Access Has Its Privileges (or How I Got a Hold of the Wii Dust Bunnies)
Our Wii was throwing an error screen up shortly after starting any game from disc. Game Cube discs worked fine, though. This article: Why can't my Wii read game discs?.
offered a promising solution that didn't involve buying a whole new drive. The Wii is way out of warranty, but I could try 8RUC3's idea of repairing the disc loading levers.
The tri-wing screwdriver is not an exciting tool, but completely necessary for getting into the Wii. 8RUC3's repair idea is no doubt well intended. Once I got the drive exposed, though, I couldn't figure out what parts he was talking about. As far as I could tell there was nothing broken so maybe it wouldn't have been much help anyway. But there was a lot of dust. A few choice spritzes with compressed air fixed that. I put the machine back together and, viola, we could play Wii Fit and FIFA again.
The advice? Take it apart, clean it, put it back together. Chances are slim that it will be worse than it was when you started. Worst case scenario, I would have had to order a new drive, but I still would have needed the screwdriver. As long as it holds up until the Wii U comes out...