Last post on Feb 16, 2013 at 11:05 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Sedan
#7471 of 12737 1998 540i AM Radio Reception
Oct 01, 2003 (8:23 pm)
A little over 1.5 years ago, I bought a 1998 540i. The AM portion of the radio had terrible reception, particularly around tall trees, buildings and other such obstacles. (The FM seems fine.) The BMW dealer of course found nothing wrong with it. A letter to BMW USA yielded only that yes indeed, it was a problem that BMW engineers were still puzzled about. It acts just like a Porsche I once owned when it was discover that the antenna was not connected. Any ideas?
Oct 02, 2003 (3:52 am)
You dodn't have a trunk mounted CD changer, do you? For some reason, mine interferes with AM reception.
#7473 of 12737 Poor AM Radio Reception: In-glass Antenna
Oct 02, 2003 (5:16 am)
bmwcj... This issue seems to afflict a lot of BMWs. My '98 540i6 had poor AM reception. It had the 6-disc trunk-mounted CD changer. My wife's '00 323ia had horrible AM reception. Just had the basic 1-disc in-dash CD player. While I could only get in the strongest local signals, she couldn't get in hardly any stations; too much electrical interference. We repeately brought this to dealer's attention. They were never able to resolve. (We now have IS300s that have better AM reception.)
I think the key is not having an exterior standing antenna. BMW using less effective in-glass antenna. May look nice not having an antenna flying, but they don't capture radio signals at all well. (Remember a friend of mine long time ago had a '70 Chevelle. GM used in-glass antenna. You couldn't get hardly anything.)
Oct 02, 2003 (8:45 am)
I have the same problem on my 96 E320 Mercedes. It's the antenna in the glass that sucks.. Fortunately, I much prefer the FM stations around here anyway..
#7475 of 12737 Glass Antenna
Oct 02, 2003 (10:17 am)
not the issue. My new 325i has horrible reception. Really frustrating during playoff season. My Accord and Subaru both had in-glass and AM reception was fine.
But don't worry, AM radio will be barren after the WS as Rush will be indicted soon!
Oct 02, 2003 (10:40 am)
Does AM reception really deserve all of this attention? Not since George Michael left 770 WABC in NY have I given a rip.
#7477 of 12737 AM Reception Important
Oct 02, 2003 (1:07 pm)
I listen to AM a lot more than FM. Don't want to waste time listening to pop music and the plethora of commercials on FM. If I'm going to listen to radio, I'd rather get news, weather, sports, and talk.
#7478 of 12737 1998 540i AM Radio Reception
Oct 02, 2003 (8:19 pm)
There is only one AM station I like to listen to, and it is an all news station. Of course I could survive without it, but one would think that a car that stickers over 50K could provide a radio that works. And yes, I have a 6 CD changer in the trunk. That seems to be a common theme in the responses. Thanks....sort of.
Oct 03, 2003 (6:25 am)
In-glass antennas are inherently less sensitive than the metal mast antennas. Whether one brand of car has an AM system that works or not with an in-glass antenna has a lot to do with how well that radio chassis manufacturer designed the circuitry to match that particular auto manufacturer's antenna design.
MB failed badly as ALL E-class, with and without a CD player in the trunk, give almost non-existent AM reception. I didn't have a CD player for the first year I had my E320 and the AM was just as bad then as it is now with the CD player.
I suspect that BMW had the same problem with the 5 series. Maybe they use the same or similar radio chassis??
In any event, here in NE, the only AM stations worth listening to are the news and talk stations. I do miss the news stations, but otherwise FM is for me..
#7480 of 12737 AM, FM and the Bimmer
Oct 03, 2003 (10:41 am)
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and my AM reception is wonderful. Maybe it has to do with the area you live in and radio reception there. Also, the FM reception is equally good and in fact better than AM. The stations here do not flood you with commercials, again maybe itdepends on where you live.