The VCR was working fine until we tried to play a used tape. I have used a tape cleaner many times over. I finally opened it up and cleaned the heads manually and used pressured air. It still doesn't work. I can hear the sound clearly, but the picture is just snow.
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Re: Sound but no picture
First you will need to take a tooth pic and lightly clean the creases in the head , then use a cotton tip with cleaning fluid on it and wipe the head down , then if it gets to where you can see it again you may also have to adjust the tape pull pins for the tracking
if those don't work then the head is bad or there is a bad component
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Start off with using a vcr tape cleaner make sure you read instructions some are just a brush while some others cleaners have a small liquid cleaner to add to it after using cleaner do not worry about rewinding it until another day you may need it.you can also try switching the progressive scan off if being used.If its eating tapes the tensioner could be loose or wore out or the locking mechanism is not working properly when tape is inserted.If you are not experienced in this field I recommend letting a shop look at it if so cleaning it is about the only thing you do also try opening the vcr tape bay door taking a deep breath and blow inside it without a tape in it do this several times it may just be dust and you can try unplugging it for 10 minutes to reset the device to see if its a stuck communication glitch in the board for the head motors.I hope one of these three basic tricks helps you.
Possibly dirty video heads. I would suggest that you run a head-cleaning tape through the VCR deck to shift surface dirt off the heads. If that doesn't work, or it sort of works, but not satisfactorily, unplug unit, carefully remove top cover, and with the VCR deck in view, gently clean the heads with a soft cloth or special cleaning stick (these look like flat q-tips but are intended for VCRs - available from electronics/hobby stores) and some alcohol (methylated spirit will work if that's all you got - but isopropyl alcohol is recommended - available from the same places as the sticks) clean the guides (gently so as not to disturb their alignment) clean the pinch roller/capstan shaft - CTL (on the right-hand side of the drum) and FE (left side) heads as well. The whole tape path should be carefully cleaned. Refit top cover (carefully), plug unit back into power, wait until it completes its startup/loading procedure, then put a tape in. You should now have a playback picture with the sound. You only need to do this as required if head-cleaning cassettes don't work properly.
If none of the above cures your problem, then the heads are abraded/worn - let's hope that isn't the case here. This model does not use a built-in head cleaner.
The vcr is fine.
buy a cleaning tape. people say dry cleaner tapes wear out the heads, but it fixed my problem when my vcr only showed snow. but try a wet tape first. follow the instructions that came with the tape and run it a few times.
You're describing what could be a loose or worn loading belt problem, most of the vcr mechanisms used in these combos use one to load the tape and thread it for it to play or record, that is why you have to keep puhing the tape untill the machine accepts the tape and you have to keep pressing play untill it starts the play function.
If you were using RCA cables, you may have had them hooked up wrong. I know this may sound like an easy fix, but I still hook them up wrong from time to time. Especially if there are more than one set of RCA hook-ups on the back of the unit. If you were using a S-video cable you shouldn't have to use RCA cables, if you had both hooked up that could cause your DVD/VCR unit to not work properly and only get a partial feed to the TV. I hope this helps a little. Good luck.
Video head needs thorough cleaning. If no head cleaner, then run a few long tapes through it in the fast scan mode since the tape itself is abrasive and will over time remove debris from the heads. If that does not do it, try a chemical cleaner to dissolve the material.