Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

AM Radio

register ::  Login Password  :: Lost Password?
Posted by humin32 on August 29, 2006, 1:24 am

I've been experiencing a problem with the reception on the AM radio on
my 2004 Prius.  The car has the premium sound system.  It sucks to not
be able to hear the Red Sox games on the radio, when I'm only about 15
miles north of Boston as the crow flies.  Anyone else having trouble
with the AM radio reception on the Prius.

The reception wasn't this bad until recently, it seems to be worse when
it's raining - if that helps diagnose the problem at all.



Posted by Michael Pardee on August 29, 2006, 3:46 am

Generally, AM reception problems are from increased noise and the usual
reason for that is deterioration of the ground connection at the antenna
mount. Dunno about the 2004, but certainly for the first generation it
requires getting past the headliner to do anything about that.

The fix for a bad ground is pretty straightforward. The antenna mount is
removed from the body and the body is scoured with Scotchbrite (or
sandpaper, but in my experience Scotchbrite is quicker) where the conductive
part of the mount contacts the body. The shined area is then coated with a
thin film of petroleum jelly, dielectric grease or silicone grease to ward
off rust and the antenna remounted, making sure it is tight on the body.

Years ago I worked on avionics (aircraft electronics) in general aviation. I
was always impressed by how sensitive ground connections for ADF sense
antennas - which work in the AM band and somewhat lower - were to ground
quality. We had a pair of really nasty chemicals to clean and passivate the
aluminum skin where the antennas mounted, and I quickly learned that made
the difference between mediocre performance and exceptional performance.
When the antenna was mounted on a painted area without any scouring, as we
sometimes saw, the performance was *really* miserable.


Posted by Tweecer on August 29, 2006, 9:08 pm

Recent advances in HD radio etc has seemed to degrade the AM signal
something fierce - seems the radio stations are just giving up trying to
offer high wattage, high quality AM stations - any other thoughts on this?
My AM reception is pretty poor too.

Posted by humin32 on August 31, 2006, 12:14 am

The only other comment I have is that I don't have this issue with my
1999 Maxima.  So I don't think it's the radio station.

Tweecer wrote:

Posted by Bill on August 31, 2006, 1:18 am

The Prius radio, the JBL model at least, has an effective shit filter.  You
weren't trying to tune-in Rush Limbaugh were you?  Sean Hannity?

This Thread
Bookmark this thread:
  • Subject
  • Author
  • Date
|--> Re: AM Radio Michael Pardee08-29-2006
please rate this thread