CD players embedded in vehicle dashboards are problematic when CDs get stuck, as being installed in the car itself, you can only manipulate, push gently, and operate from an angle, unless you are willing to remove and disassemble the player. This is why jammed CDs can be an irritating problem. Luckily, there are a variety of solutions that you can do yourself for this situation. Nevertheless, keep in mind that if you do it improperly, some of these solutions can damage the player (or the CD inside). The solutions provided in this article are not a substitute for expert opinion. Read step 1 to get started.
Method 1 of 5: Use the Power and Eject Buttons
Step 1. Turn off the vehicle
Some CD players have a "force eject" feature, which is specifically designed to eject CDs when other methods fail. Since this method does not need to force the player in any way, it is smart to start with this step, since you have nothing to lose if it does not work. First, turn off the vehicle if you haven't already.
Step 2. While the vehicle is off, press the Start & Eject button
Press both buttons at the same time for ten seconds. If the equipment has a "force eject" function, the CD will be ejected from the player.
Step 3. If this doesn't work, start the vehicle and try again
Some CD players may not work when the vehicle is off. In that case, try pressing the power and eject buttons while the vehicle is running.
Step 4. Check the player's manual
The Power and Eject button combination is a common command for the "force eject" function, but the button combination may vary on many players. Read the manual, if you still have it, as it includes information about that feature and others that may be helpful.
Method 2 of 5: Use an Extra CD
Step 1. Take a blank CD or a CD that you no longer use
This method involves inserting a second CD into the player, so use a blank CD or one that you don't care if it gets damaged.
- Turn on the CD player before continuing. If for this you need to start the vehicle, do so and then turn on the player.
- Note: By performing this method, like others in this article, you risk damaging the jammed CD or the player. Be careful when inserting any object into the CD player. If you're worried about damaging it, don't go ahead and take the vehicle to a professional.
Step 2. Insert the second CD 1 inch (2.5 cm) into the CD slot
The blank CD must be on top of the jammed CD. Hopefully, you can feel the stuck CD slide under the one in your hand.
Step 3. Press the 'Eject' button and gently move the CD
As you move the CD, you try to give it traction against the mechanism the player uses to eject it. If you feel the jammed CD come out, be careful not to get squeezed between the second CD and the edge of the player slot.
If this doesn't work, repeat the process but try placing a blank CD under the jammed CD and then prying it up. Because reproducers can have different ejection mechanisms, it is sometimes better to press upwards to give traction to the mechanism than to press downwards
Step 4. Press down on the unit
Often, putting pressure on the drive can help the CD gain traction. If the player is installed near the top surface of the board, you may be successful if you repeat the steps in this method while applying pressure or lightly and firmly tapping the area of the board above the player.
- Keep in mind that even though some people had success hitting the dash, doing so can damage the delicate components of the center console, so it is not recommended if the vehicle has a GPS, etc. between the CD player and the top of the dash.
Method 3 of 5: Do an electrical reset
Step 1. Write down the equipment's programming buttons and audio settings
This method involves disconnecting and reconnecting the player's power supply, which is useful when you can't remove a CD because it won't turn on. However, disconnecting the power will erase all programming and all personal audio settings will return to their factory state, on most players. If you are an avid music listener, be sure to record your personal settings so that you can restore them later.
Step 2. Turn off the vehicle and open the hood
It is important that you take precautions not to run the risk of electrocution when manipulating or altering the electrical system of the vehicle. So turn it off and remove the keys from the ignition, then open the hood to access the battery.
Step 3. Disconnect the negative battery terminal
The negative terminal of the car battery is black, while the positive terminal is red. Disconnect the negative terminal carefully. You may need to use a small wrench or pliers to loosen the nut on some terminals and then remove the cable connection.
Step 4. Wait 10 seconds and reconnect the terminal
After reconnecting, start the vehicle and try to eject the CD as you normally would. Disconnecting and reconnecting the power supply to the CD player may cause the CD player to "reset" to its factory state, which, in some cases, may restore the eject function.
Step 5. If the player still doesn't turn on, change the fuse
Read the owner's manual, since the fuse box is often behind a panel located somewhere on the driver's side of the dash. Disconnect the battery, remove the fuse box cover, and then refer to the manual and change any fuses in the CD player that may be damaged.
Method 4 of 5: Use a tape-wrapped spatula or stick
Step 1. Reduce the risk of electrocution
This method involves inserting a long, flat spatula, or similar object, directly into the CD player. Metal spatulas conduct electricity, so if you have a wooden or plastic object that might work (for example, an ice cream stick), use it. If you don't have one, be sure to disconnect all electrical supplies from the CD player and remove any electrical charges. Turn off the vehicle and the player and disconnect the negative terminal of the car battery.
- Note: Like the other methods described in this article, this one can also damage the jammed CD or the player. If you don't want to take the risk, take the vehicle to a specialized professional.
Step 2. Wrap the end of a putty knife, or similar object, in masking tape (sticky side out)
Use a strong tape, such as Gorilla tape, for best results. Spatulas are generally sharp, so if you wrap the tape tightly enough, it won't slide out. If you are using another object, such as a popsicle stick, you may need to tape the object. To do this, wrap it several times, then fold the tape into a fold and wrap it several more times so that the tape is secured to the object.
Step 3. Glue a piece of paper to one side of the putty knife
It may be difficult to insert the spatula (or stick, etc.) into the CD player because it is covered with adhesive tape. For that reason, glue a piece of printer paper or cardstock to the putty knife to smooth one side and make the process easier. Cut out the paper with scissors to match the size and shape of the putty knife.
Step 4. Insert the putty knife into the CD player sticky side down
Gently move the spatula to feel the top of the CD. Then gently press down to stick the tape to the CD. When you feel like the spatula is clinging to the CD, try to lift it up and remove it.
Method 5 of 5: Use a plastic card and screwdriver
Step 1. Reduce the risk of electrocution
As in the previous method, disconnect all electrical supplies from the CD player and make sure to remove any electrical loads. Turn off the vehicle and the CD player and disconnect the negative battery terminal.
- Note: if done improperly, this method can scratch or damage the CD and / or the CD player. As always, be careful and if in doubt, contact an auto repair expert.
Step 2. Take a rigid plastic card, such as a driver's license or a credit card
For this method you will need a card that is thin but strong. Use an expired credit card or similar item (preferably an unimportant one, in case you lose or break it). Tape double-sided tape to one side of the card, near one of the narrow edges.
Alternatively, you can use single-sided tape, gluing the tape to the card, creasing it, and wrapping it around the card several times
Step 3. Take a screwdriver with a flat blade and a fine shank
This method, although similar to the previous one, differs in the use of a screwdriver to stick the card to the CD; therefore, it is best to use a short flat-head screwdriver. Use a screwdriver that is as thin as possible because you will need to insert it into the slot on the player.
Step 4. Insert the card into the slot ABOVE the jammed CD (sticky side down)
You may need to use the screwdriver to guide the card to make sure it enters the top of the CD and does not stick until it has entered between ½ and ¾ inches (1.25 and 1.90 cm).
Step 5. Once inside, slide the screwdriver over the top of the card
Use the screwdriver to gently press down on the card. In this way, the tape on the bottom side of the card has to stick to the top of the jammed CD.
Step 6. Remove the screwdriver and then slowly pull the card out
Hopefully the CD will come out with the card. Otherwise, try repeating the steps above.
- Also, take some 3mm double-sided foam tape and a butter knife. Place the tape on the knife, slide it under the stuck CD, gently push up, and pull out.
- The clear plastic CD, which covers most packages of 25 CDs or more, is an ideal tool to keep if the problem persists.