Having a high-end sound system installed in your car may sound incredible, but something as simple as radio reception can have a significant impact on your sound experience. If your radio signal is poor and requires improvement, you can learn how to solve it here with this article on how to get better radio reception in my car.
You can fix the poor radio reception in your car by examining the antenna and stereo and replacing or rewiring any damaged components. The vulnerable parts include connecting points and cables, which might get worn or damaged.
It’s also a good idea to check on the stereo interference and install a signal booster. In this post, we will look at methods to boost your car radio signal using simple techniques. We will also find out how to get various sorts of radio reception, such as HD radio, FM radio, AM radio,…
- How to Get Better Radio Reception in My Car
- How Can I Enhance the AM Signals
- Consider Long-Range FM Antenna
- Can You Improve Your Car’s HD Radio Reception
How to Get Better Radio Reception in My Car
Unlike common assumptions, it is easy to fix bad radio reception in your car, and you do not need to waste hundreds of dollars on it. Below are the tricks you may attempt, and the most pricey solution, in case you want to do everything on your own, only costs about $30.
1. Lengthen your car’s antenna
The first solution seems straightforward, yet the number of individuals who ignore this would surprise you. In the past, automobiles have very long antennas that can’t be retracted to collect radio waves. With the innovation of technology today, however, cars are equipped with long antennae that can be pushed into and pulled out or remotely steered.
To take up radio frequencies better, ensure that your antenna is stretched to its maximum, and remember to pull it back before entering the car wash because car washes can unintentionally break the exterior of your car.
2. Examine the connections and wiring of the antenna
The antenna for the majority is a long metal tube that can collect radio sound waves. It also implies that if any part or component of the antenna is broken, including the cables and connecting terminals, it can’t operate properly. You need to check the connection point between the antenna and the stereo because some issues may occur, such as corrosion or loose connection.
Note that wires, especially audio ones are considerably thin (18 gauge = 1.02 mm). Therefore, it is easy for it to wear out due to constant movements and cold and thermal factors. Check regularly to make sure that the antenna is in excellent shape. If not, it needs changing.
3. Make sure your stereo is not defective
Even if your antenna and connections appear to be in good condition, you may still experience poor reception in some instances. You’ve recently set up a new signal booster, and you attempt to tune to a radio station within your vehicle’s range. Sometimes, the issue lies in your stereo system, and we suggest that you have an audio expert check it.
4. Install an antenna booster
You should know that having an antenna booster will not affect the radio waves emitted by radio stations. Instead, it will increase the performance of your antenna and enlarge the area that it covers. The side effect is that it will amplify any noise or interference picked up by your system. So, you must check both your car’s antenna and stereo before adding a signal enhancer.
Moreover, remember to check the area you are driving through. Physical barriers tend to hinder radio waves. In addition, the signal intensity is weakened by greater distances, meaning that if you are traveling in the mountains and attempting to listen to the radio station long away, the surrounding environment might be blocking the radio signals. If so, you should consider buying a signal booster.
How Can I Enhance the AM Signals
AM signals, which stand for Amplitude Modulation, produce lower sound quality than FM. However, it may be transmitted across vast distances at night time. If you wish to fix the poor AM reception in your car, you may first implement the simple adjustments listed above.
While AM and FM have different frequencies, they both use the familiar transmitter and receiver, and therefore, the variables that impact your FM will also affect your AM. It means that you should have all antenna, stereo, wires, and connections checked before investing in a new booster.
Consider Long-Range FM Antenna
After trying the tips above to fix poor FM reception in your car, long-range FM antennas would be the next wise choice if you love listening to the radio even when the stations are outside of your region.
Long-range antennas have integrated technology that helps collect FM signals from far away. In addition, they are reasonably priced, and the only concern is how to install them. However, if you are the type to do-it-yourselfer, the installation should not be complicated because it is notably similar to a standard antenna.
Can You Improve Your Car’s HD Radio Reception
HD Radio enables traditional or terrestrial AM and FM stations to transmit via digital transmissions. HD Radio offers higher sound quality than the usual analog AM and FM radio. Moreover, it allows stations to broadcast extra content using multiple auxiliary channels that may be aired along with a station’s primary frequency. Stations frequently employ these subchannels to deliver traffic or weather news, as well as a variety of music content.
According to HDradio.com, there is currently no proper technique to improve the HD signal. If you lose the digital signal on the HD radio tuner, it will switch to the same frequency on the analog signal. When this happens, there may be a short pause. However, it will automatically switch back to the digital broadcast when the tuner returns the range of your HD radio.
Nowadays, many new cars have an HD Radio. However, it is more challenging for old cars with the basic factory radio system. You can choose to replace the old radio with the HD radio or connect your phone with your car’s stereo and use an application for HD radios, such as a streaming app or an appropriate app from any station.
An antenna is a vital element of your stereo system if you love listening to the AM or FM radio with the least interference. Many reasons lead to poor car radio signals, such as damaged hardware, broken antenna, or faulty stereo. Now, you should be able to identify why you are obtaining such poor reception and should be able to fix it or switch to another type of radio like an HD radio. Hope you like this guide on how to get better radio reception in your car. Don’t forget to share this article with your friend and family if you like it.
Richard Pennington is the one to consult when you need professional insight into electronics. With over a decade of experience in the field of electronics and communication engineering, he now serves as our chief content editor.
He is an advisor for multiple articles and videos with topics revolving around ham radios, electronics devices, and communication.