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XM Radio Reception Issues on late 2014 Tesla S

XM Radio Reception Issues on late 2014 Tesla S

I am bringing my CPO Tesla in for its first annual maintenance check. One issue I have found is poor XM radio reception. We have XM radio in our Lexus, Hyundai, and the S - and the reception is by far the worst in the S.

Has anyone else had this experience? Is there something I can ask the service techs to do during service?

Thanks in advance. It is a 4 our drive to the service center, so I want to get this as right as I can first time.

GHammer | 10. September 2018

Model S does not have a "shark fin" satellite antenna like other cars. Instead the antenna is incorporated into either the rear hatch glass or the pano roof depending on what year the car is. This does not work as well as the shark fin, nothing can be done about it by service.

Rowlie | 10. September 2018

I have not noticed my XM reception to be any different than it was in my previous A8 with the "shark fin". It doesn't work well under tree canopies and in cavernous urban areas, so it's nice to have the other streaming options.

alexhood111 | 12. September 2018

This does not work as well as the shark fin, nothing can be done about it by service. Nice blog with genuine information. Thanks alot.
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TeslaTap.com | 12. September 2018

Ok, a sharkfin antenna is not better or worse than the flat antenna Tesla uses in the roof. The key is it's location. On older Model S cars, the XM antenna was under the hatch glass at an angle. This meant that in some vehicle positions, the antenna might not be well aligned with the satellite signal causing dropouts. Tesla moved the antenna in December 2014 to a location under the pano roof glass, which is about the same horizontal location as sharkfin type antennas.

Other factors that may affect one owner vs. another is where you're driving. Intercity driving with lots of tall buildings can block with the satellite signal as do tunnels. This is true of every XM radio in any car. So one owner may be getting great XM radio, while another suffers problems (again in any brand car).

For more on XM radio on Teslas: https://teslatap.com/articles/xm-radio-in-teslas/

alexhood111 | 12. September 2018

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GHammer | 13. September 2018

@TT-That has not been my experience. I have two S's one with the antenna in the hatch and one with it in the pano and while the pano is slightly better it's still not as good as my previous cars with the external antenna.