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Re: tape doesn't eject all the time
This probably indicates a problem with the mechanicals. The tape carriage mechanism might be out of whack/bent/or broken. You might take the top cover off and see is the mechanism is sticking somewhere.
Unfortunately, modern VCRs (last 10+ years) are very cheaply made, and disposeable, unlike the machines of the '80s which were built like tanks in comparison. Thus, unless the problem is minor, repair is doubtful.
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the tape won't come out then it means you will have to manually remove
the stuck tape. This involves you disassembling the unit in order to
help/assist the player get the stuck tape out.
Turn of the unit
and remove from the wall, get a Philip screw driver, use it to remove
all the screws from the unit and take it apart.
Open the cover and you will see the stuck tape and what's hooking or preventing it from coming out/ejecting.
plug the unit, and turn it on. Press the eject button, as the tape
tries to come out, support it with your hand so that it can come out.
if it happen that the cassette tape has coiled inside the unit,
carefully free the coiled tape and the press the eject button.
the moment you disassemble the player, you would see what's preventing
it from coming out, then you can free whatsoever that is making it stuck
press the eject button and the tape should come out.
Make sure the unit is turned off each time you want to remove what's making the cassette stuck.
When you press record, does the tape eject? if it does, make sure the safety tab is intact. if not, put a piece of scotch tape over the hole.
Do you hit the record button on the vcr or a universal remote? On a remote, you may have to hit recort 2 times.
Your VCR is "eating" tapes, this is a common problem. First, wind the tape up by sticking a penny or other rounded object into the white "gears" on the back of the tape (with the tape hatch open by holding down the small button on the left side of the tape) and turn either clockwise or counterclockwise. Then check inside the VCR for moisture and remove any and all moisture with a clean rag. Moisture can cause the tape to stick to the VCR's internal components.
I had a similar problem with a Panasonic VCR. It would not eject the tape and gave an error code. I found that the door does not quite fully open, so that the top of the tape hits the door and cannot eject. If I turn off and then turn on the VCR the error code disappears. Then I press the eject button and simultaneously hold the door fully open with one finger until the tape starts to eject and clears the door.
Most VCR's will auto-rewind the tape when it gets to the end of a tape. Most will leave the tape in the unit assuming you may wish to view it again once rewound. Does the tape eject properly when you press the eject button? What does the manula say about the eject function?