For all these years, you have been sitting back and relaxed, playing your favorite songs via your CD player. As you are about to be immersed into the sound field, the CD player skips, you start to return to reality and think to yourself, “What in the world is happening?”. Every time the CD player skips, you skip a heartbeat and start dreading for the worse, that your compact disc player is about to go under.
Most HiFi owners may have experienced this one or twice in their lifetime or practically anyone who has owned a cd player before. Why does my CD player skip? There are many causes and many ways to solve them but before I continue. If you own an expensive CD player, I will suggest you bring it back to the manufacturer for servicing and repair. The same goes for anyone who doesn’t want to potentially damage their CD players via some of the methods below and it may also void the warranty. You can read up the information first though before making your decision.
The Causes and Solutions
It could be the simplest reason that causes your compact disc player to skip, and will require the simplest solution to solve it. The information below will be the various causes and remedies you can use to rectify the problem.
The first thing you should always check will be the CD itself. Check to see if it is dirty like dust, fingerprints, or objects that could interfere with the laser reading such as debris, hair, etc. If there are, you will just need to clean them off.
You should also check for scratches as these will interfere with the laser reading as well. If you found some scratches, there is a home remedy which you can use to fix this. You can use toothpaste, yes the one which we use to brush our teeth, just apply a small dab of paste onto the scratched area, spread it evenly, start polishing the CD in a radial motion and slowly work the toothpaste around it. Once you are done, remember to wash it clean thoroughly and dry it. Check if the scratches are still there.
Sometimes, the damage is not physical but internally such as minor glitches in various parts of the compact disc. To determine if is really the fault of a damaged cd, you should also try playing other discs to see if you will encounter the same skip problem. If all or most CDs are having the same skipping issue then likely the cause is not from the damaged CD.
Laser Lens is Dirty
This could be the most common reason that made your CD player skip and there is a simple way to solve this. You can use a cd lens cleaner which you can easily get on Amazon. If the cleaner doesn’t work but you are brave enough to take your player apart, then you can try cleaning the lens directly.
You can take out the top cover of the CD player and proceed to blow off any dust/dirt using dust blowers. Use a lens cleaning solution, place some of it on your cotton swab and rub it gently against the lens. Let the lens dry on its own, and once dried, you can reassemble back the CD player to start testing again.
You may have moved your CD player to various locations of your house or to a new home. During those moving processes, one of the footpads below your cd player may have fallen off without your knowledge. Why would it matter you might ask, well due to the missing foot piece, this might flex the plastic chassis which is enough to disrupt the movement of the optical assembly on the rails and/or possibly flexed the circuit boards to a point of small breakage/cracks. This could be worse if you have something heavy placed on top of your CD player.
There was this real-life case where the owner was encountering a skipping issue with his cd player. The CD player will skip while playing or if he walked past his CD player too fast (could be due to vibration). He has sent it for repair and replaced his laser lens but still didn’t work. Till one day, he found out there was a missing footpad and he just simply replaced it with another one he took from his other unused CD player. And ever since then, the skipping issue was totally gone.
You can easily check for missing footpad(s) now and replace them immediately. Also, you will need to see if the platform your CD player is on, is perfectly level and if there are any dents that may cause your player to slouch/flex. This could help save you some money and time.
Dried up Lubricant Patch
I am referring to the drying up of the factory lubricant on the guide rails which the cd player laser rides on. So whenever the laser hits the dried lubricant, it will get disconnected from the cd datastream which in turn causes the skip. Once the laser is past the dried-up patch, it will be able to relock back to the data stream until it hits another dried-up lubricant patch then it just skips again. This usually happens with old or heavily used CD players.
There is a trick to detect this specific problem. If you notice all your CDs skip between similar time-range e.g. between 2:15 and 2:40, then it could indicate that you are having this dried-up lubricant issue.
If you are confident and knowledgeable enough, you can open the top cover and clean the guide rails yourself. Make sure to have the guide rails thoroughly clean and you can start the re-lubricating of the guide rails process. Only use grease that is specially made for CD/DVD, this is to prevent chemical reaction with the nylon parts which in the long run, will damage your CD player. You can also hire a professional tech guy for this cleaning/maintenance process.
Misaligned Laser Head
It could be after years of usage, or it may suffer some physical trauma from moving and all other reasons to cause the misalignment of the laser head. Usually, if you have this problem, you wouldn’t be able to play a single soundtrack. You can adjust the laser pickup alignment yourself which takes a lot of trial and error. I will recommend you to send it for repair instead of trying to adjust the alignment yourself. This specific issue could also be the fault of the laser pickup which requires replacement of itself.
Vibrations from External Sources
Sometimes vibrations coming from external sources may cause the CD player to skip. For instance, young and energetic children running and jumping around near the CD player may cause it to skip once a while. Or you have some old generator that starts to vibrate on its own and send reverberations throughout the house, which may cause your CD player to skip too. Whichever the case, for vibrational issues, you can always get an anti-vibration foam or rubber feet to prevent vibrations from reaching your CD player. This should immediately solve your problem.
To sum it up
There’s no need to get riled up when your CD player skips, it could be just a small problem like your compact discs having scratches on the back of them. These minor problems can be rectified easily with some of the methods above saving you some hard-earned money in the process.
If you really are concerned, you should send it for maintenance every now and then. This is to ensure your CD player will work fine for years to come. Still, after long years of heavy use, there is a possibility that the problem could be bigger and more serious. If repairing and replacing the parts are going to cost you, might as well use this opportunity to get a brand new CD player.