Last post on Sep 21, 2012 at 8:05 AM
You are in the Toyota Camry Hybrid
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Toyota Camry Hybrid, Audio, Sedan
#153 of 171 Sirius Reception
Apr 23, 2008 (3:08 pm)
Just over a week ago, during the purchase of my 2009 Camry Hybrid a Toyota Sirius radio was ordered and subsequently installed in my vehicle. It was my understanding that this would be indiscernible from a factory installation. I should note that this is not my first satellite radio. It is my seventh.
First let me address how the satellite integration into the navigation head unit leaves a lot to be desired. Even though the head unit has a seven inch display, the Toyota truncates the text at ten characters, and only displays the title and artist.
Second, the installation options of the Toyota factory satellite antenna kit are at a level well below what I have observed at even Circuit City or Best Buy. In my previous experience all factory installed satellite antennas were integrated into the roof line and had wiring which was routed internally to the vehicle head unit. This was also the case in the factory unit which I retrofitted into my new (at the time) Jeep Liberty. Even the Circuit City unit installed in my truck hides the wiring unobtrusively and has a very small physical antenna.
When I picked up my Camry following the installation of the satellite receiver I didnt even think to look at the antenna installation. It was only after I noted that the quality of signal was worse than any of my previous experiences that I actually looked for the antenna. I had assumedĚ it was part of the headliner and/or embedded in the front window. Imagine my surprise when I found a large clumsy looking unit sitting on top of my trunk lid.
Cosmetically it looks like an after thought. No real effort other than color matching was given to the aesthetics of the design. However, what is even worse is the draping of the antenna wire into the trunk. When the trunk lid is opened about eight inches of wire rise with the lid. Its only the artful bending of the wire that ensures it will drape back down into the vehicle when the lid is then closed. Incredible. That level of engineering (or lack thereof) is far surpassed even with a Circuit City antenna.
Lastly, the reception on the Camry factory satellite receiver is the POOREST I have experienced, bar none. In my other vehicles there are two locations through which I regularly travel where Sirius and XM both briefly lose the signal in the shadow of a large set of hills. In the Camry the signal regularly drops out in flat and level countryside with a degree of frequency which make it not worth the effort of listening.
Satellite radio is an important part of the experience I expect from any vehicle I own. Based on my expectations of quality from the Toyota brand, this was a complete surprise. I had anticipated a seamless integration into the onboard electronics and an engineered installation that would appear to have been carefully considered rather than a slapdash attempt to place an antenna.
I had hoped to find that the rudimentary satellite display integrated into the head unit, and the amateurish design of the antenna are just lower levels of options perhaps intended for an entry level vehicle and that a higher degree of integration of both form and function are selectable. But apparently this is the best that Toyota has to offer. I had the satellite receiver removed from my vehicle.
Toyota responded to my issue by directing me via a canned response to Sirius. No acknowledgement was made of the poor offering sanctioned by Toyota. How did those other car manufacturers coerce Sirius into providing a higher degree of integration? Why would Toyota allow a third party to damage their reputation?
Sirius gave me another Toyota phone number. That number gave me another Toyota number who claimed he would call me back in an hour. That was 7 hours ago.
Has anyone experienced a similar problem and/or has anyone swapped out the antenna?
#154 of 171 Re: Sirius Reception [macmook]
Apr 25, 2008 (5:31 am)
Similar problem. I picked up my 2009 TCH beginning of April. First thing I noticed was a triangular shaped box internally stuck to the top of the passenger side windshield. My salesman told me it was the antenna for the Sirius radio. OK, kind of ugly, but I can live with it, or so I thought. 3 weeks later, and after the trees in our area started to bloom, I am getting frequent drop outs during my local drives. My commute is mostly freeways and is still good reception wise, but once I turn off to the local roads the reception goes down hill fast. After searching though dozens of other web sites, I found out that this internal antenna is made by Sirius (they call it 'SIGMA') and is supposed to be a better solution (according to their press) than a deck or roof mount external antenna. Some websites claim this is the 'offical' Toyota installation method - up on the inside windshield, though it sounds like that is not always true for all dealerships.
It is clear that this is causing the reception problem, perhaps it works fine in other parts of the country, not so in North / Central New Jersey. Like many, I installed satellite radios in my other cars with roof mounted antennas and never experienced this level of reception problems.
So now I have three options, since I mostly use the car for freeway driving anyway just learn to live with it, go back to Toyota and expect a prolonged and frustrating runaround based on macmook's and others experiences, or just put in a roof/trunk mount external antenna and go on with my life.
A final option is to have my wife deal with Toyota's service department as she enjoys these kinds of battles more than I do.
#155 of 171 Re: Sirius Reception [macmook]
Apr 26, 2008 (8:42 am)
Had an after-market shop install my Stiletto... they had trouble getting great reception. There is a second wire that comes with Stiletto (which they have never used)... they ran it through the car to the rear window defogger area and got great reception. Hope this helps... Peter
#156 of 171 Re: Sirius Reception [plknj]
Apr 26, 2008 (12:00 pm)
I recently installed the sirius kit in my 08' TCH to my nav system. I agree with the reception issue, my main complaint however is there is a crackle sound that only comes through the speakers when in Sirius(SAT) 1,2 or 3. It almost sounds like my speakers are blown, but they are not as when listening to the radio or the cd changer sound is crisp and clear. Any one else having the same issue? I did the same install on my 07 Tundra and no issues? Please let me know
#157 of 171 Re: Sirius Reception [macmook]
May 09, 2008 (7:59 am)
I am about to purchase a TCH this afternoon and appreciate your comment. I will ask my dealer for an internal antenna installation and not on the trunk.
May 24, 2008 (7:55 pm)
have two questions I hope someone can help me with.1st) it seems that when I run the automatic temperature I get better gas mileage.Is this true or just my imagination.2nd) I had the car in for the yearly state inspection But now it seems like their is an uneasiness (almost like a skipping) .Anyone know what this might be?I have a TCH 2007
#159 of 171 Re: Sirius Reception [macmook]
Jun 10, 2008 (7:54 am)
I too have purchased a TCH and after much deliberation had the Sirius Radio installed by Toyota. The reception is intermittent and not up to the standard that I experienced with my previous Best Buy installed models. The dealership is giving me the run-a-round and insisting that the internal antennae is the only one that Toyota offers and the reception that I am experiencing is the best that it can be. Somehow, I do not believe that those of us who own the Camry Hybrid need to accept substandard reception due to substandard installation. I am in the process of attempting to secure a schematic and will have my own techs try to add an external antennae. Has anyone else been able to resolve this problem and if so how? The dealership would remove the radio and reinstall the factory radio, but I would rather get this right.
#160 of 171 Re: Sirius Reception [barbskar]
Jun 10, 2008 (8:06 am)
For some reason I hear a slight "crackle" noise from the speakers, its the same sound as if the speakers were to be blown. The funny thing is it only does this when in "SAT" mode. I have a 07 Tundra, installed the same Sirius SC-C1 in the truck and it doesn't make any noise or "crackle" I wish I knew what or how to fix the issue?
#161 of 171 Re: Sirius Reception [barbskar]
Jun 10, 2008 (8:33 am)
My experience was the opposite. My Toyota dealership tried to save me some money by actually referring me to a 3rd party for the Sirius Installation. The 3rd party did what I thought was an exceptionally poor job. Toyota had the Sirius taken out and reinstalled it themselves (no extra charge to me and rightfully so). They put the antenna above the rear view mirror and my reception is outstanding.
I've had Sirius for about 5 years now in other cars with the antenna on my trunk and I'd argue that my current reception (next to the rear view) almost as good as as the trunk reception. I do get drop outs under bridges and when exposure to the sky is obstructed but this is not unusual. Over all I'm pleased with my Toyota installation!
#162 of 171 Toyota and Sirius SCC1 problems
Jun 11, 2009 (6:30 pm)
I have the standard Toyota factory installed receiver. I had to buy the SCC1 and direct connect kit from Best Buy.com and get it installed. It was fine for the past year and now this week, when you press the Satellite button the radio nothing happens. You can only get AM.
Help!! Neither Best Buy or Sirius will help me.