How to Troubleshoot a Toyota CD Deck
By James Clark
Updated September 28, 2017
Items you will need
CD lens cleaning product
When the tunes stop playing in your Toyota CD deck, take a few minutes to troubleshoot your stereo before driving to the dealership or a car stereo repair shop. Chances are, if it's a loose wire or blown fuse, you can fix the problem yourself. Toyota factory stereos are rigged with virtually identical wiring harnesses, so troubleshooting won't require a degree in electrical engineering. Just follow these steps.
Narrow the problem to a specific part of the stereo. If the CD player works but not the FM radio, then you've got a problem with radio reception. Similarly, adjust the audio balance controls to determine if one speaker works but not the other, or if the fade control is set to one extreme or another so the front speakers play but the rear channels are silent. Sometimes a quick adjustment is all you'll need to resolve the problem.
Look under the dashboard to check the connections from the wiring harness to the CD player. The plug from the wiring harness to the back of the CD player must be seated firmly .
Test the speaker wires in your Toyota to make sure they are receiving power by first removing the speaker grilles with a screwdriver and pulling the speakers gently out of the housing.
Disconnect the wires from the back of each speaker and connect to the electric meter using alligator clips on the meter. If you get a power signal on the meter, but the speaker produces no sound, there is a problem with the speaker. If there is no power signal, you probably have either a broken or loose speaker wire going back to the wiring harness or an internal problem with the Toyota CD player.
Reconnect loose or detached speaker wires to the wiring harness and the back of each speaker, if necessary. Use wire strippers to peel away one-half inch of insulation from the wires, then twist the ends together and add a wire cap or piece of electrical tape to complete the splice.
Fix CD skipping problems and disc error messages by cleaning the Toyota CD player. Use a laser lens cleaning product, which is shaped like a CD and simply slips into the Toyota CD player. Press play on the stereo and let the cleaning disc run through a cycle, usually less than five minutes, then test a CD in the stereo for playback.
Raise the hood on your Toyota and inspect the power cable from the CD player to the positive terminal of your battery. You are looking for a round bump in the cable near the battery. This contains a glass fuse to protect the circuit and prevent an electrical short in the event of a power surge.
Snap open the fuse compartment and remove the fuse. If blown, replace it with a glass fuse of the exact same amperage.
Solve a jammed CD problem by setting the ignition key in your Toyota to the ACC (accessory) position. Press and hold the eject button on the CD stereo to pop out the disc. If you hear any sort of mechanical sound, proceed to step 10.
Remove the fuse in the battery cable or disconnect the Toyota battery cable from the positive terminal of the battery, then wait at least 10 minutes.
Reconnect the battery cable and turn on the Toyota CD player, which will reset to the original factory settings. The CD should then eject automatically. If not it is likely jammed inside the CD player. At this point, you can either attempt to remove the CD player by disconnecting the mounting hardware behind the dashboard and disassembling the component, or head to a repair shop. Trying to remove a CD with needle nose pliers through the front of the stereo carries about an equal chance of extracting the disc, extracting the disc but breaking it, or ruining the stereo.
See the reference link below if you wish to attempt to remove the Toyota stereo from the dashboard.
James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.