Cassette stuck in head unit - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 05-18-2014, 05:10 PM   #1
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Default Cassette stuck in head unit

Ok before you are wondering who still uses a cassette tape... it'* my tape adapter that I use for playing mp3'* in the car. Actually works pretty well, for older cars that still have a cassette player.

I just found the adapter yesterday in my garage, and was pretty exited to be able to listen to mp3'* in my LeSabre. I hadn't touched the cassette portion of the deck until today (bought the car about 5 months ago), but the radio and CD player work fine. At first, no problems... cassette adapter went in, mp3 player plugged in and playing music fine. Then all the left speakers went out. Switched to radio and all speakers work fine, so it'* a cassette adapter or cassette player problem.

But now, the head unit will not switch to cassette mode at all. The display shows "Tape" meaning it recognizes there is a cassette in there. But "Source" will not switch over, and cassette Eject button causes a brief clicking/grinding noise and then nothing. Adapter won't come out.

Any ideas, other than removing and disassembling the entire head unit to get the apparently-stuck cassette adapter removed?
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:05 PM   #2
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i dont have any other ideas except take it apart, but if you are kinda handy with electronics you can add a plug to it so you dont have to mess with the tape player adapter
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:10 PM   #3
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i dont have any other ideas except take it apart, but if you are kinda handy with electronics you can add a plug to it so you dont have to mess with the tape player adapter
I am gonna have to agree here, if helping it (gently tugging on the cord) while attempting to eject doesnt get it out, you will have to get in after it. It'* also my understanding that the cassette heads like to come out of alignment on these head units, which may explain the one side concern (I have the exact issue). If you are getting in after it, you may as well make it work the best that it can with what you have.
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:38 PM   #4
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It is possible over time heat from the unit may have warped it a little, I have had cassettes do that years back.
Will have to pull the unit and open it up.
If you cannot do that then it may be a good time to consider an aftermarket unit, or if you want to stay stock then check a salvage yard.
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Old 05-18-2014, 09:51 PM   #5
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Before you tear it out, try high pressure air. If you haven't used it for a while, there is most likely a film of dust and such inside the mechanism. If you have a compressor, don't get too crazy but use a nozzle and shoot air through the door area. Used this trick several times to blow them out and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Maybe I better do the same this afternoon before I put my hose up since I haven't done the one in the new Bonnie yet. Yikes, you may have saved me a lot of hassle!!
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:13 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips... I'll try compressed air tomorrow. Gently pulling on the cassette adapter cord didn't help unfortunately.

On the '99 Aurora I owned in the past, I remember disassembling the head unit to replace the internal defective CD player. However I don't remember where I got the donor head unit.

What'* the process to remove the dashboard trim and head unit on my '00 LeSabre? And anyone know what other GM makes/models used the same unit? I could add a 1/4" input plug myself (for direct mp3 player use) if I knew which wire(*) to splice into...
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:35 AM   #7
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I shot mine with air tonight holding the flap open and damn, lots of dust came out...... first tape worked fine so maybe I'll be brave and try another 'cuz I still have some killer tapes with old azz rock 'n roll on them.


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(Pssst. this clown is a hoarder. He still has War of the Worlds on 8 track too)
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:24 AM   #8
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depends what your radio looks like, they changed alot around your year.

one of the later styles;
https://www.gmforum.com/audio-afterm...od-aux-301270/

late 90'* style;
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:55 AM   #9
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The one in that thread shown here is the same model I have (except mine obviously doesn't have the jack installed yet). Thanks for the link.

Last edited by scottydl; 05-19-2014 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:49 AM   #10
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I tried the compressed air (blowing into the open cassette door) a bit ago, and it created a different problem. Now when I push "Eject", the eject motor kicks on and runs constantly. It sounds like it'* spinning one direction and then the other, over and over again... but the tape adapter never moves.

Codes "E10" and "E11" are displaying on the radio readout now, as the eject motor is running and running (while trying to eject the tape I assume).

I tried to "assist" the ejection during the motor operation, first by pulling on the adapter cord and then the more forceful route using a flathead screwdriver and needle nose pliers. No dice. The contraption that holds the tape will move up and down, but is clamped down tight and will not come out toward me at all.
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