'96 Taurus tape deck

I know in this day and age, tape decks are a thing of the past. I’m having a muddled sound from tapes and I’ve tried all tapes and took them in house and they play fine. Just as an experiment I swabbed alcohol on the head and it played fine for a while. I asked for a tape deck cleaner or cassette tape head cleaner (at Wal-Mart of all places, I know) and the girl looked at me funny.

What can I do in the meantime? My mother-in-law has a ‘97 that she had installed an aftermarket CD player and it’s a little rectangular with a HUGE black face that you could tell there used to be a Ford Oval Radio there and it looks hideous, like it doesn’t belong. Call me old school but I like the factory look. Also another reason I want to fix is that this radio has a 6 disc changer Of this year, will any 6 disc changer work? HOW does it hook up?! I see nothing on the back.

Help a stubborn fool who doesn’t want to keep up with the jones’ yet. I do like the idea of satelite radio but don’t want to pay every month, I mean, isn’t it enough I have satelite at home. As a plumber I may someday have to buy some satelite channel locks. Hope to be retired then!

Thanks for your input. (be kind please)

You might find that stuff at Best Buy, and, you could look at ebay.com.

Check out crutchfield.com for an adapter possibly to connect ANY or specific CD changer to your radio.

Forget about the tape player forever unless at yard sale you find a cleaner. It sounds done.

I had the radio you’re referring to in a 98 Taurus. There is a plug in the trunk, (drivers side - under carpet in trunk) which when hooked up to a 6 CD changer, will work perfectly. All the controls you now see on the radio will activate when you plug the CD changer in. I purchased mine through Crutchfield. Although I have a friend who saved a ton of money getting it elsewhere on line (Crutchfield is expensive). You’ll have to purchase the cord as well.

Get an Ipod, and an FM transmitter that plugs into the earphone jack. You will have all of your music on one little device, and with the FM transmitter you can receive the signal on the car stereo.

In a pinch, I used isopropyl alcohol (99%) to clean the heads in the old days. I did a search and cassette head cleaners are hard to find. I found this site though


I had a cassette player in my 93 Caprice that had lost the left channel on the cassette, I took it to the local electronics repair shop for repair. I wanted to keep the factory look. The cassette player was repaired, but I was never satisfied with the sound and ended up putting an aftermarket CD player in the dash anyway.

My point is that it is expensive to get a cassette deck repaired and you may not be happy with the results anyway.

This was an outfit I found while looking for an OEM radio for my 2000 Blazer. I don’t know anything about them, but they do sell refurbished factory units.


Here is another outfit that sells refurb and takeout OEM radios, again I can’t vouch for them one way or another.


Good luck,

Ed B.