How to fix a car cassette tape adapter

Written by barry index
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How to fix a car cassette tape adapter
(Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Cassette tape adaptors are a quick solution for listening to MP3 and CD devices when all you have is a cassette deck. Insert the cassette adaptor into your car audio tape deck, then plug the audio wire equipped with the cassette adaptor into an MP3 or CD device and enjoy the audio. The drawback is that the internal gears wear out rather quickly, creating unwanted noise and playback problems. Fortunately, there is a simple fix to achieve normal playback while maintaining high quality sound from the adaptor.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Mini screwdriver
  • Paper and pencil
  • Compressed air
  • Paper towels
  • Lubricating oil

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove the four or five mini screws holding the cassette body together. These screws are usually located at the four corners of the cassette. The fifth screw, if there is one, is just above the raised area where the cassette deck playback head makes contact with the inside of the cassette adaptor. Set aside the small screws so they will not be lost.

  2. 2

    Open the cassette body and see how the internal gears are laid out. Draw a diagram of the layout so you can remember how to get the parts back together later. Putting the gears back in the wrong order can affect playback and make the adaptor unusable in certain brands of cassette decks.

  3. 3

    Lift the gears out of the cassette body, beginning with the one located in the middle of the cassette. Then remove the two gears where the cassette deck turning posts insert into the cassette body. Take out the two remaining smaller gears that connect to the capstan. The capstan is the rubber roller that makes contact with the magnetic tape in a conventional tape cassette.

  4. 4

    Blow out the plastic granules that have accumulated over time. Since the internal plastic parts are not lubricated during the manufacturing process, the internal gears wear out rather quickly during normal use, leaving behind this plastic dust. Clean out the inside of the cassette body as well as each plastic gear.

  5. 5

    Soak some paper towels with lubricating oil and coat each gear. Be careful to avoid getting oil on the internal electrical components when returning the gears to their proper location. Replace the gears in reverse order according to the instructions in Step 3. Consult your diagram for help when replacing the gears. Screw in the original mini screws to complete the fix.

Tips and warnings

  • Open the cassette body and oil the internal parts whenever necessary. This will keep the adaptor running smoothly for years, eliminating excessive wear to the moving parts.

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