Frequently Asked Questions
Q: My stereo system has a problem, where do I start?
A: Most people have a few "advertising influenced" misconceptions
about what they should do. They think "I'll just have another one put
in." Be sure to take some time and look at
and decide for yourself if you think repairing
is for you. We believe it is much less hassle to repair something then to try to
replace it or match something else to your vehicle.
Q: I think I'll
check with the junkyards and see if maybe there is a used unit that works but
was just in an accident so the stereo is perfect and will work for me.
A: We, and many others, have had some experiences buying used equipment - learn
from them (here)
Q: How do I get my cd's out?
A: We see so much damage after someone takes the cd's out manually. The best way
to explain this is to just copy our response to an email asking if these are
ever unrepairable. "unrepairable results don't usually
happen. What really helps ensure that it is repairable is not letting someone
that isn't familiar with how these work take it apart internally, usually done
to remove stuck CD's. That's when damage that isn't repairable can happen. It's
also best if we can see the player in it's current broken condition so we can
tell what has happened. When someone causes more damage, then we have to repair
that damage and then determine what the original problem was, trickier after
everythings been moved around and many times bent. Also, we remove the cd's
gently and someone else taking them out doesn't render the player usable
anyways, these are tons more mechanical and complicated then that."
Q: OK, I do want to look into keeping it original, instead of
replacing it, what's next?
A: People become more comfortable with the repair process when they know what is
involved and why. One of the first things to do is go to the section of the
website that addresses your vehicle. Look there for information there on what
may need to be repaired.
Q: Where do I start to send equipment in for repair?
A: Once you have looked at the info on the site for your car, you know what piece needs repairing, and you can tell that we fix it,
then go to the "Send In Form" link/page so
you can print off that page and send it in with the equipment. The page includes
our address, a place to let us know your approved amount, payment types, and other info
needed for smooth, quick, & successful repair for you.
Q: How much does it cost?
Q: What if I don't know how to get it out of the vehicle?
A: Check the removal tips linked from your vehicle's model page. If you don't see it
there then email us and we'll give you any tips we have that will help you or your
mechanic, or we'll let you know the difficulty of the job. One option would be
to run it by a
stereo shop and ask them to remove it for a fee. Just know that they are going
to encourage you to replace it, that's what they do, even if that is not the
best thing for you to do. They don't make money by telling you to keep it
original. See replace
Q: I have been emailing your technician and am going to send it
in. Do I need to re-write the problem on the Send In Form?
A: No, you don't need to re-write it, just enter "see emails" for the
"problem with unit" or attach copy of emails to the Send In Form.
We keep all the emails and match them up with the unit when it arrives at the
shop. This makes sure the repairing technician understands all you've told us
about the problem.
Q: How much to just check it out?
A: When you send it in, we will verify that the unit is doing for us what you
tell us it was doing for you. If we don't see the same problem, we are going to
contact you for clarification of the problem. We make sure to see the problem
first, so we're sure we can see that it is fixed before sending back to you. If
we don't see it, we don't fix it because the last thing we want is to send it
back and you have the same problem. So, we go into it with you approving the
initial estimate, this amount is for repair (not for just checking it out) we will return
it at no charge if it's not broken.
Q: What if the cost is more than you estimated?
A: We'll notify you of the new amount before any work is done and you'll be
given the option of spending the additional or deciding not to do it.
Q: How long do I have to decide if I want to accept your estimate?
A: Generally there is no timeframe, we will give you as long as you need. However, equipment left over 6 months with no direction from you is considered abandoned and will be discarded.
Q: Do you have a warranty?
Our warranty is 12-months and we will be fair with you if it's after that time. We do not want you to
have continuing problems with it.
Q: I'd like to just take it to somebody local, wouldn't that be
A: It is a common misconception to think just any shop can repair factory
equipment correctly. That is totally false, be selective who you let work on it.
A person or place not having the correct training and trying to work on
something is the most common reason equipment becomes unrepairable. As far as the repair, you might think itís an
easy problem, probably just a loose wire, certainly the local guy can figure it
out. We talk to many car owners and they say to us ďmaybe itís a loose
wireĒ. As youíll see, if you go
to unplug the factory wiring plug, the factory wiring is very tight and does not
become loose; it really isnít ever just a loose wire, but we know many times
it seems like it is.
shops will suggest you just replace it with what they sell (non factory). Since
they donít do repairs, the only way to get your business is to convince you
itís best to just replace it. That may be best for the stereo store but not
best for the car owner who now has to deal with theft problems, and broken
windows. The reason aftermarket gets stolen is not because it is better, it is
because the thieves know the non-factory stereos have the wires labeled, and it
is designed to be installed in any car. Aftermarket is easy to hook up and
factory equipment is hard to hook up (not hard to unplug, just hard to rewire in
a different car). Thieves are very uneducated and they do not want to steal
something that is hard to wire up right.
Common places people look
1) The Dealer - Did you know that the car manufactures most always have a
contract with the stereo makers not letting the stereo makers give direct
support to the customer, even though the stereo maker knows the equipment best
and can do a great job at servicing the equipment for the car owner. This
contract is done so you have to get the
service from the dealer. The dealer generally wants big $$$, they
have a lot of overhead, they need it. We love the dealers and they are great
when it's in warranty, but after that when it is coming out of your pocket -
even they know it can be unreasonable charges.
2) Person online, maybe a car
club. (Many have learned from the stereo stores) Some surfers think "Someone online has to know this info that can give me free
advice". What we
witnessed when looking for same help was the most common advice is
"replace, replace, replace". They say "If it came in the car, it
has to be low quality and be changed out" Never mind the fact that the car
makers subcontract out to the best stereo manufactures in the world because
they don't make stereos at a car plant. We witnessed a forum where a person was
asking about how to fix a bent antenna. The advice had him rewiring one that
didn't belong there, spending hours when that part that was bent can be replaced
in less than 15 minutes and work perfectly, unlike the one he might eventually
get hooked up. And, "Where is that fuse located that might of blew?, this
has been a hassle."
3) Stereo Store -
These young guys at the Stereo Store want you to replace it. It's not that they
aren't doing a good job. They just don't know about factory equipment and are
trained to do installs that they call upgrades. Some workers are new in the work force and they want to get
their experience by practicing on your car. We've had many customers say
"never again." will they do that.
Online Auctions - This is such a hassle for the buyer, we have a whole section
just about buying used equipment. It's not always a bad idea but you have to
purchase from a reputable seller that knows what is good equipment and what is
terrible. We have seen people pay hundreds for stereos that are not worth
$20.00, because they aren't going to last a month. More info here
These are not good choices for someone that just wants
low cost, low hassle help. We have
specialized knowledge that if you are not going to use our repair service, we want
to share with you. We can save you money and time by
providing the info straight to you, with lower overhead. But, we are a brick and
mortar business and do have overhead, it's just not on the main interstate like
a dealership. We have personnel that
all they do is collect information so we can help you, the car owner. We know you
need accurate info and few places know about the equipment that came in your