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How to Remove a Stuck CD

steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,441
edited May 20 in General
These suggestions have been gathered from the Forums posts here. Hopefully one of them will work to free your stuck compact disc. Here are some techniques to try when your CD gets stuck in your car CD player.

Precautions:

These tricks are focused mainly on single disc CD players but they may work on your multi-disk changer. Usual disclaimers - attempting repairs can ruin your player. If your car is under warranty, take it to the dealer. If you have any qualms about trying any of these techniques, let a dealer or audio shop tackle the project instead.

Tips and Tricks:

Figure out what fuse controls the CD player and, with no key in the ignition, pull the fuse out for a minute (or more - I've seen TSBs that say leave the fuse out for 10 minutes), then replace it (theory being that the fuse acts as a reset button). If you cannot find the fuse, you can disconnect the negative battery cable, but you'll lose your radio presets and other settings. Make sure you have any codes for your radio that may be required since disconnecting the battery cables can cause the radio to quit working too. This fuse trick seems to have the greatest chance of success overall. Check your owner's manual - you may have more than one fuse that controls the CD and/or the radio and you may need to remove all the related fuses.

Turn your ignition on to the accessory position. Hold the eject button down for 2 or 3 minutes. Depending on your make/model, the eject button may flash. When the button stops flashing (or when a few minutes has passed), release the button and immediately press it again (theory being that the two minutes of "work" followed by a quick break will fool the player into releasing the disc when you press the eject button again). One commenter below had success by pressing both the power button and the eject button..

At least one forum member had success releasing a stuck CD by, ahem, banging on top of the dashboard! New from the comments below - pound on the dash while pressing the button. Several people have had success with this trick so I've moved up higher in the list of things to try..

Try using some tweezers, needle nose pliers or hemostats (every tool kit needs a hemostat or two!) to pull the CD out while pressing the eject button with power going to the player (theory being that the disc is so slick the player can't eject it without help). Some people report success just by pulling the disc out with the tweezers without power to the player and without pressing the eject button..

If your player has a small hole in the front of it, like most personal computer CD players do, straighten a paperclip and push the clip straight into the hole to manually release the catch. Some players have a groove under the CD door instead of a hole. Look for a hole about the size of the paperclip and don't mistake an emergency release hole for an earphone jack..

Some players, especially aftermarket ones, use a CD cartridge or magazine. Tapping on the cartridge while pressing the eject button sometimes ejects stuck discs. Forum member Alwaysfords2 has been able to remove stuck CD magazines by using a piece of shim stock or a hack saw blade and going alongside one of the long sides of the magazine to hit the release. You can rock the magazine a little bit in the slot to see the mechanism and it should be easy to release - sort of like using the little pin hole on a CD drive, the magazine pops up as soon as it is freed..

Remove the faceplace from your player (be gentle; something like a butter knife often works without damaging the bezel or breaking tabs). Then look for a tiny, usually recessed little button that you can press. You may need that unbent paperclip to reach the button..

Find a coaster in your junk drawer - by coaster, I mean an old CD that doesn't work. Or use a blank one if that's all you have. Insert the coaster about an inch into the slot (yes, on top of the stuck CD). Then turn the ignition on and hold the eject button and wiggle the CD around. Don't be hamfisted - you're just trying to give the player some traction to help it eject the stuck one. If this fails, then try slipping the edge of the coaster (or something even thinner) under the stuck CD and pry it up while pressing the eject button. Again, be gentle - you don't want to ruin the player when a pro may be able to remove the unit and free the disc for $20 or so. One forum member has good luck with this technique using a credit card (thanks, Korber!). And another reader reports that he successfully used a credit card under the stuck CD, with just a slight upward, forward ‘lift’ to increase the eject roller pressure. Usually takes 2-3 quick actions. (thanks Roland!).

Find a Popsicle stick or something thin but rigid and tear off a few inches of Scotch Tape from that roll you keep in your junk drawer (next to all those ruined CDs you intend to make Christmas ornaments out of some day). Put the tape on the top of the stuck CD using the thin stick to help attach the tape firmly to the disk. Like the hint above, the idea is to lift the CD enough to enable the player to eject it. Here's a new variation, courtesy of forum member Glasslight. Get a thin cardboard flat rate envelope like those used for express and priority mail. Cut off the portion of the envelope with the adhesive and discard the rest. Double it over with the adhesive strips facing outward, remove the protective strips from the adhesive and inserted the strip into the CD slot. It'll grab the cd and let you pull it out of the mechanism..

Foreign objects stuck into the player, or CDs that miss the slot entirely yet wind up inside the unit usually require pulling the CD player to remove the disc..

If all else fails and the repair is expensive, you may want to upgrade to an aftermarket unit.

Multiple (6-disk, etc.) Systems.

On some brands, pressing the load and eject button at the same time will cycle the changer and eject a stuck disk. If your changer uses magazines to hold the CDs, be sure to try the shim trick above..

Risky variation of the fuse tip that fixed a CD changer. Rbronosky in the Axiom 6-CD Changer discussion figured out which fuse controlled the CD changer. When pulling the fuse didn't reset the changer, he turned the ignition on just enough to run the radio. While the radio was on (and against his better judgment), he pulled the fuse and then replaced it. This operation caused a huge blue spark! But his changer immediately started shuffling, the eject button released the stuck CDs and the CD player worked like new. Because of the risk of fire and damage to other electrical components, this tip cannot be recommended. But if you like living dangerously, go for it.

Prevention:

A CD cleaning kit may be helpful in cleaning the CD laser lens and the demagnetizing the CD head.Tony78 reports that this can fix CD players or changers that are showing an ERROR or similar message.

Don't use homemade labels on any disks, home burnt or otherwise. They may be too thick for your player or the label may peel off inside the player, especially when the player or car interior gets hot and softens the adhesive. Use a pen made for marking on CDs instead..

Be careful with any CDs borrowed from your library too - they may have a bar code taped to the surface and be too thick for your player.

Don't use "scratch protectors" on your CDs.

Try to teach your kids not to cram nickels in the CD slot. :-)

Attempting to use an unformatted-unfinalized and/or incompatible cd disk in a CD changer can cause errors on the changer display and cause the changer to refuse to eject disks. (Thanks Tony78!).

If you have a technique that works (or even one that doesn't), please leave a comment!

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Comments

  • Thanks Steve, I'll start at the top of your list and try them all! :) Christy
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,668
    I have a CD changer and tried the 'press Eject and Load' at the same time.
    Didn't work, but I got a new error message 'Auto Eject CD (1 or 2)' depending which number I pressed.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,441
    I'm not sure if that's progress or not. :)

    Changers are tough from what I read. May have to disassemble it to get your CDs out.

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,668
    I only have a short commute, so I'll just listen to the radio and wait out the kids, who usually drive it.
    I keep hoping as the weather gets colder, something will work to get them to eject.
  • Wow. Thanks so much. I have 6cd changer and had my library book cd stuck. Read all these blogs about taking the thing apart and breaking the cd. So didn't want to do that. We pulled the audio fuses for about 10 minutes, as soon as we put them back in the cd changer started making noises. Turned on the car, hit eject and out it came! Thanks again.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,441
    Cool.

    Still, you may want to stick to your own CDs for a while, just in case. ;)

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  • I have a 2002 dodge neon with a 4 cd auto changer. And a cd became stuck while I was trying to eject it, and I took a different cd and inserted it about an inch and the stuck cd popped right out. That's all I had to do, hope it helps!
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,441
    edited October 2012
    Thanks for posting; it's always nice to read a success story.

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  • I got a new Navigation System DVD for my 07 Toyota Camry Hybrid for Christmas. I put it in and got a message that the disc was in process. Well after an hour it wasn't working so I called the Toyota service and made an appointment to come in to fix it. Before I got to the service I was pushing buttons and the DVD suddenly came out. So I put in my old DVD which worked perfectly fine.

    I took the DVD into the parts department and told them it was defective and one of the parts persons took it and put it back into my car and guess what, the DVD did the same thing so he called their "expert" technician and the expert couldn't get the DVD out. So they said the Navigation system needed to be replaced or fixed. I insisted that it was a defective DVD but no, they didn't agree. The service lady said a new one would cost $3,000+ and if I wanted to get it repaired, it would cost $150 to take it out and get a price to fix it. Needless to say I left and decided to "google" to see if anyone else had the problem.

    I tried the credit card method, tweezers and other ideas and finally put a large paper clip in and stopped the DVD from turning and it came out. I can't wait to take the new DVD back to the parts department and it will be hard not to say "I told you so!" :D

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,441

    Make sure you retest it again with the old DVD first. B)

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,441
    edited April 9

    Thanks for viewing this discussion and good luck with your stuck CD. If you are able to get your CD out, please leave a comment and let us know how you did it. Or if you couldn't get it out, we'd like to know that too. Thanks!

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,441
    edited May 20

    Here's a potential issue to watch out for if you try to reset your CD.

    A Lexus owner disconnected the battery to reset his six CD changer and lost his navigation screen. (Edmunds Answers)

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  • jaymin1989jaymin1989 Posts: 1
    Heyy stever, thanks a lot man. I had the same issue with stuck cd in my toyota 2002 camry, n for few minuts removal of negative charge of battery worked for me too, thanks budd. Its working with all the cd's like charm, new and old..
    Thanks again.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,441

    Great, love hearing the success stories!

    I just purchased a newer minivan and for the first time ever, have a CD player in the dash. Watch it jam up on me LOL.

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  • mbay7mbay7 Posts: 1

    2012 Acura TL - 6 disc changer. A few weeks ago the player stopped working in the middle of a disc and wouldn't eject. At first the other CD's worked, but they wouldn't eject either. I gave up and decided to check online for a fix before going back to the dealer. Read your instructions above; many I had already tried off and on during the two week period, including banging on the dash while pushing buttons, to no avail. This morning I was going to try turning on the ignition to the accessory position and hold the eject button down for 2 or 3 minutes per one of your suggestions. Instead I did the following and it worked! Without putting the key in (car not running) I pushed both the "load" and "eject" buttons at the same time. To my surprise, a CD emerged and I was able to eject them all and it now works perfectly again. Amazing! Your article saved me lots of money and time! Thank you!

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,441
    edited August 7

    WooHoo! Sometimes that load/eject trick doesn't work. Pays to try them all I guess.

    (And I'm glad to hear that banging on the dash didn't set off the air bags or something. ;) )

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