How to Fix Stuck Buttons on Car Radio?

How to Fix Stuck Buttons on Car Radio?
How to Fix Stuck Buttons on Car Radio?

How to Fix Stuck Buttons on Car Radio?

Life is beautiful; we all love to explore it and cherish each moment of it smoothly. But there is always something happening that tells us not to take it lightly. And what could be the worst thing that can happen to your car stereo while you are enjoying your favorite music track on the radio?

THE BUTTON GOES INSIDE NEVER TO COME BACK! I hate when that happens. Sometimes it’s your fault in this scenario, and sometimes it isn’t.

We had a similar query a few days back from a frequent visitor. Debbie is a teacher, and she is always in a hurry. She loves coffee, and her hands are not the strongest. She questioned:

Hello there, you remember me, right? Well, I’m in a big mess. I was sipping my coffee while driving on the high lane that suddenly, it spilled all over my stereo system. After that, when I pushed a button, it got stuck there. Please help me out; I just bought this Pioneer stereo.

You can quickly fix the car stereo buttons. There are some ways to do it. You can unmount it and clean it thoroughly, or you can ask a mechanic to help you. You can dry it as well, sometimes it works. Let us tell you in detail how you can make it work again.

How to Fix Stuck Buttons on Car Radio?

In this article, we have explained detailed and proven methods to clean the sticky buttons on your car stereo. Well, the easiest way to fix this issue is discussed in detail below. Follow the instructions carefully and use a helping hand in case if you are unaware.

Switch off the stereo

First of all, your car stereo off. It will save your radio from working abnormally due to that constantly pushed button.

The main reason to do that is that the stereo can get a short circuit in this process, so it is better if it is turned off, it will protect both you and the radio from a hazard.

It will also help you in removing the stereo panel from your car. You must also turn off your vehicle too, caution is necessary.

Remove car radio’s front panel

Once you are sure that the car stereo is turned off, now is the time to remove the front panel of your radio carefully. It is such a tricky thing to do, and we recommend inviting a professional to do this task. You can easily clean the sticky buttons on the car radio with this method.

There are wires attached to the panel that needs to be removed skillfully; otherwise, they can break or malfunction.

Clean the area

The next part is the most crucial one because it involves the cleaning of your stereo. You must make sure that you are cleaning it properly and thoroughly.

Use a cotton swab, dip it in alcohol as alcohol is best for cleaning metal surfaces. You can use a Q-tip or cotton swab balls as well. Just make sure that they are well-soaked into the alcohol.

Take the swabs and clean the system thoroughly; don’t hesitate to clean up all the cracks and dust spots. Give it a great deal of time and focus.

The alcohol will instantly clean the dirt off. That is the root cause of your buttons getting stuck into the stereo.

Dry it up

After making sure that all of the areas of your stereo is cleaned up, it’s time to let it dry a bit.

If you have applied alcohol, then there will be no issue as it fades away real quick, leaving your stereo dry, but it’s always preferable to remain cautious.

Mount the car stereo back

When you are done drying up the stereo from inside, it is time to mount it back into its place. Make sure to check the buttons before installing them if they are still getting stuck or not.

After you put it back, clean the front of the stereo control buttons with a clean cloth. Now press the button, which was causing the issue. If it is running well, then the problem solved. If it’s not, well, buy a new one.

What are the alternative ways to clean car stereo buttons?

Now there are other ways too that can also be helpful while cleaning. Sometimes you are far away, and you do not have alcohol with you. You can try

Cleaning Liquid

For instance, if you don’t have cleaning alcohol with you, you can take out the radio and clean it with a liquid cleaner. Clean the sticky buttons of your car stereo. Liquid cleaners absorb quickly, and they can clean out harsh dust particles stuck between those buttons.

You can use a cloth to clean it or with cotton buds. Try to use a cleaner that works well with electronics and absorbs quickly.


Granny’s old toothbrush always helps. You can clean and unstick the buttons with the help of a toothbrush. For this, you will need a bowl of hot water and an old toothbrush.

Just soak the brush into the water so that its bristles become softer. Now use that brush to clean the buttons, the soft bristles will go deep inside the button and in small places, and it will prove to be helpful.

Pro tip: You can also add baking soda to the water and make a solution. It will make it clean out even better.

Baby wipes

Wipes can not only clean your baby’s bums thoroughly, but they can also help in other ways. They can aid a lot in cleaning the radio and its buttons. This is one of the best things to clean sticky car stereo buttons.

Just take one or two wipes and try to get into closer contact with the dirty areas. The stuck button will inevitably pop out to its original position.


Vinegar can be helpful. All you got to do is mix it with water in a bowl. The ratio of both substances should be 50/50. You can utilize a cloth or cotton swab to clean out the button.

Gas Duster

Gas duster is a very efficient way to clean stereo buttons and other electronic equipment. It also comes with the name of Canned Air. It can clean off harsh dust particles of sensitive circuitry of your radio, and you don’t have to put much liquid in this way.

The procedure is simple. Direct the nozzle of gas spray towards the area you wish to clean. After that, release air in that area, and you will look that it works. Your button will get unstuck in no time. The gas duster also dries off any liquid spill of coffee or slush.

Some Precautionary Tips

First of all, it is better to test these products or mixtures on a dirty plastic material. If you think that it is working, then go ahead. It will save you time.

Always wear safety gloves during such procedures as cleaning the sticky buttons on car stereo. It saves you from any electrical hazard. In addition to that, these chemicals and cleaners can have an allergic reaction to your skin. The gloves will make sure none of this happens.

Make sure that your car is switched off. I am repeating this point once again, as it is crucial. Take out your car keys, and don’t let any electrical wire or component put you in a shock.

If the keys still don’t come out, then don’t tire yourself and call a professional. If your stereo is in a warranty, you can claim it and let it get repaired in a short time.

Do not let the gas duster’s air come into contact with your eyes or mouth. It will cause severe irritation, fatigue, and may lead to headaches.

Make sure that you do your work in a dry place, and it should be well lit and ventilated.

While taking out the stereo, you should take care of all the wires, do not cut or crimp them. Take care of all the locks that are holding the radio and take it out carefully.


First of all, please do not drink or eat anything in the car. It’s better to eat out of the car, and it will save you from making your car dirty.

But such accidents are a part of life, and these incidents are there to make us realize our mistakes and lets us remain alert in future endeavors.


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