Bose Lifestyle 20 CD cartridge is stuck


New member
Username: Trb0428

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-06
Hi, I have a Bose Lifestyle 20 and the CD cartridge is stuck with the motor continuously running. I realize there is a CD Changer Manual Release on the underside but can someone describe how to use it. There are two openings but it is not obvious how to release the cartridge. I have tried poking around with a small screwdriver but am afraid I will cause more damage. Can someone describe which of the two openings to access (thin rectangular or wider square) and is there a latch/lever/etc that needs to be depressed to release the cartridge?

New member
Username: Provenuts

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-07
You will find a slot just left of the molded sign "manual cd release". Shine a flashlight in and you'll see a U shaped cut out sheet metal on top of another piece of sheet metal. Stick a thin blade down against the U and pull away from the front CD door. Travel is about 1/2 inch til release. I got my cd cassette out but the cd still won't load. Good luck with yours.

New member
Username: Abftech

Post Number: 1
Registered: Nov-08
There is some detailed instructions on how to repair this common problem. You can go to and see the electronics section regarding the Bose Lifestyle 20 Series. If you can't get the CD magazine out by using the manual release on the bottom of the unit, the instructions will show you how to work around that too.

If you can get the CD magazine out, you will most likely have the problem of the unit just buzzing, buzzing, buzzing, and not able to load a CD to play. The instructions will show you how to fix that.

New member
Username: Lmarreiros


Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-08
Your messages (some) are really helpful. I manage to solve my magazine release problem thanks to Claudio Fassardi. I think the cause of the stucking was a thicker CD, it's in the recycle bin already. Unfortunately before having read his post I tried blindedly to work the CD Changer Manual Release and so I released one of the 4 springs mentiones by others. Anyway I'm listening to my CD's once again and it didn't cost the crazy fees Bose charges.

New member
Username: Acan

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-09
I did it! I got the CD Changer out. My daughter had put the CDs in upside down. However, when I righted them, it still won't play. Is there a reset?

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3420
Registered: Feb-07
I gotta be the first Bose basher on here. I'm sorry, and this won't be very useful, but I've never heard of a CD player that locks up when you put a CD in upside down. Just brutal.

New member
Username: Bigviv

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-09
$20 is a bit much for some instructions on how to repair something, whatever happened to helping the community?!

New member
Username: Lmarreiros


Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-08
My stuck CD magazine is now in the distant past. I am not a happy Lifestyle 20 owner, though. A much more serious problem has occured: as I switch on power a low tone noise appears and it's there all the time unless you increase the volume in order to hide it.
I haven't taken the whole set to the Bose assistance for the reasons we all know (to much time and money).
Has anyone have this problem before?

Silver Member
Username: Jrbay

Livonia [Detroit area], Michigan USA

Post Number: 928
Registered: Feb-08
Humming noises generally are related to some sort of grounding problem either internal or external. Hopefully you have an external device that was recently added or some motor plugged into the same AC circuit that could explain the problem. Probably not but you never know!

New member
Username: Luckyspike01

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-10
My Bose Lifestyle 25 had a humming sound coming from the Music Center, and it was related to the CD Changer being stuck. I used the manual eject slot on the bottom of the Music Center, following instructions I learned here, and inserted a long slim jewelery tool, and freed it. That solved the humming problem.

Thanks to all who take the time to record their experience and knowledge here.

New member
Username: Justinmatthewbennettgm...

Post Number: 1
Registered: May-10
I had the same problem. CD magazine was stuck in my Lifestyle 20. I managed to get it out. However, it will even get stuck and make the same noise for an empty magazine. So I am suspecting a CD may be stuck inside or something is messed up inside. Thoughts? Advice?

Gold Member
Username: Gavdawg

Albany, New York

Post Number: 1476
Registered: Nov-06
have you tried calling bose?

New member
Username: Tekrick

Anycity, Wisconsin USA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Sep-10
As of 9/14 bose will no longer be repairing the lifestyle series 20 music center. There are a couple things to keep in mind. If your player seems stuck and makes a humming sound, there are two motors in the unit. The nylon gears after time will split causing the shaft to turn inside the gear. After removing the CD carriage turn it upside down and with the ribbon cable still connected you will see the two motors and hear the motor turning. Most of the time it'll be the smaller motor gear that goes bad. If you care to repair it yourself you'll there's a way around it. The shaft is highly polished. I removed the gear and took a small rat-tail file and ran it length wise along the shaft to roughen it up and then used some epoxy, not crazy glue and attached the gear to the shaft. Wait at least two days for it to dry. That should do the trick.

New member
Username: Audiolabga

Post Number: 1
Registered: Oct-10
We still repair the Bose CD-20 unit. Here are some tips.

New member
Username: Cupexperience

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-14
I was lazy and lucky, and have fixed the "displaced gear" problem, but with very little work.
I suggest people to try my method first and fall back to taking the main unit apart if my method does not do the trick.

My CD cassette would not eject. I heard the buzzing / motor-whirring sound.
- using the Next Disc button, I could see the discs moving in and out of the cassette.
- I was unable to use the manual eject slot until I had all the discs in the cassette and none in the player.
- when I could see all discs in the cassette (I had 2 empty slots, only 4 discs in the cassette), I pulled out the power cord from the back of the unit to stop the motor.
- Then I could use the manual eject slot to eject the cassette.
At this point I could see the worm gear and the black rollers.
With power reconnected and fiddling with the Next Disc button, the 2 black rollers then moved so I could no longer see the nylon gears.

I put 2 discs in the cassette, in the top 2 slots (slots 5 and 6) and put the cassette back in the main unit.
Repeat the process of using the Next Disc button, and as soon as the the CD came out of the player, back into cassette slot 6, I detached the power.
Use the Manual Eject slot to get the cassette out again. The gears will be visible and the 2 black rollers out of the way, at the top.

At this point I used a screwdriver to push the "mating gear" back onto its shaft. This is the drive gear for the worm gear you will see.

Link to photo at the end of this post.

I'm listening to a CD as I write this. :-)
Let's hope the gear is not cracked and that this fix does the trick.
I did not use glue, so I may have to repeat this process some day, but at least the player is working now.
Maybe I'll go back and add a dab of glue, accessing the gear the same way. M.jpg

If this was helpful, the best way to say thank you is to visit my site about America's Cup sailing and sign up for the FREE newsletter.

New member
Username: Jdaniel

Post Number: 1
Registered: May-16
Hi,,,, I got the same problem the cartridge is stuck, I check and found a small plastic weel on the turn pin of the motor, it is broken and can't be glued, anyone know where I can order a weel part like this ?
if anyone can help here is my mail.
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