In this article we will look at some of the troubleshooting steps that can be done at home to repair a faulty VCR.
1. Remove the cover of the VCR carefully. Every cable running from the VCR should be unplugged from the power points. However, don’t forget to wear your rubber slippers as you poke around with your bare fingers inside the VCR. Do not remove anything from inside unless you are very sure of what you are doing. Most of the VCR parts, like the video drum, are very fragile little pieces that can be damaged by your clumsy prodding around.
2. If the VCR is not reading the cassette properly then first try unplugging and then re-plugging the VCR. Give a gap of 3-5 minutes before re-plugging. Often a burst of electrical energy is all that the VCR needs to function properly.
3. If the cassette refuses to be ejected from its tray then don’t start hitting the overhead case of the VCR to take the cassette out. Don’t even think of putting your finger inside the cassette tray to force it out. You will cause irreparable damage to the VCR. Try the unplugging and re-plugging trick first. If the cassette still doesn’t eject then open the chassis of the VCR and try gently shoving the cassette out with your fingers.
Sometimes the tape gets unloaded due to which the cassette gets struck inside the tray. If this is the case then manually try to load the tape onto the cassette head. This will involve lots of time and revolutions but winding the tape back on the cassette will help eject it.
4. Often there will be no picture display on your screen although the cassette will keep playing. This often happens if the cassette is old or if the tape has started oxidizing. In the latter case the oxidization will block the spinning head of the video and prevent it from displaying picture on the TV screen. All you will have to do is use a good cleaning spray to clean the video head. If you don’t have spray then use a mild, alcohol-free deo or perfume. Do not use abrasive cloth to clean the video head or you might leave scratches.
5. There will be times when your movie viewing on the VCR will go perfectly well without any glitches except for the tape that would have become unwound. Many times the video head will also cause crinkling of the tape. Unfortunately, there is no solution for ripped and crinkled tapes. Running ruined tapes in the VCR can seriously cause damage to your VCR’s video head. So the best thing for you to do is to throw the tape in a trash instead of damaging the video head in an attempt to retrieve the spliced bits of the tape.
Of course you can preserve tape cover along with the reels. You can make your own cassette by combining it with parts of another cassette. If you don’t wish to preserve the cassette then first smash it into little pieces before disposing it.