How to Fix a Malfunctioning Cassette Tape Adapter

What You'll Need
Compressed air
Cassette head cleaner
Cleaning solution
Micro screwdriver

When it comes to keeping the music flowing in your car, a cassette tape adapter is an easy way to connect auxiliary devices to older stereos. A small 1/8-inch jack on one end of the cassette tape adapter can plug into your MP3 player and play to the music through your stereo speakers. Meanwhile, the cassette portion works within the cassette area of your stereo just as a normal tape would. However, one of the problems with this type of device is that it can malfunction quite easily if it is not maintained. If you have a cassette tape adapter that is malfunctioning, here are some steps for a quick fix rather than replacement.

Step 1 - Blow Out Cassette Player

The biggest problem with cassette decks is that the smallest piece of debris can have an effect on it. A small speck of dirt, dust, or even lint can make the cassette player itself not work correctly. To solve this issue, place the nozzle or straw of a can of compressed air in one corner and blow debris out the other corner of the cassette deck.

Step 2 - Clean Cassette Deck

The cassette tape adapter works with the help of the actual cassette deck on the stereo. If this is dirty, then the adapter is not going to work correctly. Use a cassette head cleaner for the heads inside the deck. This is a kit that can be purchased with a cassette and cleaning solution included. Pour a small amount of the solution into the actual included cassette and play it in the car stereo. This will run the cleaning cloth inside the cassette through the head unit and apply the cleaning solution. Run this through several times to be sure it's clean.

Step 3 - Clean Cassette Tape Adapter

There are times when the cassette tape adapter itself is going to be dirty and not work properly. If you have already done the cleaning of the cassette player heads, then you can simply place the adapter into the cassette slot and let it run through a few times. In most cases, this will clean the adapter also. However, you may need to use a small Q-tip with a little dab of cleaning solution. Rub the Q-tip on the head of the adapter and along the "tape" inside.

Step 4 - Loosen Tension on Adapter

The cassette tape adapter is a very simple device. A plastic casing with the music transferring head component and a small amount of tape is basically all that is contained within the case. However, any type of variation with the case can have a large impact on the way that the adapter works. Use a micro screwdriver and loosen the tension on the screws. Once a little bit of pressure is removed from the spinning wheels, the head, and even the tape, it may work much better. Of course, the opposite is also true. If the case it too loose, you will need to tighten the screws to solve malfunctions.