cuckoo back in sync.

Cuckoo Calls the Wrong Time

If your cuckoo starts calling out six times at 8:00, it’s not confused — it’s that the hour hand is in the wrong position. To get it working again, you’ll need to reset the hour hand to the proper hour. If the cuckoo is silent altogether, check that the wire latch on the door is removed.

Clock Runs too Slow or Fast

If the time on your digital watch and your cuckoo clock aren’t matching up, there could be a pendulum issue. The pendulum is responsible for keeping time. You’ll need to adjust the pendulum disc to speed it up or slow it down. The timing can also be thrown off because of its position. Cuckoo clocks do NOT always prefer to run level, they run in beat! You'll want to listen to the sound of the tick tock, and shift the case of your clock either to the left or the right on the wall until the beat of the pendulum is even, which will sound like a metronome. 

The Clock Stops

Did you recently move your clock and it stopped functioning? It could be the position it’s in. The cuckoo clock needs to be in the correct vertical position for the pendulum to swing properly. If this is the case, you will need to adjust the position until the tick-tock sound is accurate. If the clock is flush with the wall, the wire could be bent. You may need to check under the case and bend the wire slightly to fix it.

The Chain Becomes Loose

Cuckoo clocks are delicate instruments. They are made up of small pieces that work together, but sometimes these pieces can falter. For example, if one of the weights drops, it can take the chain off the wheel. And when that happens, it’s quite challenging to get it back on track without help. It’s important to take it to a clock repair shop to ensure it’s done right.

These are just a few of the most common issues with cuckoo clocks. A DIY repair can often do the trick, but if you’re not careful, you can end up doing permanent damage to the intricate inner workings. Instead, we recommend calling the professionals. At Frankenmuth Clock Company, we can handle all of your cuckoo clock related issues. Contact us today!