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  #1  
Old 04-01-2003, 12:55 PM
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Aiwa CD MP3 player problem

My 300TD has a fairly new Aiwa CD MP3 player. It is about 2 years old and no longer under the waranty. The FM radio sounds great, but the CD is sort of a pain, because it often just blinks ;00 instead of playing the CD, and occasionally just stops in the middle of a song and blinks the minute and seconds that the CD has been playing. Sometimes I reinsert it and it works, sometimes iit doesn't.

It just reads mp3's eternally and won't play them at all.

AIWA doesn't want to help in any serious way. They gave me the numbers of a couple of local shops. One wants $30 just to look at it, and says that it might cost $80 if it doesn't need any parts, but as much as $180 if it does. I wll have to pull the radio and reinstall it myself.

I have run a couple of cleaning disks through it, but that doesn't seem to make any real difference.

The CD's I am playing work fine on my home stereo. I have seen long q-tip things that one can use to clean the read heads, but when I ask at stereo shops all I get are odd deer in the headlight stares and an offer to sell me a new stereo.

Sure. Fat chance.

Does anyone know any stereo repair websites or know of a good book on the subject?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2003, 12:22 PM
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I have successfully cleaned lenses on tempermental CD players before.
They do get dirty, and this can magically fix them.
The hard part on a car unit is always the disassembly.

Once you can get to the lense, rubbing alcohol and q-tips usually does the job. Be gentle with the lens.
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Old 04-08-2003, 01:30 PM
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What is the best way to actually get to the lens? I assume that I will need to remove the unit from the car and then dismantle it in some fashion.

How does one clean the heads without getting them out of alignment? I have heard that this is a possibility.
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1990 300D 2.5 Turbo sedan 171K (Rudolf)
1985 300D Turbo TD Wagon 219K (Remuda)

"Time flies like and arrow, yet fruit flies like a banana"
---Marx (Groucho)
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Old 04-08-2003, 01:46 PM
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Unfortunately, every unit is different in terms of disassembly.
Usually, the top and bottom cover plates are removable without too much trouble.
Standard practice places the CD mechanism towards the top, and accessible by removing just the top cover.

I have never had problems with the lens getting out of alignment when cleaning. Just be gentle with it.

Try testing it before full reassembly. Might save you some trouble if a cleaning is not going to do the trick.
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Old 04-09-2003, 07:58 AM
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If it plays a regular CD OK, it is likely not the lens.. I would experiment with some different brands of CD-Rs, before you go to any more extreme measures...
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2003, 10:40 AM
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I agree with the premise that if it played regular CD's I should forget about the MP3's or seek better blank discs, but alas, the problem is worse than that.

It only occasionally plays a regular, manufactured CD, even a brand new one. I have used a couple of cleaning disc treatments on it and it still refuses to play on demand.

It cost the PO $399 a couple of years ago, and has never worked as well as any other CD I have owned.

I suppose I could take it out of the car and check it carefully, then i I can't fix it, take it to the aforementioned pro.

An inelegant solution would be to use its auxiliary jack to plug in a CD player or a CD cassette player. Slightly more elegant would be to get a CD deck that plays thru the FM radio.

Both are a little like what Uncle Ray-Bob did when he had one TV with a good picture and no sound and another with good sound and no picture. Just stacked one on top of the tother.

He said it looked just like the guy on the local news, but with only one picture.
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Semibodacious Transmogrifications a Specialty

1990 300D 2.5 Turbo sedan 171K (Rudolf)
1985 300D Turbo TD Wagon 219K (Remuda)

"Time flies like and arrow, yet fruit flies like a banana"
---Marx (Groucho)
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Old 04-09-2003, 11:24 AM
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As a matter of what could be called 'statistical encouragement', cleaning has fixed every CD player/CD drive displaying those sorts of symptoms that I have encountered thus far. I would say I have 'repaired' more than 10 CD devices this way.

Ever frugal, I have even been able to scavenge a number of nice but failing CD/CDRW drives from work that were destined for the trash, simply clean them, and give them a 'good home' in my various PCs.
Also got a nice multi-disk home unit this way from a friend.

People generally do not want to be bothered even with simple maintenance such as this on any electronics. Disposable society.

I used to get VCRs like that all the time. These had even worse cleaning issues.
I'm not exactly old, but I do remember visits from the TV repair man. Imagine that today...

Hope it works for you.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2003, 11:26 AM
TonySz
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Only a guess that the laser/eye might be misaligned. Also, those Aiwas are very susceptable to movement/vibrations/etc from normal driving if they're not mounted well. Since it's intermittently playing ANY type of CD then methinks it's definitely gonna need repair. FWIW, I'm good with electronics and circuit repair, but because of the cost to possibly fix it, I would begrudgingly trash the Aiwa and get an Alpine. Better build, much more dependable, and better service.
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