My cassette adapter is flipping (haha) annoying...
July 19, 2007 9:44 AM   Subscribe

My cassette tape adapter doesn't get on well with my car... why?

I have a dirt cheap tape adapter so I can listen to my mp3 player through the cassette deck in my car (2000 Toyota Corolla). Sometimes it works fine yet at others it plays for a few minutes and then the tape deck seems to think it has reached the "end" of the tape and tries to change the side of the tape that is playing. This interrupts the music and makes it impossible to listen with any sense of enjoyment.

Why does it do this and is there anything I can do, short of getting a new stereo, to stop it happening?

(as a side-question, if anyone knows an easy way to reattach the enter key to the keyboard of an Acer Aspire 5633wlmi, then I'd really appreciate the help!)
posted by knapah to Technology (14 answers total)
Well, I can't tell you why it happens, but in my experience, it was a pretty common occurrence.

For my iPod, I picked up an iTrip FM transmitter that works very well.
posted by jjb at 9:51 AM on July 19, 2007

It does that because it's a cheap cassette adapter. That's what they do. I have had that problem time and time again, and have only defeated it by getting lucky and having a cassette adapter that doesn't happen to do that at the moment.

I keep being tempted by FM transmitters, but the cassette thing just sounds so much better.
posted by The World Famous at 10:03 AM on July 19, 2007

That happened to me and I just bought a new cassette adaptor. The new one works fine. I think they probably don't last long. I did, however, try one of those FM transmitters. Because I live in a heavily-populated area, it did not work EVER. I could not find a clear signal. I took it back.
posted by MrFongGoesToLunch at 10:03 AM on July 19, 2007

Hrmm... are the little tape winder bits spinning properly? I was under the impression that modern tape players learned how to flip sides by the tension in the winding bits - that is, as soon as it feels any resistance, it stops playing in one direction and tries to play in the other direction. However, I could be *totally* wrong on this. It's something to check on, at any rate.
posted by antifuse at 10:13 AM on July 19, 2007

Have you ever cleaned your car cassette player? You might give that a shot.
posted by box at 10:20 AM on July 19, 2007

Your car stereo has an auto reverse feature. To combat this, you need to remove the piece in the cassette adapter that initiates the auto reverse.

Just take apart the cassette adapter and remove all the gears except the center wheel gear and the spindle teeth.

Put it back together and it should hopefully get rid of your problem. I did this and it works great for my cassette adapter.
posted by fallenposters at 10:34 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Get a new tape adapter. They're so cheap they're essentially disposable.
posted by cgg at 11:09 AM on July 19, 2007

What others have said. Your tape adapter is cheap, and you got what you paid for. A better one will not have this problem.

The 99-cent one I bought had the same issue you describe. The $17 one I got at Amazon always works with no problems.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 12:05 PM on July 19, 2007

I had a similar problem and realized that my car cassette player probably needed cleaning. Unfortunately I don't think anyone carries the cassette cleaner kit any longer, and I can't find the one I bought back in 1985, so I'm back to carrying CDs in the car. If anyone knows where I can find one, I think that would fix the problem for me!
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 12:36 PM on July 19, 2007

And yeah, I'd love to just get the iTrip instead, but I've heard that there are no frequencies in the DC area that will work with it.
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 12:37 PM on July 19, 2007

Buy a new one.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 1:00 PM on July 19, 2007

I got a cheap one, and after a couple of days it started doing that. I took it apart, routed the cord to the other side (essentially flipping the tape myself), and 6 months later haven't had a problem with it. Maybe that fixed it, maybe it just jiggled some things around, but hey -- it worked.
posted by natabat at 1:38 PM on July 19, 2007

Can anyone else confirm what fallenposters says? I have this problem too and don't particularly want to buy a new piece of plastic - mine wasn't particularly cheap either...
posted by singingfish at 8:01 PM on July 19, 2007

OK, I'll confirm it myself, removing the gears from the inside of the tape box works fine. Be sure to pad the inside of the tape deck otherwise there's a lot more noise from the tape deck going around compared to when it's geared.
posted by singingfish at 7:41 PM on July 26, 2007

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