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I've got 5 each 1st gens, 3 coupes & 2 sedans and my son has a 6th coupe. I'm a gear head and do ALL maintenance myself. If you haven't already, consider removing the unit, open it and clean & lubricate it. There are 2 antenna and 1 wiring harness connections in the rear of the unit plus a base anchoring screw in the center rear holding the unit in place (they're all a bitch to get to unless you remove the passenger side of the console). Once the anchoring screw is loosened the unit will slide straight out.

One of my units started "screeching" when I inserted a tape; I ejected it a number of times to no avail, gave up, but the next day all was ok; still haven't figured that out.

The "metal" indicator you referenced has to do with the cassette tapes coating, indicating that it is a very high quality tape. The metal indicator is activated by a physical tab or hole (can't remember which) in a metal cassette casing.
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