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How to Get Better Radio Reception in My Car (Professional Advice)?

Writen by Edwin Jones

Fact checked by Andrew Wright

how to get better radio reception in my car

Do you hear some annoying sounds from your car’s radio? If so, do not miss this post. We will provide you with the best ways to get better radio reception in the car.

Have you ever felt uncomfortable because certain annoying sounds such as sibilance, whistling, buzzing,… and the voice of your favorite talk show host are in a jumble? Or experienced repeated signal drops and poor AM radio reception in car?

These issues usually happen to car owners, which leads to a common question: “How to get better radio reception in my car?”. Simply speaking, you may encounter an equipment malfunction.

Overall, problems related to poor radio reception include an antenna and other issues like location, the strength of the radio station, the influence of other cars, etc. Hence, this article will show you several simple ways to improve car radio reception, divided into two major groups: for antenna issues and for other issues.

How to Get Better Radio Reception in My Car: 3 Antenna Solutions


First and foremost, below are some recommendations to solve issues associated with your antenna:

1. Check whether the antenna is mast extended

Antenna (also known as aerial) is designed with various conductors to transmit and obtain radio waves. In other words, the antenna is the key to boost car radio signals. Hence, antenna length is significant. If your car’s antenna is too short, the signal will no doubt be affected.

Its relation to radio’s wavelengths can simply explain this. The compulsory principle is that the antenna length must be at least equal to the radio’s wavelengths to function properly. For example, according to experts, your car antenna must be a full 32 inches long to improve poor FM radio reception in the car.

The fact that antennas can be retracted is also a considerable problem. The bird may be impressed by your car and descend on the antenna; a car wash attendant may shorten the antenna while performing his job to protect it from being damaged; a stranger or car accidentally hit the antenna, etc., are regular events you might face.

Thus, pay attention to minor changes to adjust the car antenna timely and adequately.

2. Check the antenna connection

Many can simply fix bad radio reception in car by merely testing the joining point between the antenna and head unit. Commonly, the connection point is loose and oxidized after a long time of use.

If the antenna is placed inaccurately, you should tighten and adjust the antenna cable. If these efforts do not work, your car antenna may be heavily damaged, and the only solution would be to replace it with a new one.

One thing to keep in mind is that different cars will require different types of antennas. So doing careful research or asking for advice from experts would be necessary before actually purchasing an antenna.

3. Check the wires linked to the antenna

Problems may not come from the antenna but the wires connected to it. Rust, damage, and other similar antenna connection problems also occur with these wires. Therefore, trying to tense the wires or calling for help from a mechanic are your options.

Better Radio Reception In Car: Other Solutions


1. Seek for objects that cause interference on a broadcasting station

Decorative items or even components of cars may cause interference creating poor radio reception. In this case, if you wonder which thing is the problem, simply contacting experts to ask for advice would be the optimal solution.

2. Check the car location

Driving to rural areas with the appearance of mountains, hills, rivers may create poor AM radio reception in the car. This is a typical situation that you should be aware of. Before your long trip, you can replace your regular antenna with a better and suitable one. For example, in rural regions, you can choose a whip antenna to improve HD radio reception in car.

3. Check the strength of the radio station

On a daily basis, drivers from all walks of life may travel to locations far from radio stations. If this is the case, you can utilize Internet search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. to discover surrounding radio stations. For instance, you can visit this website. The feature of the filter tool will equip you with radio station’ related information like locations, strength, etc.

4. Install a new head unit

The condition of poor FM radio reception in car, popping, buzzing, and cracking noise are signals for problems happening with your car head unit. Some actions you can do before purchasing a new head unit would be:

  • Keep items like wires and exotic objects away from the speaker cone
  • Detect a distorted voice coil or suspension and make sure they are in good shape
  • Try to connect the speakers directly to the head unit without using the amp

If these actions do not work, it is time to consider installing a new head unit. Take your interest and financial situation into account and look for various head units on the market.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, various matters related to poor radio reception can happen that create tension during the use of your vehicle. However, hopefully, this article can help you answer the question: “How to get better radio reception in my car” and above all, acquire some valuable tips applying to your specific situation.

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