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Bad Radio Reception - still under warranty

9015 Views 23 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  plano-doug
I read the forum rules - somewhat - and they say not to resurect an old thread - not sure why when it is still relevant - it says just to reference it. So here goes
http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/9-general-discussion/2009-really-bad-fm-reception.html

My Cruze, a 2014 LT that is certified pre-owned i.e. still under warranty, had great radio reception when I purchased it. It no longer does. I have had the car washed a number of times and have taken the antenna off, cleaned the threads and replaced the antenna - just in case, but it still only picks up the three local stations here.

I went to the dealer I purchased it from and asked them to look at it. The Service Manager said to me "I am going to save you a little money and tell you to plug in the antenna better as it is probably loose". He then proceeded to tell me to reach up under the dash and just push it in.

I was a bit taken aback, but thought, ok i'll try it. I went out to my car and looked up under the glove box and - you cannot just reach up under the glove box. I went back inside and told him this and he said to just remove the panel - no problem.

I think hes nuts and that the dealer should fix this. What do you think?

(As an aside - what is Trackbacks? It is seen below here when typing the post.)
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Well as a follow up, yesterday my radio no longer receives any over the air radio stations. Last night was pretty cloudy so I thought it might have been just interference from the the cloud cover. It rallied back for about three bars of a Steely Dan song (Hey Nineteen...) and that was that. Both AM and FM just continuously scan.

<snip>

Can anyone tell me how to get to the antenna connection?
My 2013 Cruze radio craps out whenever it's raining or has recently been raining. It receives only the stronger stations, and has lots of static on AM. Usually, after a while, it comes back. My theory is that moisture is getting in the antenna connection and mucking things up.

Looking at my Haynes, here's what it says about the antenna.
1. Unscrew the antenna mast from its mounting base and remove it.
2. To remove the antenna base, remove the trim around the rear window.
3. Carefully pull the rear of the headliner down enough to access the antenna mounting bolt, then remove the bolt.
CAUTION: Do not pull the headliner down too far, or it will leave a crease in the headliner.
4. Remove the antenna base and disconnect the electrical connections.
5. Installation is the reverse of removal.

For me, given the correlation between rain and bad reception, I'm focused on the antenna end, but, if it's not in the radio, it can be anywhere along the cable from the antenna to the connection on the back of the radio. So inspecting the cable as well as checking the connection at the back of the radio may be in order.

At first I was thinking you may have something going out in the tuner section of the radio. But since you have problems with both AM and FM, it's probably outside the radio.

I need to tear into my antenna, but before I do that, I need to find a decent hack for the intake tuning valve connecting rod. Grrrrr..... After staying together for a few months, it popped out again, and this time it keeps popping out after I pop it back in.

But, when I get to it, I'll post back what I find with the antenna.

Doug

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Can you post a picture of this? I am not sure what you are talking about.
Maybe I can take a better pic later, but in this video (not mine), at about 54 seconds, you can see it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEYNOJrXp9I&ytbChannel=null

The rod is driven by a crank at the bottom. The top of the rod turns the intake tuning valve. The rod is mated with ball-and-socket joints on each end. The one on the bottom is my problem.

Doug

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On the outside?
Yes. Attached is a pic of mine, in case there are other types.

If I understand correctly, this antenna does XM as well as AM and FM. If that's so, then there has to be some sort of low noise amplifier (LNA) in or near the antenna base for the XM. I'm not an RF guy - I can barely spell it - but what I've picked up over the years is that, for satellite radios such as XM, the RF amplifiers need to be right at the antenna. If that's the case here, I'm wondering if your amp is/was bad.

But, without having torn into it, I'm speculating for now. Interestingly, my Haynes has two radio drawings, but neither show an amp on the coax - don't know what to make of that.

As for mine, looking at the antenna, I see a couple spots where moisture could get in there to affect it. But I need to take it apart in hopes of confirming that.

Doug

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XM works fine, just AM/FM is an issue. As for antenna types there seems to be at least two types. I have the larger of the two on my 2014.
I studied the Haynes a bit more yesterday. They list two radio types, 1) with graphic display, and 2) with navigation or color display. For 1, it shows two coax lines coming into the head unit. For 2, it shows 3 lines. This implies multiple antennas in both cases. But the text in the chapter covering the antenna only mentions one.

Perhaps there are two signals coming off the roof mast, maybe one for AM-FM, and another for XM, with an amp in-line.

Looking at the rear window defroster grid, I don't see the usual extra antenna grid I see on my Impalas, so I was thinking the rear window is not part of the antenna system. (But maybe it still is.)

For the case of 3 wires, I'm thinking there has to be another antenna somewhere.

I need to dig into mine, but it's too cold out today. It can wait :)

Doug

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I think the XM, the OnStar and then the radio all have different types of antennas. I think newer models have combined the XM and OnStar.

The two types of "radios" make no difference. There are some excellent threads by @StLouisCPhT, @dhpnet and @modalita among others on upgrading to the Navigation and Non-navigation MyLink systems. I do not remember anything being required be done to the antenna system with the exception of the GPS antenna which I think is the OnStar antenna.

Robert
Thanks. BTW, I should have said the Haynes manual had "2 schematics" rather than "two radio types".

Looking at parts on the web (gmpartsdirect.com), I see there are multiple antenna cables shown, some with two connectors on one end, indicating multiple bands. So I can maybe explain 2 of the coax inputs, but still haven't ID'd the 3rd one.

Doug

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