How To: Radio Reception; FM=bad, AM=None


BeatnikTermite
11-29-2004, 02:52 PM
This has been discussed many times here before, and I thought I would bring all of the information together in a "how-to." I have not had to do this personally, but nobody rides in the passenger seat of my car to make it necessary.

Problem: Radio Reception is bad to non-existant. AM is usually worse than FM.

Reason: Antenna connector has come loose, and needs to be reconnected. This happens when a passenger pushes the carpet toward the firewall and disconnects the plug.

Affected Model Years: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

Permanent Fix:

1. First check to make sure the antenna at the back of the radio has not come loose.
2. Remove the plastic cover on the front passenger door threshold held in place by three pressure clips.
3. Peel back the carpet on the front seat passenger floor.
4. Locate the coax antenna cable running along the side.
5. Reconnect the two pieces of antenna that have come loose.
6. Roll the carpet back, and re-install the threshold cover.

MyBluMalibu
08-15-2005, 11:58 AM
I just want to first off say thank you for the responses that I have received!! My husband and I have been trying to figure this radio situation thing out for some time now!!! We never even knew that these forums were out there! So thank you all for your replies!!!!!!!

jwebber
11-28-2005, 07:37 PM
This has been discussed many times here before, and I thought I would bring all of the information together in a "how-to." I have not had to do this personally, but nobody rides in the passenger seat of my car to make it necessary.

Problem: Radio Reception is bad to non-existant. AM is usually worse than FM.

Reason: Antenna connector has come loose, and needs to be reconnected. This happens when a passenger pushes the carpet toward the firewall and disconnects the plug.

Affected Model Years: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

Permanent Fix:

1. First check to make sure the antenna at the back of the radio has not come loose.
2. Remove the plastic cover on the front passenger door threshold held in place by three pressure clips.
3. Peel back the carpet on the front seat passenger floor.
4. Locate the coax antenna cable running along the side.
5. Reconnect the two pieces of antenna that have come loose.
6. Roll the carpet back, and re-install the threshold cover.


Well, on my 2000 Malibu, the radio reception will sound fine, but when I adjust the volume dials only slightly, the reception goes out. Then if I crank the volume, it sounds OK again. I checked my floor antenna connection and it is fine. Could my problem be the radio dials? If so, how do I remove them? Thanks for any advice.

CBriggs9
10-30-2006, 03:42 PM
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. After numerous searches and never ending technical mumbo jumbo the solution ended up being so simple. I must have looked at hundreds of sites talking about modulators, rear window antennas and tinting, antenna grounding etc., and the solution was sitting un-attached under my passenger seat carpet. Plugged it back in and works like new!

MalibuBob
10-31-2006, 07:08 PM
Well, on my 2000 Malibu, the radio reception will sound fine, but when I adjust the volume dials only slightly, the reception goes out. Then if I crank the volume, it sounds OK again. I checked my floor antenna connection and it is fine. Could my problem be the radio dials? If so, how do I remove them? Thanks for any advice.
Do you lose reception or just volume? It would be pretty tough for anything you do with the volume control to affect reception, however, a bad volume control could cause the sound to disappear and re-appear. You'll need a shop to check the volume control.

fisherdm
06-13-2007, 08:05 PM
This fix was right on. It was also so easy (took me 5 minutes) I feel like an idiot for driving around for 2+ years only listening to CDs in my car.

videobruce
07-11-2007, 09:59 AM
The AM band is affected first because of is wavelength. 1 MHz vs 100 MHz (center frequencies) makes a huge difference. Measure with a decent DVM the resistance between chassis ground and the shield of the antenna cable at the radio. Then measure resistance between the center conductor and the 'whip' of the antenna. Some antennas use a wire that wraps around the of the 'whip' (if you can make contact, you might have to break the coating to do so). Both readings should be well under 5 ohms especially the ground.

thusted
02-03-2010, 03:59 PM
thank you - I was going to pull the dash to check the radio/antenna connection, and thought I would check this forum first. Very easy fix, saved me alot of time.

and thanks to everyone who contributes to these forums. Thanks for sharing your knowledge to help all of us save money and stress!

aem1988
05-20-2011, 03:37 PM
Hi, could you tell me more about this plastic cover that I need to remove? It says it is located on the passenger side door threshold. I'm not sure what this is. Thanks!

inafogg
05-20-2011, 04:14 PM
Hi, could you tell me more about this plastic cover that I need to remove? It says it is located on the passenger side door threshold. I'm not sure what this is. Thanks!

the threshold is the metal trim at the bottom of the door opening
has screws holding it down,remove this to access carpet

Good luck

aem1988
05-20-2011, 04:21 PM
Thanks! Totally fixed it now :)

jaredaj2012
05-02-2012, 05:04 PM
THANK YOU SO MUCH! I have been struggling without my radio in my car. My Jeep had perfect reception and sounded beautiful, and then I bought my 99 Malibu and was devastated because, even though it had only 79k miles and much better gas mileage, it had no radio! Now, I do! Muchos gracias!

tdrexel
07-18-2013, 05:48 PM
Well age takes it's toll. I read the post on poor radio reception on my 2000 Malibu. Thanks for mentioning the antenna wire coupling just front of the passenger front door and under the rocker panel cover and carpet. I read it and the light came on I remember that from older GM cars back to the 70s. I removed the plastic cover, lifted the carpet found the coupling, YUP, wire was uncoupled, plugged it back in GREAT RECEPTION. YOU THE MAN Thanks!!!

Anniecowgirl
03-25-2016, 10:34 PM
I have found the antenna cable in my 1999 malibu, but I can't find where I'm suppose to connect it.

ssmorby
07-10-2017, 08:18 PM
Thanks for the post. On my 2003 Impala the reception on both was poor. I pulled the passenger side trim and looked under the carpet but no coax cable. I noticed extra connection to the rear defrost/antenna on the drivers side so I pulled the trim and peeled back the carpet. There was the coax cable mentioned on the drivers side. So if you don't find under passenger side look on drivers side.

Geeforces
11-03-2017, 01:26 PM
I have this problem, but it is not due to the antenna coax cable coming apart. A few times in the past I have had to reattach the cable ends, until I finally taped them together with several wrappings of electrical tape.

This time I looked, expecting to find the tape had failed, but the cable was intact. I checked the end at the antenna, and it is secure. Is there a signal booster in the radio? Does anyone know of another cause for the problem?

Blue Bowtie
11-04-2017, 08:16 AM
Yes, there are several "signal boosters" in the radio, known as amplifier stages. The first few stages are RF, and then IF, and finally audio. If any of them fail, the radio can be silent. Fortunately, the radio can be removed for evaluation without too much difficulty. A separate antenna can also be installed directly to test the radio once it is removed.

Geeforces
11-06-2017, 08:33 AM
Yes, there are several "signal boosters" in the radio, known as amplifier stages. The first few stages are RF, and then IF, and finally audio. If any of them fail, the radio can be silent. Fortunately, the radio can be removed for evaluation without too much difficulty. A separate antenna can also be installed directly to test the radio once it is removed.

I was trying to get around finding and buying any parts until I knew the solution, but it sounds like an antenna will be a handy thing to have. I don't see how the antenna itself could fail, but having a spare will at least allow me to test and eliminate (or accuse) the cable/antenna.

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