How to Cure Car Cassette Adapter "auto-reverse Flip-flop"


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Introduction: How to Cure Car Cassette Adapter "auto-reverse Flip-flop"

For the last few months, while listening to my ipod through the car stereo via cassette adapter, I have been driven to near insanity by what I call "auto-reverse flip-flop". This is where the car stereo thinks it's got to the end of the cassette and tries to auto-reverse your adapter and play the other side of it. The fact that a cassette adapter doesn't have an 'end' or even an other side seems to mean nothing to car stereos.

One of the worst things is that it has an element of randomness; there seems no logic to when it will happen. Some days it won't happen at all.. others (usually when there is a podcast I really want to listen to) it will kick in almost immediately. The constant 'kerchink-flip-kerchunk-flop" is unbelievably annoying. After ripping the thing out of the tape deck and smashing it against the dash several times didn't fix it, I tried to find a solution on the internet. I discovered that this was a VERY common occurrence. It even seemed like all adapters, no matter how expensive, would eventually end up doing the auto-reverse flip-flop.

Anyway I did learn of an easy way to solve it. I found this solution in more than one internet forum but there were never any pictures to show you how, so I thought it would be worth an Instructable. It's really easy to do.. all you need is a screwdriver.

EDIT: Firstly thanks for so many kind and amazing comments! - it makes me so happy to know that so many have been helped by the instructions (and saved from insanity). Secondly if you still experience problems after this fix, make sure to read through the comments as there are several suggestions/improvements put forward. It seems like you can actually get away with removing all of the gears! although I haven't tested this. Also If you have problems with low volume after the fix you may need to reverse the wire and insert the adaptor the other way around.

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Step 1: Dismantle

Find out how your adapter is joined together and undo it. I'm pretty sure most of them are joined with small screws like mine is, but it could be some other way. You might need a small jeweler's screwdriver if the screws are really tiny but I managed with just my swiss-army.

WARNING: When you open it up all of the component will become "loose" inside because the top of the case is no longer holding them down. Try to identify which half of the case is the "lid" and which half has the spindles for the gears etc. Take the lid side off GENTLY otherwise the bits will fly everywhere and you'll be buggered. If that happens you could try and piece it back together from the photos, but there's no guarantee they'd be the same. Mine is a Digitor brand (on a par with Panaphonics and Sorny I think).

Step 2: Identify Trouble-maker

Ok now you can see the guts of the thing. You need to identify the bit which causes the tape-deck to try and auto-reverse. It should be a collection of a few gears which move independently on a plate. The plate swivels up and down as well. This is the trouble-maker! No one seems to know exactly why this is even in a cassette adapter which doesn't need to auto-reverse but anyway this is what's causing the problems.

Step 3: Remove Trouble-maker

Go ahead and whip it out! Hopefully it will look something like my photo.

Be careful not to disturb the other stuff in there, or if you do, put it back where you found it! All the other bits are necessary!

It might be worth memorizing where the bits go (or take a photo) before you start fiddling with it. But if you're like me you will realize this after you have dropped it and spread the gears all over the floor.

Step 4: Success!!

Screw the cover back together the way you found it. Make sure the gears are all lining up where they should do and none of the wires are getting pinched in the side.

Success!! Get ready for some trouble-free listening!

Plug it in and hopefully you should have no more problems with the auto-reverse flip-flop. I read that some people reported the noise from the gears got a bit louder after doing this but personally mine sounded exactly the same as before.

Bliss.

Step 5: Decide Its Fate...

While part of me wants to suggest you immediately crush this part under your foot, it's probably best you make sure your adapter still works first. After you've confirmed this, feel free to dispose of it how you see fit...

Participated in the
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1 Person Made This Project!

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131 Discussions

0
ramirez.christian993
ramirez.christian993

2 months ago

I did it and it worked!!! You saved me, Thanks a lot!! :)

0
DanielA337
DanielA337

3 years ago

You guys do know. That theres an easier way. Simply rearrange the aux cord to the other side and flip the tape. Lol.

0
Snop384
Snop384

Reply 4 months ago

Thanks so much for your advice! I tried this with my "Insten" cassette adapter after having the same trouble and this seemed to fix it entirely. It also got rid of the sound of the cassette player trying to read the adapter while playing music.

0
wayneph
wayneph

Reply 3 years ago

unfortunately that did not work on my harley ultra classic

0
ShonW2
ShonW2

Reply 3 years ago

Yessss dude thanks i was like wtf until i saw yur comment thanks alot i never knew that

0
Kindly Thrive
Kindly Thrive

4 months ago

Like many here, this does not fix our problem. Removing the gears does nothing. Bought another adapter without any success. I wish this solution was not filling the internet because I would love to hear other solutions. I do not have any regular tapes to test it out. I am guessing something is stuck in the tape system but no easy way to fix. I wish I had one of those tape head cleaning kits still but I got rid of mine probably a decade or more ago.

I did find an actual solution but it is a pain in a butt.

Basically for many of us, we have to tear down our stereo and make a modification so the reverse gear no longer functions inside of the deck. Darnit :( Replacing the head unit is almost easier.

1
Yrtsinim13
Yrtsinim13

10 months ago on Introduction

Ended up trying a couple different suggestions and omg, what a mess this problem is! Here is my cassette adapter saga, the first chapter of mine may help others who thought this fix didn't work at all...
The main fix instructed here did not appear to have worked at first on either adapter that I have. The little mf was still flipping repeatedly & stopping. However, I happened to still have some cassette tapes from the good ole 80s...popped one in that was working fine before, but it immediately started the same flipping! I was thinking great, now the deck is ruined, but I'm relentless, so I ejected & retried. The third time I ejected, there was a sound, like a part in the deck that was stuck suddenly got unstuck. I tried the adapter again & it worked!!
Chapter 2...Now I had 2 audio issues; side A had almost no sound at all, side B had fabulous audio, but only on left speakers tf?? Ok, opened em both back up & flipped the cord. Tried adapter 1, no dice, same exact issues. Adapter 2,same, but relentless me refused to give up. Now idk what actually fixed the problem, I was pushing every button, flipping sides, FF, RWD, eject... Lol, paid off cuz I finally got fabulous audio on side B, all speakers, side A still had the same issue. But who cares right I am what I am though & had to try again on adapter#1. Worked on it for a good min, but nope, nothing worked. So begins Chapter 3, tomorrow though, I have one working so I gotta walk away for now. I'mma try a couple more things just cuz, & maybe I will be able to help someone else with whatever I find out. Lucky for me, a friend just upgraded his deck & is kicking me down a Kenwood deck from this decade, but I won't have it until I drive to the big city for our first concert adventure if the year in May... for those inquisitive ppl like myself, Slayer. Music is my everything, can't do anything without it, so I had to find a way! Hope this helped someone, even just a little & I will update as to the fate of adapter #1. Till then, good luck all from a 44 Y/O Metal AF female Bass player, who also happens to throw down some SAF moves to some SAF Rap

0
VafaG
VafaG

1 year ago

mine has a little bit different gear mechanism.
The mechanism do two thing:
1. slow down the spin speed(make the noise less)
2. prevent the RR function by making the rotation one way.
I tear a part because of wire disconnection and replace successfully since than the radio unit reject the cassete! It only work when I remove the one-way gear mechanism. It's useless because it's to noisy.
still woking on it.

0
emmbo07
emmbo07

1 year ago

i tried this and my tape deck is now just rejecting my tape.

0
MarioH72
MarioH72

1 year ago

Thanks buddy you saved me a lot of time and money !! I though I had to change my radio on my Harley FLHTC 97 !

0
ShelbyK14
ShelbyK14

1 year ago

Thank you so much for this! I had thought my car’s cassette player was broken all of a sudden, but this fixed it! The only issue I have now is the gears make a very noticeable spinning sound. But that’s ok because I’m happy I can play my music again!

0
87 ChevyS
87 ChevyS

2 years ago

removing all gears dose not work it will not play any muisc

0
Jessman1128
Jessman1128

2 years ago

Thank you for posting this! Totally saved the day for me. My adapter wouldn't play in my car at all, and now it works well!!

0
BostonFern
BostonFern

2 years ago

My problem has more to do with the cassette player than with the adapter. It just won't wind/play any tape, good or bad. If I put a tape inside the player, would try to play, then it would immediately reverse the tape, then it would push out the tape. It's as though it can't move the tape toward either side.

I'm wondering whether there is any need for the winding to happen at all. If the my player meets no resistance while playing, then perhaps my cassette player adapter would work. I don't play actual cassette at all.

0
Soporific1
Soporific1

2 years ago

My adapter was slightly different, the gears at the bottom right were trying to pass themselves off as useful. Little did they know...

I found this tool useful in disposing of the unnecessary parts. Found at your local hardware store for $30.

Your pieces should look like this if you have done a proper job. Do note, they may try to escape.

Thanks for the writeup blackjimmy! It really was easy. :)

pre-destruction.jpgpost-destruction.jpgpre-removal.jpg
0
tbor62
tbor62

2 years ago

Thank you. I thought it was the car heater.

0
wayneph
wayneph

3 years ago

This worked perfectly saving me hundreds of dollars to replace the sound system in my Harley ultra classic. I am eternally greatfull.

0
AlexT191
AlexT191

3 years ago

And FWIW if anybody was unable to fix their tape deck... I get my "Scorshe Casette Adapter" at Target for $12.99 and it definitely works. And AFAIK all Targets have them. For mine it was 3 seperate gears, the one causing the prpblem had a piece of cushoning around it... And was on the top left of the player. Good luck!

0
AlexT191
AlexT191

3 years ago

Thank you so much for the tip! Ive been having incessant problems with my tape deck but this fixed it! Only took about 3minutes to fix as well. Youre a life savee!

0
AnnaB130
AnnaB130

3 years ago

I tried literally everything and it still did not work. I bought 4 different tapes and they all reject. I tried different variations of the mechanisms inside and nothing worked. I'm just accepting defeat that my cassette deck has died.