Tape Deck making loud humming/buzzing noise

subaru
outback
noises

#1

My 2002 outback tape deck, which I use primarily to listen to my phone via a cassette adaptor, has recently started making a very loud buzzing/humming noise. It does this with both my old and a new adaptor, as well as a standard audio tape.

I could try using a head cleaner on the tape deck, but my impression is that this isn’t what typically would happen if the head needs cleaning, and I don’t particular want to waste the time and money on a solution that I’m pretty sure isn’t going to work, but I’m asking you all in case you know better than me (a real possibility). I just don’t know if I should try that first, or if I should just go out and purchase a new car stereo that has either blue tooth, or an audio input plug so I can directly plug the phone in that way.

Any advice would be helpful, also if I do go the way of replacing the stereo, is that generally a straightforward process? And would most replacement stereos be compatible with my vehicle, or do I need to be selective? Thanks.


#2

Here’s my standard advice - go to Crutchfield.com and find a replacement. We did that for our '07 Forester, they also sell the correct adapter cable and provide complete installation instructions. It took a bit of work, but nothing unusual.


#3

I agree. The tape drive mechanism is failing or has failed. It’s 12 years old, so that is not unexpected. Many new radios have auxiliary plugs to eliminate the tape adapter. I just installed a new radio that has Bluetooth phone and audio, so I can listen to music from my phone without wires!


#4

Here’s another vote for Crutchfield. They have a very good reputation for making this as easy as possible.


#5

And if you don’t need the tape deck for tapes, then, as BK said, skip it, just go with one with the appropriate inputs.


#6

Count this as another vote for Crutchfield. I gave up tape decks so many years ago that I didn’t realize that there were any around that did work.


#7

Thanks for the advices. I’ll give Crutchfield a look. I’m not particular attached to the tape deck, just the money I’d have to spend to replace it, but what can you expect after 12 years.


#8

Crutchfield FTW!