How to get better radio reception in my car

Car radios must be built to a high standard to provide decent radio signal reception when A moving car.

Often you feel disturbed when you try to listen to the radio in your car.

When you are on a long trip and your car radio starts to have problems. It can be due to poor radio reception in your car, or the radio on your car’s head unit is damaged.

There are many things you can do if you experience poor radio reception quality, for that I will explain steps you can take to get better radio reception


How to get better radio reception in your car

How to get better radio reception in car
car radio illustration


Check your car radio antenna 

Check that the antenna is attached properly, if you already have a car with a long, stiff, whip-like antenna.

You can easily check that the antenna is attached properly by screwing it clockwise, tightly, to the base.


Antenna preamplifier

Purchase and install an antenna preamplifier if your current radio equipment works but is too weak to pick up a signal.

Antenna preamplifiers can aid signal reception by amplifying the antenna signal before it reaches the tuner.

This device can easily make a weak signal exponentially stronger.

Unfortunately, early amplifiers were not selective in the sound they chose to amplify, so certain radio stations and frequencies would become much more difficult to tune when there was signal interference.


Clean The rust on the car radio antenna 

Remove paint and corrosion at the installation site.

The vehicle chassis provides a ground plane, or an electrically conductive surface that broadcasts in radio signal reception, for the antenna, so make sure your antenna always has a clear connection.

After installation is complete, be sure to coat the exposed metal with grease or silicone glue to prevent rust and corrosion.


Get a New Antenna

When checking your antenna connections, you may find that your hardware or antenna mast is rusted, corroded, or otherwise damaged.

In this case, replacing the antenna will usually do the trick.

Since rust and corrosion can prevent the antenna from making a solid connection with your head unit, replacing the unit will often result in better reception.


See also: how to choose the right antenna for your car


There are also some other cases that require a new antenna.

For example, some cars are equipped with a “grid style” antenna mounted on the rear windshield rather than a conventional whip or mast antenna.

These flat antennas have several aesthetic benefits, and they can’t be cut off by car washes or vandals, but they often suffer from poor reception in big cities or hilly areas.

In some cases, a whip antenna will provide better reception.



When installing a new antenna, note that the location of the antenna in your car is very important in determining the acceptable signal strength. The best place to mount the whip antenna is in the center of the roof, where glass and metal will not interfere with its ability to receive signals. If you have a set of high-quality amplifiers in your car, keep the antennas away from them, as they can cause heavy radio interference.


Install Signal

Boosters Radio signal boosters are far from a panacea for poor reception, but there are special circumstances where they will cure what is making you sick. If you can receive a signal from a certain station, but it is very weak, then a signal booster can improve your reception. However, the amplifier won’t do anything for you if the signal degradation is related to obstructions such as tall buildings and hills.


Get a New Head Unit

Head Unit car radio

Overall, radio tuners in car head units are much more advanced than home radios.

There are plenty of edge cases and exceptions, but even cheap digital head units have a lot more going on under the hood than your average clock radio or boom box.


That being said, not all head unit radio tuners are created equal.

So if you’ve checked everything else, and you can’t blame your reception issues when it’s raining (or a tall building, or a nearby hill), then it might be time to replace your head unit.

Some low-end budget head units skimp on tuner radio quality, but even if your radio was fine when it was new, failure can occur.

So if there are no other tricks, you probably just have a broken car radio on your hands.




Leave a Comment