I have a 2003 325i. Overall it's a good car, in the BMW tradition, but the
reception for the AM radio is lousy. The antenna is built into the rear
windshield. Sounds like a great idea, but it does not work very well. FM is
decent. Someone at BMW told me that 80% of the surface was dedicated to FM,
and only the remaining 20% to AM radio. It was decided so because "BMW
estimated that its drivers don't listen to AM radio". Well, in Europe maybe,
but here in America, we do! Anyway, BMW has not been very helpful on the
issue, and I've inquired about the possibility of installing an aftermarket
external antenna, but was told this cannot be done either. BMW has since
solved the problem by making its new models with a stubby antenna and that
works well but it does not do me any good.
I suspect a lot of people with the same model have the same problem. Has
anyone found a solution? Thank you very much for your suggestions.
1) the stubby antenna is the GPS receiver's antenna.
2) we have been having a discussion about this - check the posts over
the last week or so.
3) the probable cause is often poor connections to the antenna, or
to the inline amplifier (in the c-pillar/package shelf area). The ground
for the antenna or amp is often bad.
4) there are two antennas, but they are both used equally for am & fm.
The receiver decides which antenna has a better signal.
Thank you for your reply.
I've tried to see the earlier posts, and found only a few. Others were no
If satelitte radio was available where I live, I would get it immediatly.
But it isn't.
What the BMW dealer proposes to do (reluctantly, after lots of stalling and
dodging the issue) is to replace the amplifier. I have no idea if this will
Question: If the problem was that the ground was bad, would the FM still
BMW also tells me that if I install another radio, or even just an external
antenna, it would void the warranty. So I don't know how to go about doing
Yes, as Floyd said, bogus. The only part of your warranty that would be
void would be the part that directly applies to the radio or anything
you messed with to change the radio. If you blew a head gasket they
would have a hard time proving they shouldn't cover it because you
changed the stereo. It has been tried and upheld in many courtrooms in
Noidea, I started a thread about FM and radios in general a week or so
ago... But I think you may be in a different situation. In searching
the web for an answer to the problems I was having, I came across many
posts from owners of BMWs from about 2002 to 2004 who were having
problems with lousy AM reception. The common answer seemed to be that
that the stock radio wasn't good, and most dealers said that that's
just the way it was. Most people resigned themselves to getting a new
I have a 2000 323i, and my AM reception is actually quite good now that
I've fixed the problem with the antenna amp in the rear c-pillar... So
I can only assume that around 2002 or so, the manufacturer of the radio
Same here...I just traded in my 2003 325i which had very poor AM for a brand
new 2006 330i, which has awesome reception here in Las Vegas..
On 10/25/05 12:20 PM, in article
I feel your pain. I get terrible AM reception. It bugs the crap out
of me... i'm thinking of having XM or SIRIUS installed.
The stereo in general is sub-par, much to my wife's displeasure. I
don't mind the sound output, just want my AM radio!
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