How to Fix a CD Player

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

Although they are high-precision optical devices, most compact disc players provide trouble-free operation for years if they aren't abused. When something does go wrong, it's often an easy fix.

Step 1

Intermittent or No Sound, Weak Volume, Poor Sound Quality. Check all cable connections to make sure they're secure. Replace the cable connecting the CD unit to your receiver. Clean the contacts on the player and receiver with electronics-grade contact cleaner.

Step 2

Discs Skipping. Make sure CDs are clean and unscratched. Clean the laser lens.

Step 3

Discs Not Recognized After Loading. Make sure discs are loaded the right way. Most, but not all, players load discs with the printed label on top. If player has a transportation lock (usually a screw on the bottom of the unit), make sure it is not engaged. Clean the laser lens.

Step 4

Problems With Door Opening or Closing. Make sure the drawer-loading belt is still tight and elastic. If not, it can be replaced with a belt obtained from an electronic-parts supplier. The replacement should be of equal or slightly greater thickness and should fit snugly but not so tightly that it strains the motor. Check for broken or loose gears and have them replaced. Check for obvious sources of contamination such as pet hair or foreign objects that are preventing smooth operation of moving parts. Small children have a habit of inserting items into CD players. Use electronics-grade contact cleaner to clean the door-position contacts.

Step 5

Disc Number Not Displaying. Make sure disc was not inserted upside down. Check to see if disc is warped, scratched or damaged. Insert new disc to see if disc is causing the problem. There may be moisture on laser pickup. Allow machine to remain on for 20 to 30 minutes before you attempt to reuse it.

Step 6

Remote Control Does Not Work. Sunlight or fluorescent light may be interfering with remote control sensor on CD player. Reposition CD player or fluorescent light.

Tips & Warnings

  • Disconnect the CD player from its power source before opening the case.
  • Never look directly into the lens of a CD laser while the unit is turned on.