The Fallenposters Blog

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The Perils of Autoreverse

with 22 comments

Like many individuals, I own an iPod. And, like many individuals, I like to listen to my iPod while I’m driving. I refuse to put on my ear-buds while driving (unlike many motorists I’ve seen), so I bought an iTrip FM transmitter by Griffin. It worked well for a long time until I ultimately broke it by dropping my iPod numerous times during sharp turns.

I became very jealous of a friend of mine who installed an auxiliary input in his car for using his iPod, and I thus wanted to partake in this project. Being the least savvy about cars and stereo equipment, this idea was quelched quickly.

I already have a tape deck in my car stereo, so I decided to just use a regular old cassette adapter. This is just a cassette that has a cord that plugs into your iPod. You then can play your iPod through your tape deck.

At first, this worked great. It sounded much better than the FM transmitter, and it didn’t eat up my iPod battery while transmitting. But after about four weeks of great use (conveniently after my receipt from Target expired), things starting malfunctioning. My tape deck would begin to try to reverse the tape, as if it were a regular tape that reached the end of one side. At first it only happened occasionally; about every few songs. But then the frequency increased to about almost every thirty seconds. I was getting infuriated.

But then I did a search on Google and found that others shared my plight.

I found one forum that suggested that I take apart my cassette-adapter and remove the “center wheel gear” and leave everything else as is. After fighting with the unscrewing the tiny tiny screws, I managed to take my adapter apart and remove the center wheel gear. Then I put it back together, hoping for success. But to my avail, I received failure. My tape deck didn’t even recognize it as a tape anymore. So I figured something was wrong.

I went back to Google and found a different forum where someone mentioned that I actually remove all the gears except the center wheel gear and the spindle teeth. After some more struggling with tiny screws (they are the bane of my existence), I put the center wheel gear back and removed the other three gears. This ended up being the correct procedure.

Apparently, the gears I removed somehow trip a sensor in my tape deck that the tape is at the end of a side, and thus needs to be autoreversed. So my tape deck kept thinking that my cassette-adapter was at the end of a side and kept wanting to switch the sides.

Now I can go back to blasting my music down the road and quickly turn it down when one of my guilty pleasure songs comes on my iPod (like Kelly Clarkson, or P!nk).

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Written by Eric Spiegel

June 28, 2006 at 5:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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22 Responses

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  1. I think I am having a similar problem, could you direct me to the site you found that helped you? I’m hoping to get some more detailed instructions so I make sure to do this properly.



    December 28, 2007 at 4:44 pm

  2. Thank you. I’ve been going crazy with the same problem using the cassette adapter for my XM. I tried your suggestion and it works. The cassette gears seem a little more noisy for some reason, but the tape doesnt flip anymore.


    October 4, 2008 at 9:27 am

  3. I am the only first to report that the problem is not the adapter.

    My adapter would work on a 2000 Ford Escort,but NOT on a 1996 Lincoln Town Car.

    How do you explain this? Well, not every cassette player is made the same.


    January 4, 2009 at 12:35 am

  4. I had the same problem, easy fix just as he says. Take apart the cassette adapter, use a small jewlers phillips screw driver, remove the little spring loaded mechanism with a gear on it, leave the large center gear and both the drives that you see when the cassette is assembled. reassemble and wala! It will not reverse. Works like a charm…
    Easy fix.
    Todd Leal

    The BIg Fire Man.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    • Hey!

      I now this post was created awhile ago, but I’ve got a little problem. I’ve taken the screws out and it seems like there is something in the middle of the cassette that is keeping it held together. I don’t want to pull it apart too much and break it though. Did everyone have that problem too? Thanks for any answers.


      January 7, 2010 at 4:25 pm

  5. that worked! fire man thanks!! thats two beers i owe you!

    johnny mofeta

    February 10, 2009 at 12:28 pm

  6. I had the same exact problem. The tape would reverse every few seconds, and my patience ran dry to the point that I was ready to chuck my cassette adaptor out of the window! I did just as you instructed and voilà! Similar to what Brian said, my cassette is a little noisy, but I can handle it.

    Thank you very much!


    March 3, 2009 at 5:36 pm

  7. OMG I cant believe it….It WORKS!!!
    Thanks for your advice!


    March 18, 2009 at 9:00 am

  8. Thank you – I was so frustrated after having bought a shuffle to work around my tape deck and having this problem. This solved it.


    May 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm

  9. This totally worked! Thanks a lot!


    May 21, 2009 at 8:43 am

  10. I removed the little spring loaded mechanism and that was enough. Thanks dude!


    June 19, 2009 at 8:09 pm

  11. my tape adapter never had the part in question. I have nothing to remove and it still does not work. some players it seems use a different method of determining the end of the tape though i have yet to figure out how


    August 28, 2009 at 11:06 pm

  12. OMG taking out the spring loaded mechanism worked like a charm!!! So much better fixing the $10 cassette adaptor than buying a $60 radio ipod adaptor with possibility of horrible reception. thanks a bunch! 🙂


    December 28, 2009 at 11:03 pm

  13. car stereos that are made by Kenwooda are the best and very durable.-,

    Melatonin Side Effects :

    October 26, 2010 at 12:19 pm

  14. the car stereos that we bought have built in equalizers and it sounds great ~-`

    Chipboard Sheets ·

    November 13, 2010 at 4:15 pm

  15. ,”‘ I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives great information ‘,`

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    January 24, 2011 at 11:34 pm

  16. Well done. I love the internet.


    November 2, 2011 at 10:58 pm

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    November 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm

  18. Heya just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not
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    April 7, 2013 at 1:29 am

  19. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
    Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about
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    April 8, 2013 at 1:20 am

  20. Hey! I know this is kind of off topic but
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    April 13, 2013 at 12:20 am

  21. so I’ve seen an YouTube video saying if it’s making noise reverse the cord direction and flip it over… I know it says “this side up” but he says to flip it over to lose that wobbly noise it makes as the gears turn… has anyone tried this part yet?

    Courtney Fridley

    August 26, 2015 at 7:35 pm

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