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Re: tape deck won't open
If this is a deck where the tape slides in horizontally, like most car stereo tape players, you may have a broken or slipping belt. The fact that you "haven't used it in a long time" suggests a worn-out belt.
In my car stereo, the belt slips when it's cold and won't play or eject the tape. After a few minutes, the unit "warms up" and the belt starts turning. Then everything is fine.
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hmmm...sounds like the transport motor/foot are stuck..open it up, and inspect around those items(where the tape actually clamps down) and see if you can see anything in there. Might even be a bug, no fooling..
as to repairs..you are most likely talking some major money, and a long time in the repair depot, which I believe is in Rio..I'll check that for you while you do this part.
The auto-eject feature is normally triggered by the tape reaching its end. This causes the tape to tighten and then activates a trip lever that starts the eject cycle. Most auto tape decks that are not auto-reverse eventually have this problem. It is not usually the deck's fault, but it is with the tapes themselves. After many plays the tapes get wound too tight on the reels and drag, causing the auto-ejection. This is especially true with the thinner, larger tapes found in the C-90 and C-120 varieties. Try taking the tapes to a regular tape player and then fast-forward them from one end to the other and them a full rewind as well to loosen the tape on the spindles and re-distribute the tension. Hopefully this will work.
Check the belts, inside the unit you should see a rubber belt which is what pulls the tape fast forward or rewind. Some belts with time get loose and slip, they can also break and fall off which will not let you fast forward or rewind.
Open your cassette player and look where the plastic pulleys are located and check for the belts, they might not be broken at all but very loose and slip on the plastic pulley.
I have advised people before that replacing belts is not the only answer and sometimes people that are not experienced can upset some part of the deck without knowing it. We don't yet know the model or brand of the unit and from the description this kind of points to a Piano key or lever key type deck. I could also be a cam system deck. This complaint of buttons not staying down would not apply to a tack switch or solenoid type transport. Like Jerry says a visit to a good Tech is the answer. I have been doing tape decks for 40 years and have worked at Sony and Teac service shops. If you need my help let me know. I am near Chicago.
clean the rubber pinch rollers with an alcohol swab. the tape is not getting required "grab" on these rollers and not pulling tape. the auto reverse is an attempt to rewind the tape because of confusion with no tape movement.