Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

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dm200
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Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by dm200 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:33 am

DW and I (in retirement/semi-retirement) have transitioned to 2 older low mileage Toyota Camrys - generally working out fine, as we rarely take long road trips any more.

Both older Camrys (15-20 years old) have CD players (seem to be different models on each car) that no longer work - seem to be "stuck" or jammed. We can live without playing CDs and do not want to spend a lot to fix or replace them. Any "creative" low cost folks who might get them working?

MnD
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by MnD » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:38 am

Buy the exact replacement off Ebay. These are very widely available and usually cheap as supply is from both parting out old cars and from people that upgraded the factory sound systems. There should be a video (or several) on Youtube showing how to remove and replace the unit with a little searching, especially for a popular vehicle like an older Camry.

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bottlecap
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by bottlecap » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:42 am

I’d spend a few hundred bucks on a decent aftermarket stereo.

JT

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dm200
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by dm200 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:43 am

MnD wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:38 am
Buy the exact replacement off Ebay. These are very widely available and usually cheap as supply is from both parting out old cars and from people that upgraded the factory sound systems. There should be a video (or several) on Youtube showing how to remove and replace the unit with a little searching, especially for a popular vehicle like an older Camry.
1. Can someone with limited skill (me) do the replacement?

2. Does it have to be the exact replacement?

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Sandtrap
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:46 am

Crutchfield
https://www.crutchfield.com/Car/outfi ... mycar.aspx
Installation kits are very good. Instructions excellent.
Customer service outstanding

You can install a low cost, modern, car audio unit with a CD and USB input. Then load all your music on a USB stick to use in the car.

j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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whodidntante
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by whodidntante » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:49 am

I loaded my entire music library on a single 128GB USB flash drive that is the size of my thumbnail. I suggest replacing the head unit with one that can read a USB flash drive and ripping your CDs with a high quality encoding. I use lossless encoding for my favorite albums.

Chip
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by Chip » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:52 am

MnD's suggestion is a good one. Another option is to just buy a new CD/receiver. You can probably get something pretty decent for $100 plus installation. If you want to DIY or just see what will fit your car, check out crutchfield.com. They sell at full retail but they're unmatched in getting you something that will fit, with full instructions on how to remove and replace the old unit. Plus they will sell you plug & play wiring adapters needed to connect the new receiver to the cars wiring harness.

I put a cheap receiver (from Crutchfield) into my old pickup years ago. I wish I'd done it sooner. It also plays MP3s on CDs and USB sticks. I only wish I had bought one with bluetooth capabilities.

marstaton4
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by marstaton4 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:52 am

dm200 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:43 am
1. Can someone with limited skill (me) do the replacement?

2. Does it have to be the exact replacement?
I replaced my 2004 Camry radio with an aftermarket one and it wasn't hard, but I also have soldering experience. With my model You have to pull off the trim around the radio which includes some air vents. This is easy but perhaps slightly uncomfortable because you may feel like you're going to break something. Then I think it was two bolts or screws to loosen the radio from the car. Then it's two quick release wiring harnesses and the antenna connection. Check youtube for some videos. I'd suggest trying to find a cheap factory replacement of the same year and giving it a whirl yourself. Might take you an hour for the first one and 15 minutes for the second one.

Good luck!

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Kenkat
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by Kenkat » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:18 am

dm200 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:43 am
MnD wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:38 am
Buy the exact replacement off Ebay. These are very widely available and usually cheap as supply is from both parting out old cars and from people that upgraded the factory sound systems. There should be a video (or several) on Youtube showing how to remove and replace the unit with a little searching, especially for a popular vehicle like an older Camry.
1. Can someone with limited skill (me) do the replacement?

2. Does it have to be the exact replacement?
It is pretty easy to remove the dash above the center console and then remove the radio. I did this to install an iPod integration kit in my 2005 Camry. The dash is held in with clips that you just gently pry out and the radio itself is held in with bolts so it is easy to remove the unit. There are just modular plugs to connect it to the car electrical / speaker system.

I would probably try to replace it with the exact unit. I have the JBL 6 disk changer unit and I would not be 100% sure that would be compatible with the other options that were available.

As others have said, there are other options around USB if you install either a new unit or some type of interface. My son still uses the iPod integration (I installed this in 2007) to plug his phone into the 3.5 headphone adapter.

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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by THY4373 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:29 am

A couple of other cheapo options.

1). If you have a cassette player and it still works you can get a cassette adapter that would allow you to plug in a MP3 player, cell phone or CD player and play through the cassette player. Yeah the sound quality will be less but still decent.

2). Get an FM modulator either one that broadcasts to the antenna (these can be problematic because prone to interference) or one that plugs in between the antenna and the radio (better because they disconnect the antenna so less interference). And again you just plug in your audio source of choice. Again you will take a hit in audio quality.

These are obviously less elegant than a replacement head unit but they do work.

mhalley
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by mhalley » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:05 pm

Yet another cheap option: A visor bluetooth speaker, such as this one:
https://www.amazon.com/Avantree-Bluetoo ... usic&psc=1

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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by Ged » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:13 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:49 am
I loaded my entire music library on a single 128GB USB flash drive that is the size of my thumbnail. I suggest replacing the head unit with one that can read a USB flash drive and ripping your CDs with a high quality encoding. I use lossless encoding for my favorite albums.
+1

Several years ago I had a local stereo dealer replace the head unit on my 2001 Camry with a player capable of playing off a USB stick.

This was a great decision. Playing off a USB device is far more convenient than fiddling with CDs in a car, and much safer too if you are also driving at the same time. You really don't even need lossless in a car environment, high quality lossy is good too. Over time I've found I like it for audiobooks even more than for music.

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CAsage
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by CAsage » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:20 pm

I must second any suggestion that allows you to plug in your tunes on a USB. My shiny new car has an incredible excessive audio input choice - AM, FM, XM, phone, CD, etc etc. The ONE that really worked amazing, flawlessly, and without any downsides I can perceive is the USB. I did take a few hours, actually one minute every random time I passed by my computer, to rip my old CD library (part of it... still a lot to go) and I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting my favorite tunes in my car. No CDs to juggle or try and insert while driving, or store, or get ruined, no obnoxious chit chat between badly curated tunes (XM, and they charge for that!) and no ads. So, see if you can find an after-market unit for your car with a screen and a USB....
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by 123 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:30 pm

I would second the replacement of the unit with a replacement from Ebay.

I had upgraded a factory radio with CD to a fancy after-market CD player in a Corolla of similar vintage. Within a year the CD player got stolen. To prevent further theft issues I got a used factory radio with cassette off of Ebay and installed that. I had speculated that no one would want a factory radio with cassette and history has shown me to be correct.

An advantage of getting a used factory radio with cassette from Ebay is that since no one has cassettes anymore whether the cassette player actually works really isn't an issue (luckily mine did work).
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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dm200
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by dm200 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:22 pm

1). If you have a cassette player and it still works you can get a cassette adapter that would allow you to plug in a MP3 player, cell phone or CD player and play through the cassette player. Yeah the sound quality will be less but still decent
.

I was considering this as well.

sambb
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by sambb » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:25 pm

Could consider upgrading car also to a more modern car with Bluetooth streaming.

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dm200
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by dm200 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:26 pm

sambb wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:25 pm
Could consider upgrading car also to a more modern car with Bluetooth streaming.
No - for now, at least, we will stick to two older cars.

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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:00 pm

THY4373 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:29 am
A couple of other cheapo options.

1). If you have a cassette player and it still works you can get a cassette adapter that would allow you to plug in a MP3 player, cell phone or CD player and play through the cassette player. Yeah the sound quality will be less but still decent.

2). Get an FM modulator either one that broadcasts to the antenna (these can be problematic because prone to interference) or one that plugs in between the antenna and the radio (better because they disconnect the antenna so less interference). And again you just plug in your audio source of choice. Again you will take a hit in audio quality.

These are obviously less elegant than a replacement head unit but they do work.
+1

DS did this when the CD player in his 2004 Solara (probably the same as OP's) jammed and became inoperable. Not elegant or flashy, but suitable for his needs. He almost exclusive uses bluetooth from his iPhone to listen to tons of music.

I also second the recommendation above to copy your CDs to a USB stick. I have done this on my current vehicle, and it is so much more convenient. My CD collection is now stored in a closet.

Candor
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by Candor » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:31 pm

Salvage auto parts. Plenty in your area.

Car-part.com

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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by jabberwockOG » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:49 pm

Forget CDs and the obsolete audio in your car. Go to local best buy or similar and have them install a new midlevel priced head unit that can play USB media and also can stream music direct from your phone. If you have an iphone find a head unit that is apple airplay capable so it can duplicate your phone's apps on its screen including music and map apps.
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Watty
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by Watty » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:50 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:33 am
Both older Camrys (15-20 years old)....
One issue with getting an exact replacement from a junkyard or eBay is that it will also be 15-20 years old and may not be very dependable. I would tend to do one of the other suggestions.

tj218
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by tj218 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:55 pm

Get a bluetooth adapter on Amazon, they plug into the cigarette lighter. They are around $15 and then just use your phone.

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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:15 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:46 am
Crutchfield
https://www.crutchfield.com/Car/outfi ... mycar.aspx
Installation kits are very good. Instructions excellent.
Customer service outstanding

You can install a low cost, modern, car audio unit with a CD and USB input. Then load all your music on a USB stick to use in the car.

j :D
This is the way to go. Great customer support too.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by hudson » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:32 am

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:15 am
Sandtrap wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:46 am
Crutchfield
https://www.crutchfield.com/Car/outfi ... mycar.aspx
Installation kits are very good. Instructions excellent.
Customer service outstanding

You can install a low cost, modern, car audio unit with a CD and USB input. Then load all your music on a USB stick to use in the car.

j :D
This is the way to go. Great customer support too.
I've purchased and installed 5 Crutchfield vehicle "radio/players" through the years. For the first two or three installs, I soldered and shrink wrapped all connections. The last two used connectors that fit the vehicle. I would not say that any of the installs were easy. As has been said, support and instructions are excellent.
If I need to install another, I plan to seek out an installer-vendor who will do it for me. I would not make any purchases before talking with the installer. Then I would decide whether to do it myself or hire it done.
Last edited by hudson on Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:49 am

If you are handy, you could install this on both cars.

https://www.usaspec.com/p-322-bt45-toy.aspx

Check your years for fitment. Don't buy from the site. You can get them on ebay for ~$135 with free shipping.

Adds an AUX port and Bluetooth to most cars.

Another option would be to buy a used replacement unit and replace the entire radio/CD player in each. Mentioned above. Can have risk as well.
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by Kenkat » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:51 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:49 am
If you are handy, you could install this on both cars.

https://www.usaspec.com/p-322-bt45-toy.aspx

Check your years for fitment. Don't buy from the site. You can get them on ebay for ~$135 with free shipping.

Adds an AUX port and Bluetooth to most cars.

Another option would be to buy a used replacement unit and replace the entire radio/CD player in each. Mentioned above. Can have risk as well.
This is a successor model to what I installed back in 2007 in my Camry. Plugs into the CD changer harness which most Toyotas have.

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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by wrongfunds » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:58 am

dm200 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:43 am
MnD wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:38 am
Buy the exact replacement off Ebay. These are very widely available and usually cheap as supply is from both parting out old cars and from people that upgraded the factory sound systems. There should be a video (or several) on Youtube showing how to remove and replace the unit with a little searching, especially for a popular vehicle like an older Camry.
1. Can someone with limited skill (me) do the replacement?

2. Does it have to be the exact replacement?
1. Absolutely but only if you really want to do it. Your skills don't matter much as it is a low skill job.
2. No; as a matter of fact, older Camry have the big aka "Double DIN" factory radio. You can replace it with either Double DIN or single DIN and get more storage.

I did put aftermarket radios in my 1999 Camry and 1999 Odyssey without *any* prior experience. I just watched the exact model youtube video to figure out how to remove the radio. First I removed the original and put it back and then I had confidence that I can put the new one in. I went with Crutchfield

N10sive
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Re: Low cost repair of CD players in older Camrys?

Post by N10sive » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:24 pm

You might have some trouble installing if you haven't ever removed a center dash before as a 1997 model camry is somewhat more difficult in my experience than say a 1988 camry. There are probably many youtube instructional videos on this. Take a look and if it looks easy enough for you to tackle. Perhaps do what another person said and install/uninstall before you purchase one. A $8-10 dollar tool kit for interior trim pieces from Amazon can be bought which will help immensely.

That said I would go with an exact replacement because then you can use the original wiring harness. If you go aftermarket radio a simple one may cost $100 bucks and then you will need to get a wiring harness. Most likely you will need to wire the harness to match your vehicle. There are great instructions and perhaps you can find one exact match on amazon(or the local audio store can wire it probably if you have to).

There are other options as mentioned with the tape deck with an audio cable. Or the FM broadcasting one, though not the best solution. I've used both when I owned a 1987 corolla, it works but if your picky about music quality the FM broadcasting may not be the way to go.

Do you have smartphones? It maybe wise to update with an aftermarket radio with BT for at least one of your camry's you drive more often and on longer trips. This can then help with hands free driving and mapping directions audio wise.

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