Tesla radio

Tesla radio

When I bought my Tesla I didn't get the upgraded radio. The standard radio or at least the antenna is next to worthless. Driving around monterey there is so much static on the AM band I can't stand to listen to it. Anyone have that problem. Maybe I have a bad antenna

markapeterman | July 29, 2013

use tune in

Mel. | July 29, 2013

Mark +1

slevinn | July 29, 2013

Not only is the radio not great - I just (finally) activated XM radio. I seem to get drop out/dead air fairly frequently. I never had that problem in other cars. Is anyone else having a similar problem with Sirius/XM radio?

By the way tunein and slacker both seem to work very well. Occasional dead air when I am in a poor 3G area but otherwise great. I tend to listen to my local radio stations using tunein.

jbunn | July 29, 2013

FM fades, flutters, and echoes. Amazing this passed tech reviews. Quite defective based on multiple user feedback.

SCCRENDO | July 29, 2013

Got upgraded radio. Never have time to listen to regular radio. XM perfect. Slacker and tune in also great although occasionally when 3g signal weak may search for the song for a few minutes. HD radio signal variable dependent on 3G. FM seemed mine the few times i listened. Haven't use AM yet

stevenmaifert | July 29, 2013

Well documented in other threads. If you can find an AM station broadcasting in HD, that should be static free since it is digital. Antennas for FM/XM not the best. With no external antennas, it's just one more area where the designers of ModS chose form over function.

kback | July 29, 2013

@slevinn - Initially I thought XM was working perfectly, but I have noticed that it drops out in more places than it did in my previous car. Still far better than AM/FM, but some drop outs. Tune and Slacker are good, but we have a lot of bad AT&T reception areas that prove frustrating. I can usually find at least one source that comes in well.

J.T. | July 29, 2013

It has been reported that some antennae have not been properly grounded. When in for service have this checked.

PBEndo | July 29, 2013

My FM radio was originally pathetic. After a service visit, it improved, though it is still not as good as my previous cars.

Bob W | July 29, 2013

According to @jasonvw in this thread:

"TM service was able to improve my reception. The antennas were grounded to painted metal--they sanded off some of the paint and now my reception is comparable to any other car I have."

This could affect performance of all antennas (AM, FM, XM, 3G). I've asked the SC to perform the same fix on my car, and will find out tomorrow if this solution has improved things at all.

In the mean time, turn OFF HD mode, or use TUNE IN if you have at least two bars showing on the 3G display. Most Bay Area radio stations can be found there. Bookmark them.

As for the AM/FM radio, in fringe areas, continuous cycling between analog and HD modes can be quite annoying, making you think that the radio isn't working well. On the other hand, the electric motor or inverter seems to generate quite a bit of radio noise on the AM band, which you can hear more easily if you tune to an empty spot around 1540 kHz. You can really hear the "roar" or "whine" of the electric motor in the radio as you take off from a standing stop. It actually sounds pretty cool (for a little while).

mreitman | July 29, 2013

Haven't need the over the air radio yet. I have a couple hundred tunes on a pocket drive but I like to play songsmimI like on Slacker and then let it surprise me.

Paul Koning | July 30, 2013

I also have radio problems. FM seems ok to me (not ok to my wife). AM sucks, loud whine, presumably interference from the high power electronics. XM sucks badly, it drops out all the time.

Talked to service, was initially told to schedule a repair, but then a followup call said that a software update is expected in the next couple of weeks that would cure this.

So I'm waiting to see. If that doesn't help, I'll ask about the antenna thing.

Warkovision | August 8, 2013

@markpeterman's suggestion is a good one. I experimented today with local AM/FM stations and switched between listening to them on the "normal" MS radio settings (I don't have the upgraded sound system) and the Tunein Radio internet app and the same station on Tunein Radio sounded MUCH better. Now this is all dependent on a good 3g connection and I'm not sure that Tunein Radio is always in synch with it's OTA counterpart, but for me, it was a much better listening experience. And it's neat to be able to log onto other stations whose programming you like that you can still hear once you've driven beyond the radio reception area. Though not all radio stations that one might be interested in are available from them.

Bob W | August 9, 2013

To follow up on my previous post, the Fremont Service Center did nothing other than a "system reset," which did not make any improvement in my AM/FM radio reception. Fremont not know how to fix the ground wire against the painted metal, because there is no standard service bulletin for that. They said something about it requiring "complete dis-assembly" (i.e. lots of time to investigate).

@jasonvw was lucky that his local service center (which one?) showed some creativity and innovation to come up with a fix for this. Too bad other service centers don't have authorization (?) or the knowledge to do the same.

@Paul Koning, I would be very skeptical that any software update will fix the analog radio reception problems. It's an antenna issue, it seems, not a software issue. Perhaps they think you're complaining about common HD/analog switching echos instead of plain old weak reception.

@Warkovision, TuneIn works well when you have solid 3G reception, something AT&T doesn't support very well on most Northern California freeways (lots of dead spots). The TuneIn audio stream is delayed about a minute or two compared to analog. Sometimes if you miss something while listening to analog AM/FM you can switch TuneIn and listen again, thanks to the delay. I like that.

I really do wish multiple favorites (AM/FM/TuneIn/Slacker/XM) were all on the screen in one place as single-tap icon buttons, with no scrolling required as we must do today. Scrolling is very dangerous to do while driving, because it takes your eyes off the road for far too long.

Warkovision | August 10, 2013

@Bob W., You're so right about the safety while driving difficulty of the current favorites selection process. I just don't attempt that unless I'm stopped at a red light or in continuous stop and go traffic.

Regarding difficult 3G reception and TuneIn, I have that problem in Southern California too given certain locations but another option (that doesn't always work) that I've had success with is to use my the TuneIn app on my iPhone and link that over to the Tesla Media section via Bluetooth.

pwind | September 17, 2013

Not only do I have terrible Sirius/XM reception, but I have a buzzing noise from front speaker that happens several times per car ride. I mentioned to SC that it sounds like its not grounded properly - now based on previous posts, it sounds like this may also be the problem for the reception. AM is also horrible.

They said that they will trouble-shoot with HQ on what problem might be.

Bob | September 17, 2013

Yes, FM reception is really bad. (I haven't even tried AM.) Great tip about antenna grounding—I'll try that, thanks!

Brian H | September 17, 2013

Someone suggested running a hidden wire along the edge of the windshield (external?) hooked to the radio (where?). Elon had vetoed any external antennas, even shark-fin.