How to Fix a Portable CD Player

By Richard Kalinowski

Even with iPods increasing in popularity, many people still rely on portable CD players for on-the-go tunes. Unfortunately, this older technology is susceptible to malfunctions not common to newer devices. CD Skipping, static, error messages and other issues can arise when you're using your portable CD player. Luckily, there are a few simple tricks for fixing basic CD player problems at home so you don't have to spend money to get your player fixed at a repair shop.

Things You'll Need

  • New batteries
  • Laser lens cleaning disc

Step 1

Replace the batteries. When batteries are low, the CD player may still work intermittently. If your portable CD player seems to only turn on some of the time, or for short periods, chances are your batteries are drained.

Step 2

Check the headphone connection to make sure it is plugged into the proper jack on the CD player. Furthermore, test your headphones with a different audio device to determine whether the headphones are broken and need replacement or if the CD player itself is to blame for your audio issues.

Step 3

Make sure your CD player's "anti-skip" button or switch is turned on. This will fix most common skipping problems. However, keep in mind that anti-skip features can drain the CD player's batteries faster.

Step 4

Check your CD player's packaging or online specs to see if the discs you are using are compatible with the player. Repeated error messages when using "burned" CDs can be a sign that your CD player is incapable of playing "CD-R" discs. This problem is common among older portable CD players, but most newer models are CD-R capable.

Step 5

Clean the CD player's laser lens with a cleaning disc. According to Radio Shack, disc cleaners are "easy-to-use" and help you remove "dust and dirt from your CD player's laser lens for crystal clear sound reproduction." In most cases, cleaning the lens will eliminate major skipping, static and error messages. To use most cleaning discs, you simply insert the disc and listen to the audio instructions for cleaning. If you are unable to hear audio, most discs come with written instructions for cleaning.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your portable CD player still has major performance issues after fixing these common technical problems, chances are there is a major malfunction within the player itself. In this case, a licensed repair shop is your best option.
  • Only try these externalized fixes. Do not attempt opening the player for DIY electronic fixes. If you tamper with the inner-workings of the player, you risk voiding the warranty and possibly further damaging the CD player. A licensed professional is required for internal repairs.