How to Improve Car Radio Reception? – 6 Easy Steps


Written by

Rafeal Hart


Fact-checked by

Norris Howe

how to improve car radio reception

Chilling inside your car while listening to your favorite radio program is one of the most soothing feelings you can gather after a long tiring day. However, this calming experience could become stressful and a hassle if you encounter radio interruptions and static noises.

But there is no need to worry because this guide will teach you how to improve car radio reception in the most cost-efficient way. Together with the helpful tips below, it is highly guaranteed that you can improve car radio quality on your own.

Ways to Improve Car Radio Reception

The best thing you can do to fix bad radio reception in car is to focus on your radio antenna’s performance. Having the budget to buy one is good just make sure that you get the most out of your money by getting the best specifications.

But if it is too costly for you to buy one, you may temporarily (or even permanently) aid this by creating a DIY car antenna booster and just follow the guidelines detailed below.

What to prepare

  • Your car’s radio antenna
  • Copper wire
  • Screwdriver
  • Diagonal cutting pliers
  • Scissors
  • Heat shrink wrap (preferred) or electrical tape
  • Hairdryer (or any heating device to be used on the wrap)

Step 1: Remove the car antenna


Remove the car antenna off from the top of your car by rotating it counterclockwise. Some car radio antennas require a screwdriver so just make sure to do it properly.

Step 2: Coil the copper wire around the antenna


Use the copper wire to coil around your car antenna. Narrow the both ends using the scissors so you can easily tie it around.

Step 3: Connect one tip of the copper wire inside the antenna


Connect the other end of the copper wire inside where the thread adapter of the antenna is located. Make sure that you narrowed the rip of the wire so you can easily mount it again on your car.

Step 4: Wrap the antenna

Using a heat shrink wrap, cover the entire antenna to secure it from external forces like wind, heat, and rain. Heat it up using a hairdryer or any device that could do the same function so it could seal and wrap the signal booster you have made.


If these materials are out of availability, you may also do this step using electrical tape as an alternative.


Step 5: Connect the antenna back


Install the antenna back on your car. Make sure that it is properly attached and just adjust the copper wire connected inside if you are having difficulties attaching it back to the car.

Step 6: Test your DIY radio signal booster

Now that you have created a car radio signal booster, test if the weak radio signal transmissions have been detected and improved.

But if you are still unsatisfied with the performance, continue reading to learn the reasons behind a poor car radio transmission and uncover how to possibly minimize them.

What Causes Poor Car Radio Reception?

If you are experiencing static noises from your FM radio and a poor am radio reception in car, the most probable reason why these happen lies in your antenna itself. Check if it has existing problems like being rusty, broken, or any physical problems that might be the root of the interruptions.

The following factors you might also consider why you experience poor radio reception.

1. Poor radio transmissions


Poor radio frequencies produced by your local radio stations are also possible especially if they are using radio hardware that is not suitable for your area or is outdated.

2. Strong local radio frequencies


Competing radio frequencies is unavoidable making the weaker ones suffer interruptions. Your favorite programs might have a neighboring stronger radio frequency making it difficult for your radio to detect your preferred one.

3. Electric equipment around


Devices that use electricity could cause interference in your radios. Just turn those off to have a better experience.

4. Existing obstructions


Obstructions like mountains, buildings with thick walls, and wind could also hinder a good radio transmission. You may notice that if you are surrounded by tall or thick-walled buildings, your car radio’s performance declines.

Helpful Tips to Enhance Car Radio Experience

Inspect car radio antenna


Car radio inspection is the initial step for you to boost radio signal in car. Know if there are any complications like corrosion, rust, or any hardware malfunctions so you can proceed to what solution you can consider doing.

Also, emphasize checking the wires attached to your antenna. Look if they are still attached and properly insulated.

Lengthen car radio antenna

Know that a longer car antenna get better reception. So consider having a lengthy one so that your car radio antenna can detect more radio frequencies.

Also, radio professionals have recommended that a car radio should have at least 32 inches to maximize its capability and for you to get better car radio reception.

Minimize electric device activity

If some electrical interference exists around or inside your car, this may cause the transmission to be static and poor. So, turn unnecessary electronic devices off so that radio frequencies will not have a hard time passing through.

Have a radio signal booster

Again, this is the best thing you can do to improve radio reception in car. Weak radio signals might become possible to catch if you consider having this.

Also, if you are a music lover, then FM radios must be your best friend. You may invest and boost FM radio signal in car by having an antenna with better quality or create it on your own by doing the steps detailed above.

Upgrade your radio head unit

If you have the budget, you may upgrade your car radio head unit. Do not just settle on creating a radio signal booster and try having a radio set to get better reception on car radio.

Also, there are more advanced head units available out there but always make sure that it is suitable in your car.


Remember that even though the alternative DIY car antenna booster is effective, in most cases, it is still better to buy a ready-made car antenna booster compared to creating one on your own. These are only temporary and require constant checking for any damages.

So, how to improve car radio reception? Do the alternative above, and if your pocket is ready, buy a new car radio antenna booster to avoid future problems.

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