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Eating tapes My tape deck is eating tapes. It looks like there has been some milky-like substance was spilt into the front. Besides the obvious cleaning; Is there an adjustment or other repair?

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Chances are that that "milky substance" has gummed up the works. Sounds like the pinch roller (the rubber wheel that draws the tape through the machine) may have gunk on it, so when you put a tape in and push play, the tape sticks to it, and simply wraps the tape rounmd and round.... eating the tape - as you say. The capstan SHAFT (see below) could also be dirty. Another possibility is that the take up spool (in the machine) is gunked up so it won't turn - so that the tape is spooled OUT of the cassette and is scrunched up inside the machine and the machine eats it.

There are OTHER scenarios, BUT ALL (including the above) require taking the machine apart and throughly cleaning it with alcohol (or - depending on what you're cleaning - even soap and water!).

Cleaning the capstan pinch roller and the capstan SHAFT concievable could solve your problem. The capstan shaft is the shiny metal shaft that pulls the tape through; the pinch roller "pinches" the tape AGAINST the capstan shaft which is how the tape plays.)

It's hard to "get in there" to do this cleaning (not to mention even SEE what's going on) short of taking the mache apart.

Posted on Mar 15, 2008

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rss13506,
I'm not sure what you mean by jam but I bet you need to clean the head, roller and pin in each deck. Use rubbing alcohol and a q-tip to clean the:

1) Head (silver thing in the center bottom where the tape slides over; it produces the sound).

2) Roller (black wheel thing that keeps tension on the tape).

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If any of these parts are dirty the deck will eat up the tapes. Clean them even if you do not see visible dirt on the q-tip as dust does not show as well as oils in the air typically from cooking will gum up the parts. Give them ample time to dry before trying a tape.

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Hey there.
Cassette head cleaners generally only improve the sound quality on playback. This problem sounds more like something mechanical; I would open the player and check out the capstan and rollers. If they are dirty, clean them with a mild soap and water solution, (carefull to not get it too wet). Also, as for the tape deck in your vehicle, OEM systems are notorious for eating and destroying cassette tapes.
Let me know how this goes over,
HortonA!

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