Troubleshooting Your Cuckoo Clock 14

Most problems that occur with cuckoo clocks are easy fixes that you can perform yourself. Below are the most common ones, with videos for troubleshooting your cuckoo clock.


Does your cuckoo stop ticking? Does it not keep time?



Is your cuckoo not cuckoo-ing?



Is the hour hand loose?


How to Properly Pack Your Clock for Shipping

It’s difficult to see this on this video, but it’s very important: Be sure to run the wire through four links (on a non-musical, six on a musical) of the chain, close to the bottom of the clock. It’s hard to see this most important detail in the video. That way you’ll catch both chains coming and going, so they can’t fall off the sprocket inside, necessitating a trip to the Clock Doc.
Also, catch the loop that the pendulum hangs on with the wire. That will keep it from banging around inside and possibly getting things out of whack.

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14 thoughts on “Troubleshooting Your Cuckoo Clock

  • Don Yarber

    I paid $400 last year for a new movement for my Black Forrest Cuckoo clock. It runs fine when it is running. Problem is it stops randomly, but always in one of two places, either 5 minutes before the hour or 25 minutes past the hour. I suspect it has something to do with the linkage, but can find no visual problem.

    • JOdieRD Post author

      Hi Don,

      I betcha it’s an easy fix that you can do yourself. Give Keith Seabolt a call next week. He’s The Clock Shop in Cleveland, GA. 770-219-3556. I’m going to see him at the end of the week as he has a batch of my Backyard Birds clocks. I’ll ask him what the fix was. Then I’ll be able to answer. My goal is to have a whole lot more here on my site so people can solve little issues like this quickly. And videos if need be. I’m uploading my first one, unpacking and setting up your cuckoo clock, right now.

      Thanks for asking!


      • Don Yarber

        Hi: Thanks for your post. I didn’t see it until this morning. I took the clock back to the repairman who had installed the new works, and he did an adjustment. It worked fine for the first month or so, no it is right back to doing the same thing.

  • Jay Reed

    My cuckoo clock is approx 12 years old. The pendulum works perfectly but the hands (both hour and minute) have just recently stopped.
    Any suggestions?
    Thank you

    • JOdieRD Post author

      Since you’ve had the clock that long I strongly suggest you get it to a cuckoo doc to have to cleaned. He or she can get the hands issue taken care of at the same time. In fact, the two could be related. If you like i can recommend my guy Keith Seabolt of The Clock Shop in Cleveland, GA, but that will probably mean you have to send him the clock. But he is one of if not the top clock doc in the country. Thanks for asking!


  • Janet Lee

    Twice now my clock has started cuckoo ing and not stopped! I had to stop the pendulum to make it stop. This last time I counted 24 cuckoos before I stopped it. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    • JOdieRD Post author

      Hi Janet,

      Would you mind calling Keith the cuckoo doc? He is most definitely the clock whisperer and will be able to pinpoint what’s going on over the phone. 706-219-3556. Eastern time



    My Cuckoo clock is many years old (35 or so). It run fine except for one thing. At times it will only cuckoo once at Eleven or tweve o’clock. When this happens at one it will cukoo 12 times. This is not consistent. It has been doing this for several years. Many times it cuckoos correctly at these times. I have had the clock apart and could not see anything the could be getting in the way of the mechanism.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you

    • JOdieRD Post author

      Hi Larry,

      I am by no means a clock doc, not even a cuckoo nurse practitioner. But I wonder if your clock’s movement needs cleaning. If you want to DIY it you can Google it. If not, take it to a local clock doc. You’re welcome to call my clock doc Keith Seabolt who will give you his very learned opinion of what’s going on. He’s the best! 706-219-3556


    • JOdieRD Post author

      Hi Mary,

      I’m not sure if this is a do-it-yourself repair or requires the help of a cuckoo doc. Now that my first musical clock is about to debut (The American Barn cuckoo Clock, eta end of May) I need to get up to speed on music boxes!

      If you’ve had the clock a long time I’d suggest you take it in for a good cleaning. The doc could then address this issue. Do you have a local clock doc?

      Let me know if I can be of more help,


  • Kurt Brown

    The clock runs fine. But a minute before the hour, The music movement will start, and continue to play for about a minute, until the bird comes out, and is done…Then the music will the stop to. But only AFTER the bird comes out.

    • JOdieRD Post author

      Hi Kurt,

      I’m not well-versed in musical clocks yet as I don’t offer one. (Yet. In May I will so I’ll be getting up to speed on them.) But it sounds like it could be just a simple teak since everything is working, just not in the correct order.

      This link isn’t the answer to your question, but if you want to troubleshoot the clock yourself, you can search and post here. Probably a good idea just in case it is something you can do yourself.

      If not, you’ll need to get a cuckoo doc involved. Most likely you have one locally. If not I recommend Keith Seabolt, The Clock Shop in Cleveland Georgia.

      Best of luck,