How to Improve AM Radio Reception in Your Car- Let’s Find Out

Boosting an AM radio’s reception appears to be an old topic and with the internet readily accessible to pretty much everyone, one might ask, why not just stream internet radio

Well, the answer is straightforward – AM, a long-standing form of radio transmission, happens to be very easy. It doesn’t need you to drag along a computer or have an internet connection.

And you know what? AM radios consume far less power than computers, making them ideal for a car.

Even so, these radios are often affected by signal reception issues. That shouldn’t repulse you because fixing these issues is not very difficult. Today, I am going to take you through a quick guide on how you can markedly increase the signal of your AM radio and get rid of those horrible noises. We shall also have a look into what may be the cause of the issues.

Find out if the antenna is attached correctly

If your car came with a long, stiff whip antenna and now the radio is not picking signals properly, the first thing you should do is check whether the antenna is connected correctly. To do that, just screw it clockwise at the base.  

Buy and install antenna pre-amplifiers

This solution is only viable if your radio is functioning and picking signals but the signals are too weak.

Pre-amplifiers improve reception by amplifying the signals before they get to the tuner. The concept is to make weak signals stronger. Unluckily, these devices don’t segregate the frequencies they amplify, so some stations will be a little difficult to enhance, where there’s signal interference.

Watch this video and you will get a cleat idea about how to get better car radio reception

Install a Diversity Tuning System

Is your tuning system operational but often affected by obstructions?

Consider installing a diversity tuning system. This makes better reception possible through the collection of signals from 2 different antennas positioned at opposite sides of the vehicle.

Once the installation is complete, the car’s tuner will be on the lookout for the antenna with a stronger signal and draw from it. This can be very helpful especially if you’re in the city where tall buildings are obstructing signals or reflecting them badly.

Clean the Paint

Your car’s chassis acts as the ground plane for the antenna and it’s very important in the reception of signals. Therefore, if you’re having signal reception problems, you may want to clean the paint and any corrosion that might be at the point of installation. 

As soon as the installation is finished, coat all the exposed metal with silicone or grease to avert rusting and corrosion.

Replace the Antenna

You have heard and seen ads for high-performance radios; at least, that’s what I’d like to believe. But, the truth is, any radio, even a cheap one, stands to benefit greatly from an antenna replacement where the present one is broken.

As a matter of fact, an antenna as cheap as $30 can boost your radio reception to a better degree than a high-end radio. Why? The antenna’s gain is more than what the radio can receive.

Look for the culprits

If your car’s radio is using a huge antenna, not only does that increase the signal; it also boosts the collection of noise coming from other devices like computers, light bulbs, and TVs.

Unfortunately, even the best AM antennas in the world will not totally reduce the noise from other electronic devices, and thus the solution would be to minimize the number of devices in your vehicle. If you have too many phones or tablets in there, maybe you should leave them at home.

Final Verdict

AM car radios are of exceptional quality. They typically have technology that is more advanced than that of most of the radios we have at home. But, as cars are normally constantly on the move, signal reception is not always very easy. With the steps we have walked over above, things should be much better.

Richard B. Torres

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