You're unlikely to get the best reception on your car radio if you are only using the standard tuner and antenna supplied by the manufacturer. If you are too far away from the source of transmission, or if the radio station has a limited range or broadcasting power, you're likely to experience reduced reception quality. Tall buildings and overpasses can also disrupt the radio signal. However, there are practical steps you can take to boost the antenna's reception on your car's radio.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Antenna replacement
- Commercial signal booster
- High-definition radio tuner
- Electrical tape
Replace the antenna on your car. The one supplied by the manufacturer can sometimes be of sub-par quality. Online stores such as Calibex and Crutchfield, as well as retailers like CarToys, will be able to supply you with an improved model that can be installed on your car. Check the Resources section.
Install your new antenna as far away as possible from the engine. The engine generates electricity when it is running, which can interfere with the antenna's reception from signal towers.
Install a commercial signal booster to the existing radio antenna or the amplifier. A commercial signal booster will be a necessity if you live in a rural area that has weak radio signals and distance is likely to blame. Check the Resources section.
Install a high-definition radio tuner in place of your current one. This tuner uses an advanced system of two integrated antennas, seamlessly switching back and forth between them. The integrated antennas will boost reception by simultaneously scoping out for the best possible signal. Again, refer to the Resources section.
Place the amplifier and commercial booster as far away from the antenna as possible. The electricity from these devices can interfere with the quality of your radio reception.
Tips and warnings
- Consider the best place for the cables that will connect your new equipment. Avoid routing them close to the engine and the car's electrical wiring. When you link the cables with the radio tuner, wrap the wiring in electrical tape to prevent any metal-on-metal contact with the car's chassis.
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