Just to rule out a dusty laser lens, I would seriously recommend running a cleaning disc in your recorder, particularly if a cleaning disc has never been used since you first got the player. For a start, I would recommend using a wet/dry disc without the fluid as the wet/dry discs usually have wider brushes than just the dry based discs. However, before trying any fluid, check that it does not leave a residue by placing a drop on the shiny surface of an unused disc and leave it to dry to see if any residue is left. A good high alcohol cleaning fluid will leave no residue.
Just be warned that changing the drive in a LVW-5045 is more tricky and tedious than doing so with an LVW-500x series drive as the LVW-5045's IDE drive (tray & casing) is designed specifically for the LVW-5045. However, the two bottom circuit boards and tracking/laser/spindle mechanism is pretty much the same as in the PC IDE drive. I have successfully changed in an LVW-5045 with a 2nd hand LVW-812s in which I swapped out the two bottom circuit boards, tracking mechanism and laser/spindle assembly and reversed the red/black wires to the tray loading motor as the motor operates in the oposite direction in the LVW-5045 than in the PC IDE drive. As with changing the drive in an LVW-500x series, you will need to flash the replacement drive with region-free (RPC1) firmware. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how well this method works with newer Lite-On IDE drive models.