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How to Perform the VCR Repair Efficiently?

Amy Dennis
Amy Dennis Originally published Jun 26, 23, updated Mar 21, 24
In this article

Since the days when DVDs came, they have replaced almost the whole scenario of videotaped movies. Still, there are many homes where you can find a VCR that they use occasionally. Being an electronic device, a VCR could stop working too. In such cases, VCR repair is the only thing to fix.

This article is a guide to explaining how a video cassette recorder functions, what generally goes wrong, what the steps are to fix a video cassette recorder, and what equipment and tools you need to repair the video cassette recorder. Hopefully, you can get a clear idea of this with these simple step-by-step instructions, from disassembling to lubricating a VCR. So, let’s start.

How Does a Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) Function?

Do you know what a video cassette recorder or VCR is? How does it work? Well, it is an electronic device used to record videos from television and then playback different video cassette tapes. For recording purposes, the VCR works with video signals. It captures the signal from the TV transporter sign, and the recording starts on the particular tape. For playback of the recorded video, the VCR reads the format available in the tape and then conveys the message in video form to the TV.

Generally, the VCRs feature tuners, and there could be either two or sometimes four video heads. Here a belt, gear, or direct drive is used to draw the tape over the heads. Though the disassembly of the video cassette recorder varies based on models, DIY VCR repair is almost the same for most models. Starting with the essential maintenance, repairing steps like cleaning, VCR tape transfer, idling the component, and lubrication can be done following simple yet easy steps. Though there are specific steps to follow while repairing a video cassette recorder, people often think replacing the device is more cost-effective than repairing it. But simple DIY fixes can prove it all wrong.

What Can Go Wrong with a Video Cassette Recorder?

If you are using a video cassette recorder for a long time, or even if it is not running, it may stop working. VCR player repair becomes the prime concern in such times. So many things could go wrong with a video cassette recorder. For example -

There could be a failure in the power cord,

  • Internal parts may get damaged and need proper cleaning.
  • The idler wheel located in the VCR may get worn and damaged.
  • The erase head could have a fault, and tracking needs an adjustment.
  • Sometimes the tracking stops, or the color board gets defective.

All these problems are very common.

What Are the Steps in Fixing a Videocassette Recorder?

The faults and issues in video tape damage can indeed be different. Still, most of the steps in the video cassette recorder repair process are the same: Sony VCR repair or Panasonic VCR repair. It is because most VHS tapes are common and have the same functionalities and features.

Step 1: Keep the VCR aside

For the first step, you have to unplug the VCR. Then. Start removing the screws, ensuring the top and bottom covers are secured.

keep the vcr aside

Take out the face latch for removing the face latch by removing the screws from the bottom.

Then, tilt off the face of the VCR while turning it upside down and releasing the latches. To reinstall the face, align the buttons and slide switches.

keep the vcr aside

Slant the circuit board so that you can have access to the test parts present below it. For the next step, remove any mounting screws or extra latches.

keep the vcr aside

Then, keep aside the tape basket, remove the power plug and also the grounding screw.

Step 2: Repair a VCR tape transfer

Firstly, you need to inspect the tape to determine the damage type.

Then, you have to uncover the VHS cassette, which could be easily done using a head screwdriver.

repair a vcr tape transfer

Make sure you carefully split the tape and remove the damaged parts.

repair a vcr tape transfer

Use splicing tape to join the film together.

Run the tape using the pinch rollers to wrap the film covering the cassette.

repair a vcr tape transfer

Change the cassette casing if required.

repair a vcr tape transfer

Run it on your VCR system to ensure it is working finely.

Step 3: Repair the VCR Idler Component

While performing the VCR repair, repairing the idler component is necessary. Start with removing the split ring which holds the idler.

repair the vcr idler component

Then, start assembling the shaft using smaller forceps to make it easier.

repair the vcr idler component

Lift the idler and take it off from the shaft and clean it after removal.

Then, as a next step, check the idler pulley and wheel and clean it. You can use a cotton bud tip soaked in denatured alcohol.

If you find the pulley or wheel damaged, you must replace it.

repair the vcr idler component
Step 4: Apply Oil to a VCR

First, you have to lift the capstan shaft washer carefully.

Then, add one or two drops of oil below the capstan shaft washer.

If you need the tape to require lubrication, grease or oil, clean it first with the alcohol-soaked cotton bud swabs.

apply oil to a VCR

Then, you can just dab the lubricating grease or oil over every track of the tape and turn on the VCR to spread the grease easily.

apply oil to a VCR

What Do I Need for Video Cassette Recorder Repair?

You probably got an idea on the processes and steps of VCR repair and can follow them easily at home. Coming next to the replacement or repairing parts required for completing the process efficiently and ideally. Different easily available tools could make the process easier. If you want to fix the VCR, you have to get your hands on -

  • Screwdrivers
  • Small forceps or a picker
  • Head-cleaning materials
  • Denatured alcohol
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Cotton bud swabs or foam swabs
  • Cleanned fabric
  • Light oils for machines
  • Lubricating oil or grease


No matter how carefully you handle the video cassette recorders, they might get damaged for various reasons. Anything could occur from physical damage created from moisture, creases, and more to technical damages. Such damage puts the tapes' memories at risk. If you don't solve the issues on time by performing a VCR repair, it might damage the VCR and videotape more.

When dealing with extremely damaged tape, seek an expert's assistance; it could lead to severe loss. But, the guide would be enough to assist with temporary issues, and you can easily perform a quick fix.


  • 1) What is VCR set?
    A videocassette recorder or VCR set or commonly known as video recorder works as an electromechanical device. It can record analog audio and video from broadcast television or other sources onto a magnetic tape videocassette that can be removed and then used for watching the recorded video.
  • 2) Why is my VCR not showing a picture?
    You need to check whether the television is set to the right channel. Otherwise, make sure that the DVD or VCR combo sends the right signal to the video input. You can even experiment with a different cable for your LCD or TV. If you look for VCR repair, Check and confirm if the cable is plugged into the VCR's IN and OUT ports.
  • 3) What is VCR DVR?
    Basically DVR denotes a digital video recorder. A DVR is an electronic device used in many homes and functions similar to the VCR. Additionally, it saves the videos on a hard drive rather than videotape. DVRs are becoming increasingly popular because they are very simple to use and users can record and watch their favorite shows at any time.
Amy Dennis
Amy Dennis Mar 21, 24
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Amy Dennis
Written by Amy Dennis
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