How to Fix a CD Player When It Won't Play

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Basic CD player repairs and troubleshooting is possible for minor issues. CD players can skip, jam and experience problems from misuse, abuse or simply as a result of hardware malfunctions. A CD player that spins but doesn't play or has disc reading issues is very common. In some cases a repair is simple, but in others, you will need new parts that may exceed the value of the player. Always begin with some basic diagnostics and cleaning before assessing physical damage.


Basic CD Player Repair

If your CD player that plays burned CDs or regular commercial discs is not reading, is skipping or is experiencing tray issues, you may be able to solve the issue with basic CD player repair. However, some issues require more advanced methods than others. Before jumping into a repair process, remove the CD and try a different disc. Work through several discs if needed to see if the problem persists. A scratched or damaged disc is often the culprit and not the player. Use a newer disc if possible to ensure the condition is pristine. If the problem persists with the new disc, remove all discs and run a power cycle to reset the player. Remove any batteries or unplug it to drain the power. Restart after one minute and try a fresh disc. After closing the tray, press lightly on the tray to ensure it closes properly. A tray that fails to close the last fraction of an inch will fail to play and read the disc properly. If the problem continues, move forward with a full cleaning.


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Clear and Clean

When the CD player spins but doesn't play, the issue is typically related to reading the disc. A thorough cleaning can resolve the issue and restore the CD player to normal working order. Use a soft, microfiber cloth to clean all exposed parts on the CD and the player. Open the tray and specifically clean the sensor and tray interior to remove all dust and foreign particles. A microfiber cloth that does not shed is critical for an effective cleaning. Additionally, use an air canister designed to clean electronics to blow out dust and debris. A dirty player will struggle to operate effectively.



Moving Parts

The moving parts in a CD player can jam and struggle. Adding a few drops of machine oil to he moving parts will help restore normal operations. Dirt and debris on small, machine parts will cause squeaking, vibrations and audible and visual struggling. Look for joints where arms meet the tray and the motor that spins the disc. Add a tiny drop of oil to each joint to help the player perform like new.



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