Panasonic DMR-ES45V DVD Problem

My Panasonic DMR-ES45V’s DVD player has stopped playing DVDs. When you attempt to load a DVD the laser assembly races to the spindle, stops activates the laser, and then attempts to move forward again slamming into the slide stops and spindle. After attempting to relocate three times it stops and goes no further. Sliding the laser assembly backwards during this process and the assembly will only continue to run to the end of the slides and hit the spindle where it backs up about 1/2 an inch and stops before attempting to move forward again. By placing your hand on the front of the unit you can actually feel the impact at the laser assembly slams into the slider stops or spindle (they are too close to tell which it hits first). The unit will do this with or without a DVD in the tray. To me it acts as if the laser assembly encoder is losing its signal, or the ROM program is corrupted. Just guesses on my part… any help or idea why this is happening would be greatly appreciated.

Try cleaning the spindle.

While cleaning the spindle sure wouldn’t hurt, I think the problem of laser assembly slamming against the spindle is the sign of another problem which I can’t quite remember now. It could be a sign of a failed laser assembly in which case your only choice might be sending it in to Panasonic for the $130 flat rate repair or possibly finding a ES-15 and using it as a donor machine for the DVD drive.
New parts for Panasonics are generally too high to make it feasible for DIY projects.
The ES-45v is a great combo, one of the best made so IMO it would be worth the $130 to get it repaired. US Panasonic hasn’t made anything as good since your ES-45/6v:(
I’m thinking member Digado may be able to tell you more precisely what causes the [I]head banger[/I] issue when he sees this post.
Places like WGBDs regularly sells refurbished ES-15’s for ~$70 US, or check places like Craigslist or local pawn shops. DVDRs like the ES-15 regularly sold new for ~$100 several years back and since it only has a analog tuner you still see them priced quite competitively used. Combo models like your ES-45v are harder to find used.

Jeff is correct. There is a chance that the lens is dirty, thus preventing the laser from being able to read the disc. The lens may be cleaned during the DVD Drive hub/spindle cleaning described in this thread:

Be sure to position the roller/slider to the far left postion at the rear of the disc tray before securing the drive lid.

If the lens and hub/spindle cleaning does not correct the problem then the Panasonic $130 flat-rate repair is your best option for this outstanding full-featured combo recorder. I suggest calling the Elgin Illinois Service Center first. They may refer you to the Elk Grove Village Illinois Service Center. Current information is found here: