Poor AM reception is usually an indication of an antenna problem. Could be a
ppor connection at the radio, a cable that has absorbed water, a poor ground
at the outside mount, a broken cable, etc. Chances are a new antenna and
cable will improve things (assuming it is not an internal radio problem).
If the AM antenna is one separate from the FM, and into its own jack into
the radio, that sounds likely. The OP said FM works fine. But since it's one
antenna working well on FM, then no, I don't think that's the solution.
HOWEVER... ;-) If it were my car I would reach back behind the radio and
jiggle the connector to see if something's come loose. If there is no
change, then it may very well be an internal radio problem. I'd bang on it
gently to see if the reception improves even momentarily.
AM reception is much more dependent on a good antenna than FM. A broken
antenna cable can actually make a decent FM antenna while providing poor AM
reception. I've had lots of practice with these sort of problems on my farm
tractors. I mostly listen to FM, but sometimes a sports even is only on an
AM station. More than once I've had to clean the outside ground connection
in order to pull in the AM signal. I've never had a problem with the FM
Well, you're right. I was initially thinking of a broken connector at the
antenna jack. Of course, then he'd get no reception at all. It can get a
little tricky depending on where a cable might be broken (if it is) and
we're just speculating anyway. Jiggling the wire while it's connected to the
radio, and/or pulling out the connector and just touching the center tip to
the center of the jack is also part of the diagnosis. If there's a
bad/shorted ground, doing the latter should give an improved signal.
Posting to this newsgroup is not a magic bullet. While you will get
some good direction here, it does not absolve you from helping
yourself. Start by learning more about AM radio signals, what they
are and how they propagate. See if the problem truly is random, or
does it have any type of pattern, then try to clearly articulate the
We have no way of originally knowing if it used to work, what type of
terrain, how far you are from the transmitter, and how many stations
are affected (all or some). The better the description of the
problem, the more likely you will get some meaningful help.
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