Car radio issues - any suggestions on the problem?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by maflynn, May 24, 2015.

  1. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #1
    I'm having an issue with my radio. When I drive outside of the Boston area the radio reception fails pretty quickly. I was about 26 miles out at one point and was unable to get any radio stations.

    I brought it into the dealership to look at 2 times and in both cases they failed to find any issues. They say the radio is fine as is the antenna. Its warranty work and they refuse do replace anything unless they can make it fail before them. After complaining and saying this issue is intolerable they told me to bring it in a 3rd time.

    I was down the street from the dealership when one radio station got incurred some static. I videoed it and when I bring it in, I'll show them. I'm tempted to just go and buy a satellite radio and have bestbuy install it for me.

    This is frustrating because of the level of service I feel I'm not getting and dealing with no radio (or spotty radio reception).

    By the way, I had lived about 40 to 60 miles outside of Boston before and never had this problem those very same radio stations work, when we take my wife's car on the same or similar trips no problems.
     
  2. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #2
    Is this car new to you? Aside from a simply bad design all I can think of is that there is a loose connection where the antenna connects to the radio head unit. Getting access to the back of the head unit on most newer cars is a chore, so I think you're going to have your work cut out for you getting it covered under warranty.
     
  3. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    I've had the truck since last year and I think this was there all long but I may not have noticed it.

    The dealership (this is their warranty work) stated all connections are tight. Since I'm not sure where exactly is the antenna (its buried in the cab somewhere, I can't tell.
     
  4. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #4
    Since the warranty is good at any dealer, could you take it to one further out where you don't get reception? Maybe if you can demonstrate that you don't get reception, while a car on their lot does, they'd be able to fix it.
     
  5. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    What kind of car is it and how old is it? A lot of times the antennas are built into the rear windshield. Antennas can wear out with age if exposed to the elements. My old Jeep had pretty poor reception, especially in Boston with all the taller brick buildings. I replaced the antenna, which made some improvement, but never worked that great compared to other cars.
     
  6. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    Its a 2013 Honda Ridgeline. The antenna is definitely built in (where I have no idea where). I've owned this truck before and never had an issue. Boston is not the problem, its when I drive a little ways out. As I mentioned I was on the highway in Hopkinton there's no tall building, nothing, just trees where I was driving and yet I was unable to get any radio reception.

    I think the last two times they probably only drove it around the block and said no problem and stopped working on it. The frustrating part is I know I have to take it in multiple times. ITs not very convenient for me to keep doing that.

    On top of that, they made some sort of change to how they handle service. While not exactly on topic to my thread, it has increased my frustration level. Before, I'd call and say is my truck ready, they'd look it up on the computer and say yes and they had to do x, y, z to it. Now I have to talk to the specific front desk associate who's handling my case. So they transfer me to him and of course he doesn't answer his phone but lets it go to voice mail. Sometimes he'll call back in an hour or so, sometimes he doesn't. Last week, I had to call multiple times and the final time I had to say don't transfer me because I don't want voice mail. I want to speak to someone.

    Again while it's not germane to getting this fixed, it is part of my overall experience which has been poor.
     
  7. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    Is there any reason you're tied to this dealer? If it the factory warranty find a different dealer. If it's not check to see if it can be used elsewhere. I'm not sure who you're using but there's Herb Chambers on Comm Ave (I've used their BMW dealer down the street with no issues, albeit only a few times, I usually go to where it was purchased in CT). There's also Honda Village in Newton, Cambridge Honda, and Prime Honda in Roxbury.

    I know someone who had had an issue with a Land Rover (reliability nightmare) dealer in New York who told him "we don't diagnose problems" and essentially would not fix problems with the car. He called up LR North America who consulted with the dealer on the issue. Calling up Honda is another option.

    Try seeing if you can speak to someone higher up in the company, like the general manager. Don't go through the service dept or try going through a different dealer in the same chain.
     
  8. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    Proximity is probably the biggest reason, and for the most part they've been a good dealership/service department. It is in fact warranty work, and up until I've had a good experience.

    Given my schedule and availability, its not that feasible to go somewhere else, but what you post makes sense. Perhaps I can make an appointment somewhere else where the radio is more likely to exhibit its issues, i.e., further away from boston. I'll have to take a look and see what I can do.
     
  9. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    We have a good relationship with sales man who has helped us in the past, and that is an option we have in front of us, plus as you mentioned going up in the food chain.
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    FWIW. YMMV. We also take the BMW either Comm Ave or Sudbury, and they seem to treat us well, but I stopped going to Herb Chambers Honda in Burlington (really close to my house) after several bad service experiences and their loss of state inspection license. I now take the Honda to Honda Village.

    However I doubt that will help maflynn so much as Newton isn't far enough out from Boston.

    B
     
  11. ron7624 macrumors 68020

    ron7624

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, Texas area
    #11
    Although not helpful to your specific situation, I just purchased a 2014 Dodge automobile and the radio reception is horrible. when I took it in to the dealership I was told that the quality of the reception is typical for that model.
    I was told to spend 129 dollar anual fee to a feature that dodge has now- U connect- and download the newer firmware and that might help. This works using MY data for 129. Grrrr
    My 2010 Dodge had a great radio. They are engineering the radios to be more cost efficent to mass production.
    So, I was told to lump it. Worse yet, by the brother to my son in law telling me this, as he has a brand new jeep suv type vehicle with the same problem. This kid sold me the car. The newer the radio the worse the problem is what I'm understanding.
     
  12. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #12
    I just rented a Dodge that was all static across the FM dial except for certain intersections. No aux port even. Why bother?

    B
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #13
    My Subaru dealer is worse. They outsourced all appointment-making to a third party company, so when you call the service dept number, you end up going to a call center (thankfully in the US at least) where they can make a service appointment for you. Fine for basic maintenance - they could train a monkey to type in "Mr. yg17. 2015 WRX. Oil change. June 4. 11:30 AM" but I dread the day when there's something wrong with my car and I want to talk to a service advisor about it.

    And of course, they don't post the phone number for the actual service department on their website. So last time I had my car in for service, I was out in the area and wanted to see if it was close to being ready so I could go wait for it. I called the service number on their website, I of course go to the call center who has no idea because they're god knows where, then it's a game of phone tag to get me to a service advisor who was finally able to answer my question.
     
  14. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #14
    If you schedule far enough in advance will they give you a loaner?

    ----------

    Good to know Mr. Chambers. I'm not a fan of that kind of business. If they are falsely passing inspected cars, who knows if they are actually doing the work they say they are when you bring your car in for service. My father has had warranty fraud committed on one of his vehicles in the past. It landed the dealer in a bit of hot water.
     
  15. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    #15
    SiriusXM is fantastic. I still think that's worth doing, even if the FM issue is successfully fixed.
     
  16. durruti macrumors regular

    durruti

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Location:
    Jersey
    #16
    Have you tried googling to see if other owners have similar problems?
     
  17. Twin2roberts macrumors newbie

    Twin2roberts

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    #17
    --- Post Merged, Feb 20, 2017 ---
    I have had the exact problem with every Ridgeline that I have owned. I have had 2 2006 models, 1 2008, 1 2009, and now a 2014 RTL. The antenna is easy to access, it is under the plastic cover above the 3rd brake light. I tried cleaning the connections but still no luck. I wouldn't mind mounting a small plastic antenna to the plastic cover if I knew what to order. FYI, yes it has satellite radio and that comes in perfect!
     
  18. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #18
    This is drudged up from the past.

    I was just driving to CT the other day and reminded of how basically when you get off the Mass Pike onto 84 in Sturbridge you pretty much lose all Boston stations. That's about 40 miles if I'm not mistaken. Thank god for satellite radio and aux inputs.
     
  19. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #19
    That's the zone where you start to lose Hartford stations as well. I think mountains get in the way of both sides.
     

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