CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Factory CD Changer Help - 2005 Subaru Forester LL Bean edition

Hi all.

A few days ago I hit an icy patch and slid into a curb. Car is fine, but I think my Factory Radio (With 6 cd changer) got jostled to the point that I can’t get cd’s to play nor come out.

This is a necessity as I have a 4 year old that likes her cd’s played. and now they’re stuck in the radio! :slight_smile:

I have ZERO experience with this car (and maybe 3% car maintenance in general), and am not sure how to go about getting to the radio to pull out the CD’s and hopefully reset this without breaking everything. That said I AM mechanically inclined, so with direction I gain confidence.

Thanks in advance for any help in this matter.

It’s probably not a big deal if you can get the radio apart. CD’s can become stuck very easily. With that being said…visit a local automotive stereo shop and let them give you an estimate. If it seems too high then you can always get a salvage stereo or visit www.crutchfield.com and look them over.

The age of the car is about right to start having those kind of problems. If you want to work on this yourself you can most likely find a video on removing the radio an CD unit on YouTube. Ebay is a good place to find factory service manual information and used replacement equipment if you want to go that route. I think the audio equipment is made by Clarion. There are also places you can send the equipment to and get it fixed if you want to. Do a web search on car radio repair.

Just as a heads up, if you experience battery drain at some point check out the CD changer first for the issue. It has happened to others.

See if anything here helps:

There are also some youtube videos when you search for “cds stuck in 6 disc changer”

This one was pretty interesting (he’s already removed the cds & is showing how he did it in a Chrysler T&C van). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJuVGLOzpLU

One comment on removing and replacing audio units: I strongly recommend that you only do so using an adapter plug. That’s a plug that’s designed to attach to the new unit’s wires with simple instructions (right on the kitchen table) and then plugs directly into the car’s original wiring harness. Problems from butchered wiring harnesses are very common, and this simple adapter eliminates that problem. It also makes installation of the new unit far, far easier.

It’s been a few years since I’ve bought an adapter, but they’re probably about $15-$20 now, and they’re available almost anywhere that sells audio units for all common cars. It’s well, well worth it.

And if you have an automotive shop do it, tell them you want an adapter used. They’ll understand.

This happens to my wife’s cd player from time-to-time. She has a 2007 Ford 500. Don’t ask me why it works in her car or how I found this out, but if you kill all power to the cd payer (pull radio fuse or unhook the battery) then give it power again, the cd player seems to reset and it then responds to the eject button. This may not work for you, but it is worth a try because the price of the try is so cheap. Kind of like re-booting a computer.

I read on the Subaru forum to disconnect the battery for a few minutes to reboot it. Fuse may work just as well as long as there is no alternate power source.

Hey Frumpy. let us know if you fixed the problem and how you fixed it.

How hard did you hit the curb? If it was anything more than a very light bump, it would be a good idea to have your mechanic check your tires and suspension for damage and check your alignment. If the alignment is off, you might wear out your tires prematurely.

I was going to add I had similiar issue in my old WRX and undid a battery terminal and out came the CD. My radio was locked up for a better term. Pulling fuse does not work as it gets power somewhere else to keep radio presets.

If simple ideas like killing the power to the changer don’t work, I expect the most economical solution will be to purchase a replacement audio system. If you decide to go that route, consider to stop using CD’s in the car, and go with an AM/FM radio with a USB-stick mp3 function. Then all you have to do is transfer (rip) the songs from your CD’s to a USB stick, plug it into the radio, and you’re all set. No moving parts.

You’ll still have to remove the CD’s from the old player, but once the unit is out of the car and on your desk or workbench I suspect you won’t find that too difficult.

@frumpy jones has not bee back. We need to let it die.

Let me add one more thing even if @frumpy jones doesn’t return. I have a combination AM-FM radio ,record player, tape player, CD player unit in my house that my wife got me for Christmas some years back. It was manufactured under the Crosley brand name. It is handy because I can burn a CD from a vinyl recording. At any rate, sometimes the CD drawer won’t open. If I unplug the unit and plug it back in that will often cure the problem. If it doesn’t open, I pry it open while pushing the CD eject button and it opens. This may work on a car unit.