Skip to Content

How To Fix A Record Player Arm That Keeps Resetting

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


A smooth-tipped stylus (in popular usage often called a needle due to the former use of steel needles for the purpose) is used to play the recorded groove. A special chisel-like stylus is used to engrave the groove into the master record.

The stylus is subject to hard wear as it is the only small part that comes into direct contact with the spinning record. In terms of the pressure imposed on its minute areas of actual contact, the forces it must bear are enormous. 

There are three desired qualities in a stylus: first, that it faithfully follows the contours of the recorded groove and transmits its vibrations to the next part in the chain; second, that it does not damage the recorded disc; and third, that it is resistant to wear. A worn-out, damaged or defective stylus tip will degrade audio quality and injure the groove.

So how do you fix a record player arm that keeps resetting?

There are many reasons why a record player arm will try to keep resetting. Most of the time a good cleaning will fix any issues that are causing the issue. If cleaning the arm and grooves does not work, it is recommended that you take the whole record player in for a repair to make sure nothing else is wrong.

If you would like to know more about how to fix a record player arm that keeps resetting, please keep reading or check out this video!

Do you love playing your vinyl records but your record player has seen better days? Well, you are in luck! There are tons of great record players that not only have great sound quality but also won’t break the bank. You can find them by clicking here.

Big Fudge Vinyl Record Cleaning Kit - Complete 4-in-1 - Includes Ultra-Soft Velvet Record Brush, XL Cleaning Liquid, Stylus Brush and Storage Pouch! Will NOT Scratch Your Records! …

If you love records and record players, you must get a record-cleaning kit like this one. It is designed to ensure that your records stay in excellent condition to last you for decades.

Get this cleaning set and keep your vinyl records in perfect condition!

Checking The Record Player Issues

When a record player arm keeps resetting, something that is happening in such a way that it looks like the arm is trying to size the record on the stack and realize if there is a disc still on the stack. It is spontaneously shutting off as the record is not on the top of the spindle of the recorder.

There is no need to worry when the arm hits the record on the top of the spindle, it is just testing for a disc and also measuring for its position of set down.

If this type of movement of the arm is continuous and does not stop after a while then you need to check if something is wrong. First of all, you need to perform a full deep service to it as it most likely has not been serviced for a long time and there must be some dust particles causing this problem.

Fixing The Record Player Issues

To fix a record player arm that keeps resetting, these record players are relatively a bit easy to service but they must be detached from the console to service them properly. As you remove the back of the console, you will be able to view the inner side of the record player. 

The RCA cables and power cord must be unplugged from the bottom of the record player. There must also be some long screws that will go deep through the plinth into the cabinet. There are clips at the end of these long screws. Flip and take them out and the record player should lift right out from the outer casing. 

That is the best way you can get it on a test bench to check it out properly and to service it thoroughly. You need to clean it from every side and each part in detail.

One more thing you need to remember is that while you remove the platter for service, there is a cam with teeth and also a lever on top of it. They most likely will need a deep cleaning as well. The cam and teeth also need re-greasing after cleaning for proper service. It may be more effort and you might not like the disassembly process, but it is worth more for the service of the recorder. 

Most of the recorders that face this problem after just re-greasing the cam and making sure that the finger is free of any grease or oil and clean and moving practically as easily as blowing over it. Both the platter and cam may be removed with one rounded clip around each. This is the easiest fix that may save you from a lot of suffering.

Resetting The Record Player Arm

The finger inside the cabinet might be a problem if dusty. This problem would be a real danger if the finger is lubricated. It is expected to be dry and allowed to move easily, oil would probably hinder its operation.

You could attempt cleaning it by using a little alcohol on the finger and whisking or blowing it out of the finger so that no more disassembly is required if it has been re-greased freshly.

Service Manual And Diagrams

If you have tried everything above, and the problem still exists, you need to get real delicate with the diagrams. You should consult the service manual for the record player and discuss it with some reputable, known changer technician about the problem of the resting arm.

Resetting The Record Player

Next, you will need to use some rubbing alcohol or denatured alcohol, and lithium grease rags for servicing the problematic record player. It is advised to you that you use a good digital camera to take images of the mechanism before you disassemble the record player, so that you may have a reference to how it was put together before the disassembly.

There are quite a few clips, parts, springs etc. used in the apparatus. All you need is to take some time and have a little bit more patience and then you should be able to service this record player by yourself.

Notch Fixing Trick

There must be a notch cut out of the gear used in the record player. This notch will be positioned next to the point where the platter comes down as the tone-arm is at rest. There would be a ‘reject pawl’ which is a small lever that is made to move back and forth freely over that notch, and is possibly covering the notch.

It must be situated away from the notch for it to properly work. It is only assumed to move over the notch as you change to the end of a record, or physically utilize the ‘reject’ utility, and it is pushed back and away from the notch in the course of the reject operation.

Sometimes this cleaning and fixing this notch solves the problem as well.

Record Player Arm Difficulties

You may face some difficulties in fixing a record player arm that keeps resetting. Even after you finish it, and turn it on you may be astonished as the arm moves over, drops, plays for a few seconds then goes back and recaps over and over again.

Sometimes the unglued mat makes the record all wobbly, so you always want to take the mat off to check if it was the source of the problem. 


If you are lucky enough, you will get your record player arm resetting problem fixed by using the above-discussed tricks. If for some reason you have tried everything above and it still does not work, you may need to take your record player to a technician to get it fixed professionally.