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Old 17-10-2019, 10:45 AM   #1
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Default Improving in car DAB reception

Ive just bought a car (2015 French) and the in built stereo/media system is quite good. However, the DAB is terrible. It just wont stay on for longer than a few seconds before losing signal. My previous car had a DAB/Bluetooth module thing I bought from Aldi and had a stick on ribbon windscreen aerial. It worked perfectly. So its not the area I live in.
I do remember that my old car DAB would suffer if I used a cigarette lighter USB socket and it would dilute the signal.
This car has a dedicated USB socket, AUX socket (3.5mm jack) and 12v cigarette lighter. All have been unplugged and not in use and the DAB still suffers. Any ideas on how to improve the signal?
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Old 17-10-2019, 11:33 AM   #2
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Try an aftermarket aerial same as you had on previous car, reception quality is normally the cause as receivers themselves are pretty standard inside and either work or don't, no in between.
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Old 17-10-2019, 04:42 PM   #3
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I think the on-roof aerial is dual purpose FM/DAB so if I unplug the aerial to change it for a ribbon type, I would lose FM??? Unfortunately the dedicated forums for the car are not very utilised so theres not much info out there.
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Old 17-10-2019, 11:45 PM   #4
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I think the on-roof aerial is dual purpose FM/DAB so if I unplug the aerial to change it for a ribbon type, I would lose FM??? Unfortunately the dedicated forums for the car are not very utilised so theres not much info out there.
I dont entirely think the roof aerial will supply all signal to the stereo, with golfs I think the DAB aerial connector is a separate connector on the back of the unit to the FM one (I was looking for a vw headunit with DAB and this was a key identifier), so I'd imagine with any sense your French car will most likely be the same.

It definitely does have a roof aerial though?

I have had a mk7 golf and they dont use a roof aerial, they use the rear heated screen, so when you turn on defrost your reception halves!

I mean here is a silly thing, you have retuned the digital stations right? I say silly, because when I bought my 2012 beetle, that had DAB, I bought it from the north some 200 miles away, I had to completely retune the radio by the time I got home!

I mean the most extreme solution is to get rid of the french car and get a german one
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Old 18-10-2019, 01:14 PM   #5
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Yes I've retuned the DAB. Still no difference.
Apart from the Beetle, I've had both Audi and VW and both have been money-pits.
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Old 19-10-2019, 08:01 PM   #6
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Apart from the Beetle, I've had both Audi and VW and both have been money-pits.
You should try owning a Jeep

But depends on the age of them, I had a mk3 golf for 10 years, replaced a fair few bits on it, rust was a killer on that. That was a money pit.

Mk6 golf - bought it new sold it when it was 6 years old before it got too many issues.

VW Bora for 12 months, needed a rad and brakes and exhaust, it was 15 years old, also had to do basically all service items and the door window mechs both sides, so spent alot for the 12 months

Mk2 New Beetle(2012), I luckily had extended warranty as at 48k it needed 1000 worth of cam chains, I had to do steering bushes to save my self 500 quid. Plus side the DAB radio in that worked fine, because it had a little roof mounted antenna. had that just over 2 years

Mk7 golf only 18 months (bought at 3 years old), just servicing it at VW to keep warranty was enough, but I could tell it was going to get expensive soon, DAB radio I think on those was antenna round the pillars or a module in the boot that connected to the rear window as it didnt have a roof aerial, I dont think the reception was nearly as good.

Both the beetle and the golf I bought from quite a distance away so had to totally retune the radios.

My Jeep, a 2011 owned it for 3 months, replaced the whole front subframe, full service, track rod ends, lambda sensor and the radiator is now starting to seep, so far winner of money pit goes to this!

So based on the fact the car is a 2015, has it got any sort of warranty on it? If so I'd take it back to the garage and tell em it needs sorting. Theres the other possibility with modern cars that might need looking at and thats software update. gone are the days of a radio just being some transistors and just working, so with some car they have factory software updates for all parts of the car (my mk7 had to have a software update for the handbrake!), I know like for music streaming some Jeeps you had to do a firmware update on the head units, so maybe check that out.

I mean important bit of info, whats the car/head unit, might help us work out if its something more than just a rubbish aerial
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Old 23-10-2019, 04:47 PM   #7
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Its a citroen Cactus (I know I know I know) in car infotainment system. Touchscreen thingy. Im gonna buy an 8.50 ribbon aerial and attach it to the windscreen and see if it make a difference.
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