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2017 Any way to fix awful XM reception?

16689 Views 26 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  vincefl954
I saw an old thread or two about this but I thought I'd start this one because I'm thinking of dropping the headliner and getting to the XM antenna to see if there's anything I can do to boost the signal. Has anyone tried anything?

I live in the country and didn't really pay much attention because the only place it went out was along a ~1 mile stretch where there are high power lines on the side of the road. But... I've been doing more driving down in the city this week and just about every city road that has power lines on one or both sides causes the XM radio to lose signal. It's so bad that either I'm going to stop using XM or I have to fix it somehow. None of my prior cars had this problem in the same places.

So I guess I'll start by asking, has anyone tackled this problem and gotten any results? Of course, the car is under warranty (2017) but from the older threads it doesn't seem like much relief is to be had by taking it to the dealer. I'm hesitant to do that anyway because it makes me cringe thinking about the dealer tearing into things.

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I read through this thread and there is a lot of information. XM should perform very well in South Florida as it uses geostationary satellites orbiting above the Equator. Sirius on the other hand (as an earlier poster mentioned) worked better in the North as it used multiple satellites that were in a lower non-stationary orbit which had a center point somewhere around Minnesota. They now both use the geostationary satellites. In my case I haven't had an XM reception problems with my Gen2 Volt in central Florida. I have a couple of areas where I am in sight of a microwave tower and get drop outs close to it. XM reception when I am in Northern Michigan is a different issue when driving on tree lined highways in an east-west direction as the trees will cancel the signal. If you take the car to the dealer, he can check the signal strength from the antenna to the head unit and see if there is a problem.

I have had either Sirius or XM for years and when living in the North (and with the old satellite system) Sirius was the only option. XM's compression on their music channels is so bad I have given up listening to music on XM and have gone to streaming services such as I-Heart radio, Pandora, Slacker, Tune-In, etc. No drop outs, no fading and the data usage isn't that bad. You can also stream XM with your subscription if you have the XM app. This might work for you.
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The Sirius/XM app is not supported by Car Play. The other streaming apps I suggested are. You can connect the phone by cable to the USB port (best) or by bluetooth. Go to the audio button from the home screen (forget Car Play or get out of it if it comes up). You will find the phone as a media device---it will either show up as a phone or an I-pod. It may start playing music that is stored on your phone. If it does, open the XM app on your phone, find the channel you want to hear,select it and you will be able to then control it from the touchscreen. The song and artist info will also show. You can also pause the feed from the center screen and it will also pause and mute if you get a phone call.
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