Weak stock AM radio and FM reception - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 01-11-2008, 08:21 PM   #1
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Default Weak stock AM radio and FM reception

My 2002 SSEi has very weak AM radio and FM reception. Its the mongoose system, stock audio system. Has anyone else had this problem?
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:02 PM   #2
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I had weak reception on my aftermarket stereo because the antenna cable was being pinched against the back of the mounting hole. It was bent down right at the connector on the back of the radio. This made any stations in the area sound awful. I just had to do some better cable management and it has been fine since.

I'd guess I'd pull the radio out and see what you can see there...?
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:11 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Club!

These systems use an antenna in both the front and rear windows. There is a wire that clips onto the glass for each. In the front, you'll find it towards the passenger side, close to the headliner. On the rear, IIRC it'* on the driver side. Although unlikely, just make sure these are fastened securely. It is possible they may have dislodged while cleaning the glass. There are several other possibilities, some of which I'll describe.

There is an antenna module which is just above the headliner in front of the rear glass. This may be defective or there may be a wiring problem between it and the radio. Likewise, you could have a connection problem between the antennas and the module, or the module and the antenna input on the radio. Except for a single inline connector under the dash pad on the passenger side, the coax is a single, uninterrupted cable all the way from the antenna module to the radio.

It'* possible that the radio may be bad. The radio may not be turning on the antenna module. The module is not always on by default, but is controlled by the radio. It also varies in function based on whether AM or FM is selected.

These can be difficult to troubleshoot. The best way to "quickly" diagnose is to use a Tech 2 scan tool. This is the only one which will actually talk to all these components properly. Unfortunately, other than a dealership most shops won't have one.

My best guess (unless you've recently had work done where connections may have been disturbed) is the antenna module in the roof. Some other members have had problems with the connection on the back of the radio if it has been removed and reinstalled. Here'* a link you can check out which may provide further assistance:

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...ic.php?t=83206
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:31 AM   #4
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Default Antenna

Thanks for the help, if it gets warm enough, I'll check some of this out soon.
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:20 AM   #5
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Default Radio

You also might want to turn on the rear defrost and see if any grids are not working, this can cause poor reception but usually only when the rear defrost is on.
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: Weak stock AM radio and FM reception

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catywompi
My 2002 SSEi has very weak AM radio and FM reception. Its the mongoose system, stock audio system. Has anyone else had this problem?
The radios are junk. They put this amazing sound system in these cars, and then put a POS radio in that doesn't come close to using the full potential of the sound system. The poor reception is from the radio itself. It has a poor tuner. The stock radio even has very poor sound quality. Same thing was going on in my car when i first got it. The stock radio had a problem picking up the strongest station here. Once i put my Pioneer supertuner in, reception is about normal. It all has to do with the type of tuner in the radios. I don't listen to terrestrial radio anyways as i have XM.

Your alternatives are, get an aftermarket radio with a good tuner, or get an aftermarket antenna and have it mounted. Or get satellite radio. Of course, check your antenna connections like noted above, but i did all that already when i first got the car and all it was was the cheap, low-performing stock radio.
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Old 01-13-2008, 03:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Weak stock AM radio and FM reception

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneZ
The radios are junk.
HOLD ON A MINUTE!!
My radio is NOT junk! An aftermarket antenna is not a solution either.

I'll bet you had a simple problem that you were unaware of and when you preplaced everything, the problem was bypassed.

The problem with most OEM audio systems is usually the power output, NOT the tuner. I've had several outstanding tuners in GM radios.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:49 PM   #8
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<----- Guy with Administrator under his name says to stop giving opinions of each other. Keep the discussion to diagnosing the problem.

I deleted several posts that did not contribute to the topic at hand. If there was pertinent info contained in them, I missed it. Please repost any deleted usefulness.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:51 PM   #9
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OK, the off topic stuff ends here.

We are trying to help him out here, and get his problems fixed.


If you wish to discuss the factory stereo further, start a new topic of your own and do it there. This is Catywompi'* thread about helping him out with his problems.

Thank you.
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Weak stock AM radio and FM reception

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkjet
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneZ
The radios are junk.
HOLD ON A MINUTE!!
My radio is NOT junk! An aftermarket antenna is not a solution either.

I'll bet you had a simple problem that you were unaware of and when you preplaced everything, the problem was bypassed.
I took the stock stereo out and installed an aftermarket stereo using the same antenna cable. Nothing was bypassed.

During one of my oil changes, i asked my Pontiac dealership why there was such poor reception and they said it was due to the radio having a poor tuner and also due to the antenna being in the windows. I've been told this by my Pontiac dealership and also professional installers at other auto stores.

It was like night and day when i put my Pioneer stereo in. Pioneer has an amazing tuner which is up to SuperTuner III now. Stations come in 10x better just by switching to a radio with a good tuner. On top of that, the sound quality was horrible in my stock stereo. The stock stereo i refer to is the CD with cassette model.

Hawkjet, your radio may not be junk or you just have lower expectations than some of us. The stock stereos have poor tuners and poor sound quality.

Catywompi, i have the same exact year and type of car and sound system as you. I had to put a Pioneer SuperTuner in to get good reception. An external antenna (which would be the inexpensive way to go) would help out your reception problem if you can't afford a different radio at this time
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