Are annoying signal interferences keeping you from being able to listen to your favorite show on your car’s xm radio?
Though some causes are hard to deal with, there’s a good number of routine causes of poor signal reception that you can fix easily.
Before you blame that tall building standing between your car and the radio station, try the following ways of improving the signal.
Fix the Antenna Mast
Perhaps you never pushed in your manual car antenna mast. Perhaps a naughty bird did it. In any case, it’s worth checking it.
There’s a whole of ways in which a manual antenna mast ends up pushed in.
Maybe a car wash staff member pushed it in and didn’t pull it back out or a bird perched on it. Anyways, if your mast is retractable and you’re experiencing poor signals, check it immediately.
As antennas work by collecting radio waves, shoving them inside the car’s body curbs signal reception. After you pull out that antenna, you might find the reception improving enormously.
Sounds awfully basic, right?
But, I have found many car owners complaining of poor signal, only to check the antenna and find it retracted.
Maybe your antenna is electric, meaning that it extends when you turn on the radio. But, did you know that the antenna can fail to do that for various reasons?
Maybe the motor broke down or something of the sort. Either way, you should inspect the antenna and fix the motor if that’s necessary.
Realize that although you can use a pair of pliers to pull out the electric antenna, that might damage the gears or even ruin the motor. That’s why seeking professional help is important.
Inspect the Antenna Connection
Inspecting the antenna connection is particularly necessary for older cars, which are more vulnerable to wearing.
A poor or broken antenna connection is a common cause of poor radio reception in cars. In the event that the antenna cable is seated poorly in the head unit, or there are some loose or corroded connections, it will be very problematic to tune into stations.
The first thing you need to check is the link between the rear end of the head unit and the antenna cable. In case things are fine there, try finding a station that can be tuned into, then wiggle the antenna back and forth gently.
You will not notice anything while doing so if the connection is all fine.
But, if something is wrong, you will possibly notice the tuner dropping and reacquiring the signal. In case that happens, fasten the antenna tighter and inspect the grounds.
Obtain a New Antenna
If you note that the antenna system is too rusted or broken in ways that are hard to fix, perhaps it’s about time you replaced the old antenna with a new one.
As the corrosion or rust can stop the antenna from having a good connection with the head unit, a new unit might bring about a fine reception.
There are several other cases that require getting a new antenna. Assuming your car has a grid-style antenna fixed to the back window rather than the traditional mast or whip antenna, that might have great aesthetic value; it looks superb. Nonetheless, such an antenna often suffers poor signal reception especially in the city or any hilly terrains.
If you relate, consider changing that antenna to the traditional whip or mast style. I am positive there will be some good improvement.
Mount a Signal Booster
Installing a signal booster is a smart means of boosting an obstructed or weak signal. Of course, a signal booster is no magical portion but in some instances, it might be just what you need. For instance, if you’re able to get a signal from a certain station but the signal happens to be weak, a signal booster might come in handy.
Nonetheless, signal boosters often do nothing much in cases where tall buildings or hills are the cause of the problems.
Replace the Head Unit
Maybe your radio is the problem; perhaps it’s broken and the only way to fix the problem is to get a new one.
Generally speaking, car radio tuners are miles ahead of regular home radios in matters to do with tech advancement. Even a cheap digital head unit might have much more going on in there than your regular boom box.
That aside, head unit radio tuners are not the same. Therefore, if you have investigated everything and cannot blame the problems you’re experiencing on the terrain, the buildings or the rain, consider replacing the head unit.
That’s it folks. Using one or a combination of two or more of the strategies outlined above should help you increase your xm radio signal and deal with any signal reception issues you may be facing.
If you’re aware of other ways of improving xm radio signal in car, drop a comment below and it will be most appreciated.