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1997 Es300 Cd Changer Issue

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I have a 1997 ES300 with 130K miles, no mods, and about 12 months ago the CD changer stopped working and refused to let the CD mag come out. I took the unit apart to get the CD mag out but the unit would not work after I played with it. I have been told it is the CD player and the stereo that are not working. Any tips? If your tip is to replace the stereo, please give your recommendation for an aftermarket choice.

Thanks for your help and guidance. Another note, when I tried to access the 'advanced stereo controls' I was only able to get to P-190 screen and no further, as holding the AM did not reveal any menus. When I pressed the 1, 2 and 5 presets, individually, I did get messages that I do not know how to interpret.

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First off, I would say the problem is probably isolated to the CD changer unit itself. You've got a few options. You could take your car to an electronics repair shop (not a big box store like Best Buy or an auto stereo install shop) and have them diagnose/trouble-shoot the problem, or, if you know the problem is in the CD changer itself, you may be able to find a compatible aftermarket CD changer that interfaces with your factory head unit (it's a Pioneer unit, unless you have the Nakamichi upgrade).

The other option is to replace the whole system. I would look at Crutchfield for a fitment guide, and has some great deals. I replaced the entire system in our '95 ES300, and it was pretty simple, but you have to bypass the amp, watch out for the hands-free system wiring, and make sure the power antenna mates up correctly.

I had the changer get all quirkly with me in my BMW cabrio a while back, and it's an Alpine unit. I worked on on the changer and could get it to work sporadically, but it kept failing and giving me an error. The reason I say this is because with most factory changer systems I've seen, when they start to be problematic, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot you can do to get them running right... unless you're an electronics guru.

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