The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

No AM Radio

Yes, many auto manufacturers no longer offer AM radio on their car entertainment systems.

One reason is interference.  With more and more data running around inside today’s smarter cars AM radios in those cars would be full of locally generated gunk – just like in an office building.  Even with an external cowl  mounted antenna there would be problems.  Most gasoline powered cars nowadays use multiple coilpacks for ignition not the old distributor.  Again – more mf noise.  Finally I have experienced noise on AM car radios generated in the exhaust system on BMW’s.

One of my sons is a plant engineer for a biggie auto maker at an assembly plant.  His car – bought on the “brass hat” plan has no AM radio (nor a cd player.)  The company told him (he asked) that there was little or no buyer demand for those modes of entertainment.  (he missed the cd player way more than AM – he has no use for talk radio)  it doesn’t do iboc either.

Very few automobile purchasers are worried about the signal at the atu.  (including me – and I’ve designed and built a few atu’s)  I miss the cd player more too.

Fact is – most car buyers worry more about the color of the paint.

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James Walker