Dash-mounted CD players offer unparalleled problems when a CD jams – because they’re built into the car itself, you can only tamper, nudge, and otherwise approach them from an angle unless you’re willing to remove the player expand and disassemble yourself. As such, CDs stuck in cars can be a particularly annoying problem. Fortunately, there are a number of do-it-yourself solutions to this common nuisance. that some of these solutions can damage your player if not done correctly. The advice in this article should not be a substitute for the opinion of a vehicle expert.
- 1 With the power and eject buttons
- 2 With another CD
- 3 Perform an electrical reset
- 4 With a wrapped knife or staff
- 5 With a plastic card and a screwdriver
- 5.1 Reduce the risk of electric shock.
- 5.2 Get a stiff plastic card like a driver’s license or credit card.
- 5.3 Take a thin-handled, flat-head screwdriver.
- 5.4 Slide the card into the slot ABOVE the jammed CD (sticky side down).
- 5.5 With the card inserted, slide the screwdriver over the card.
- 5.6 Remove the screwdriver, and then slowly pull out the card.
- 6 Tips
Turn off the car.
Some CD players have a forced eject feature specifically designed to eject CDs when other methods have failed. Since this method doesn’t require you to tamper with your CD player in any way, it’s a good idea to start with it – you have nothing to lose if it doesn’t work. Turn off your car first if you haven’t already.
Simultaneously press and hold the power and eject buttons on your CD player for about 10 seconds. If your radio has a force eject feature, it should eject the CD.
If that doesn’t work, start the car and try again.
Some CD players may not work when the car is off. try pressing the power and eject buttons on these players while the car is running.
Check the player’s user manual.
The power/eject button combination is a common combination for the forced eject feature, but many CD players require other buttons to eject a jammed CD. If you still have it, check your CD player’s owner’s manual, which should contain information on this and other features that may help you get to your CD.
With another CD
Get a blank or useless CD.
With this method, you slide a second CD into the player, so to avoid damaging an album you love, try a blank CD or one you don’t care too much about. Turn on the CD player before proceeding. If this requires you to start the car, do so and turn on the CD player. Note: This method, like several others in this article, carries the risk of damaging the stuck CD or player. Use caution when inserting any foreign objects into your CD player. If you’ve ever worried about damaging your CD player, stop and take your problem to an expert.
Place the second CD about an inch deep in the slot.
Your CD should be above the stuck CD. With a bit of luck, you’ll feel the stuck CD slide under the one in your hand.
By doing this, you’re trying to give the stuck CD traction against the mechanism the player is using to eject it. When you feel the stuck CD begin to eject, be careful not to get it caught between the second CD and the edge of the CD slot. If that doesn’t work, repeat, but try to get the blank CD under the stuck CD, and then gently pry it up. CD players can vary in eject mechanism, so pushing up can sometimes be more successful in pulling the eject mechanism than pushing down.
Apply pressure to the device.
Sometimes applying pressure to the device itself can help pull the jammed CD. If the player is installed so that it is toward the top surface of the instrument panel, you may find success by repeating the steps in this method while pressing or gently but firmly clapping the area of the instrument panel above the player. Note that while some people have had success by hitting the instrument panel – this can damage sensitive center console components, so it is not recommended if your car has a navigation system, etc. installed between the CD player and the top surface of the instrument panel.
Perform an electrical reset
Write down the settings for your radio.
This method is useful if you can’t remove a CD because the CD player won’t turn on. This method requires you to disconnect and then reconnect power to the CD player. For most CD players, this means all radio settings and audio settings will be erased and reset to default values. If you listen to a lot of music in the car, make sure you write down your personal settings so you can easily restore them afterward.
Turn off the car and open the hood.
When you’re working on your car’s electrical system, it’s important to make sure you can’t get electrocuted. Turn off the car and remove the key, then open the hood to access the battery.
Disconnect the negative battery terminal.
The negative terminal on a car’s battery can be identified by its black color, while the positive terminal is red. Carefully disconnect the negative pole. Some poles will require a small wrench or pliers to loosen a nut before you can disconnect the wire.
Wait ten seconds and then reconnect the pole.
After reconnecting the pole, turn on the car and try to eject the CD normally. Disconnecting and then reconnecting power to the CD player may cause the CD player to perform a factory reset, which in some cases may restore eject functionality.
If the CD player still won’t turn on, replace its fuse.
Check the owner’s manual – the fuse box is often located behind a panel somewhere on the driver’s side of the instrument panel. Disconnect the battery, remove the protective fuse box cover, and then use your owner’s manual to replace any fuses on the CD player that have blown.
With a wrapped knife or staff
Reduce the risk of electrocution.
In this method, you insert a long, flat knife or similar object directly into the CD player. Metal knives conduct electricity, so if you have a wooden or plastic object that will walk (like a popsicle stick), use that. If not, then unplug the CD player and make sure there is no electrical charge left. Turn on the car and turn off the CD player and disconnect the negative battery terminal of the car.
Note: As with other methods discussed in this article, this method carries the risk of damage to the jammed CD or the player itself. If you don’t want to put your property at risk, take your car to a trained auto professional.
Wrap tape (sticky side out) around the end of a putty knife (or similar object).
It is best to use strong adhesive tape such as duct tape. Putty knives are usually tapered in shape, so if you wrap the tape around tightly enough, it won’t end up slipping off. If you’re using another item, such as a popsicle stick, that isn’t tapered, you may need to tape the item and wrap it around several times, then twist the tape and wrap it around a few more times to ensure the tape is properly attached to the item.
Glue a thin piece of paper to one side of the knife.
Since your knife (or staff, etc.) is now taped, it may be difficult to insert into the CD player. To make this easier, flatten one side of your knife with paper. Glue a small piece of printer or construction paper to your knife. Use scissors to trim the paper to match the size and shape of the knife.
Slide the knife sticky side down into the CD player.
Gently wiggle the knife to feel the top of the disc. Press down gently to make the tape stick to the CD. If you feel your knife getting stuck on the CD, gently try to lift it up and get the CD out.
With a plastic card and a screwdriver
Reduce the risk of electric shock.
As above, disconnect the power supply to the CD player and make sure there is no electrical charge left. Turn off the car and the CD player, and disconnect the negative battery terminal. Note: If not done correctly, this method can scratch or otherwise damage your CD and/or CD player. As always, proceed with caution and contact a car repair expert if you are ever in doubt.
Get a stiff plastic card like a driver’s license or credit card.
This method requires a thin but sturdy card. Use an expired credit card or similar item – preferably one that doesn’t matter in case it gets lost or broken. Stick the double-sided tape on one of the two narrow sides of the card, on the edge at the front. Alternatively, you can take the regular tape, apply the tape to the card, then turn it over and tape it around the card several times.
Take a thin-handled, flat-head screwdriver.
This method differs from the putty knife method because it uses a screwdriver, although it is similar. You want a fairly short, thin screwdriver. Use a screwdriver that’s as thin as possible, since you’ll need to insert it partway into the CD slot.
Slide the card into the slot ABOVE the jammed CD (sticky side down).
You may need to guide the card with the screwdriver and make sure it goes over the CD and doesn’t stick to the CD after you’ve pushed the card in 1.3 to 1.9 cm.
With the card inserted, slide the screwdriver over the card.
Use the screwdriver to gently press down on the card. This should cause the tape on the bottom of the card to stick to the top of the jammed CD.
Remove the screwdriver, and then slowly pull out the card.
With any luck, the CD should come out with the map. If not, try repeating the previous steps.
Also, grab some 3M double-sided foam tape and a butter knife. Glue the tape to the knife and slide it under the jammed CD. Gently push up and pull out. The clear plastic CD that comes with most CD bundles of 25 or more is a great tool to keep if this is a recurring problem.