It's a JVC S7600U and the tape does have problems, it's crumbled up in a specific area in the beginning of the tape. Anyone know if there's something I can do without seeking professional help?
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Unplug the machine.
Take off the cover.
Manually adjust the tape eject motor in reverse - VERY SLOWLY - while helping to loosen the spot(s) where the tape is caught.
At some point it should get back to the ejected position. Pull out the tape. Open the tape cover flap, and manually rewind back onto the reels WHILE keeping tension on the tape to keep it straight AND WHILE keeping the flap open to avoid further crinkling of the tape.
Once the tape is all the way back on the reels, put the cover back on the vcr, put the tape back in, and FULLY fast-forward to the end of the tape and rewind to the beginning of the tape, a couple of times, in order to evenly retension the tape and straighten its stored path.
That should work for most mild-to-medium tape catch issues. If your tape is worse, such as ripped/torn, you would have additional things to fix prior to re-coiling the tape.
When all this is done DO NOT USE that vcr to play back tapes until you have tested it with a disposable tape to see if it's going to be eating tapes again or not. If it does, time for repair shop or new vcr purchase.