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MCU2 Upgrde and no AM or FM radio

Jimat

Member
Jun 21, 2014
102
14
Burra NSW
After the usual MCU1 problems,including a replacement MCU1, I finally decided to go for the $2.5k MCU2 upgrade.
I am remarkably disappointed by the lack of radio as the new LTE (4G) sim appears to be much less useful than the old 3G sim for Spotify and Tunein.
Often takes 5 minutes of driving, even in the city, for the car to acquire a good enough signal to be able to stream internet radio.
My phone shows good signal in areas where the car seems to have only one or two bars but still not enough for Spotify or Tunein.
And as I live in the bush 4G/LTE coverage is spotty which compounds the problem.
so the question is:- is there any way to connect some sort of radio tuner to the car other than the apparently very flakey $750 Tesla tuner?
my car is a 2015 Model S.
 

paulp

Active Member
Jul 23, 2015
3,204
1,603
Adelaide, Australia
After the usual MCU1 problems,including a replacement MCU1, I finally decided to go for the $2.5k MCU2 upgrade.
I am remarkably disappointed by the lack of radio as the new LTE (4G) sim appears to be much less useful than the old 3G sim for Spotify and Tunein.
Often takes 5 minutes of driving, even in the city, for the car to acquire a good enough signal to be able to stream internet radio.
My phone shows good signal in areas where the car seems to have only one or two bars but still not enough for Spotify or Tunein.
And as I live in the bush 4G/LTE coverage is spotty which compounds the problem.
so the question is:- is there any way to connect some sort of radio tuner to the car other than the apparently very flakey $750 Tesla tuner?
my car is a 2015 Model S.
Yes, plug in one of these;

1632908709924.jpeg
 

meloccom

Moderator Aus/NZ
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2008
2,456
1,422
Sydney Australia
You can always download the Spotify app to your phone and stream it through the car.
Edit,
Sorry I just realised I meant Tune In. You can install the Tune In app on your phone and get most Australian radio stations, then stream that to the car.
 
Last edited:
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Chuq

Active Member
Jan 1, 2015
3,522
4,293
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Now I'm confused, I thought that while the first Model 3s didn't have the FM tuner enabled, it was added via a later software update? Or am I mistaken?

AM radio I don't think has ever been available.
 

moa999

2020 3 SR+ MSM
Mar 4, 2020
1,135
881
Sydney, AUS
Now I'm confused, I thought that while the first Model 3s didn't have the FM tuner enabled, it was
Specific to the Model S MCU2 upgrade - you lose terrestrial radio

Due to switch between analogue/digital.

Some in the US have reportedly managed to install new modules, not sure if this is possible in Aus - and it needs custom wiring and Tesla service to initiate it.

Suspect they made the decision that it would be too expensive to offer as an option as part of the retrofit.
 

meloccom

Moderator Aus/NZ
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2008
2,456
1,422
Sydney Australia
Now I'm confused, I thought that while the first Model 3s didn't have the FM tuner enabled, it was added via a later software update? Or am I mistaken?

AM radio I don't think has ever been available.
Hi @Chuq the OP has a 2015 Model S. The original MCU1 had FM radio but I understand that a new MCU2 does away with this feature. I haven’t personally used the FM radio for a number of years as the FM sound quality was/is terrible. I live closer to a big city so use Tune In radio stations in preference despite the numerous drop outs.
p.s. Model S did not have AM radio, only FM radio in the MCU1.
 
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Brian May

Member
Apr 9, 2016
295
65
Melbourne
If you upgrade MCU2, then you also need to upgrade the radio too. The new radio does not have AM support. Some people report that the new radio supports DAB, I was told it doesn't. It might be that DAB doesn't work in older cars even with the upgrade. Many people upgrading to MCU2 have decided it is not worth the expense to upgrade the radio at the same time, and as a result, have no radio access.
 

moa999

2020 3 SR+ MSM
Mar 4, 2020
1,135
881
Sydney, AUS
Edit to my previous.

Seems Tesla now offers a Radio upgrade as well which should get FM/DAB back. Not clear how much extra this is. (I assume this might be what the OP is referring to in his flaky $750 comment)

Is there any way to keep access to AM, FM and DAB radio?
Yes. Tesla offers an additional Radio Upgrade, including the installation of a compatible radio tuner and antennas, that allows customers to retain access to FM radio and DAB radio. It is not possible to retain access to AM radio.

 

paulp

Active Member
Jul 23, 2015
3,204
1,603
Adelaide, Australia
Edit to my previous.

Seems Tesla now offers a Radio upgrade as well which should get FM/DAB back. Not clear how much extra this is. (I assume this might be what the OP is referring to in his flaky $750 comment)



So FM radio is now an extra? I think the last time that happened was in the 1980’s.
 
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moa999

2020 3 SR+ MSM
Mar 4, 2020
1,135
881
Sydney, AUS
So FM radio is now an extra? I think the last time that happened was in the 1980’s.
Think it's more that they removed it to reduce the price of the MCU2 upgrade given I suspect a lot of Tesla drivers only use Spotify and TuneIn.

If you want it the option is there.
 

Jimat

Member
Jun 21, 2014
102
14
Burra NSW
Hi @Chuq the OP has a 2015 Model S. The original MCU1 had FM radio but I understand that a new MCU2 does away with this feature. I haven’t personally used the FM radio for a number of years as the FM sound quality was/is terrible. I live closer to a big city so use Tune In radio stations in preference despite the numerous drop outs.
p.s. Model S did not have AM radio, only FM radio in the MCU1.
My MS did have both AM and FM radio with both MCU1s that I had.
what I have looked for is radio tuner AM and/orFM with Bluetooth output- can’t find one.
I guess this is the price of our new digital world.
The Tesla tech who changed over both of my MCUs reckons that not only is the FM tuner a real b***ard to fit but the units are frequently troublesome.
 

aegidius

Member
Aug 27, 2018
450
315
Brisbane
Lesson here seems to be for older S's - if your MCU1 goes, get them to fit a new MCU1 under the extended warranty terms. I'll probably be moving to a new car by then anyway...
 

moa999

2020 3 SR+ MSM
Mar 4, 2020
1,135
881
Sydney, AUS
reckons that not only is the FM tuner a real b***ard to fit but the units are frequently troublesome.

So the real question is.
Have others had problems with the radio upgrade units?

Or it's the Tesla service got just trying to dissuade you from a difficult job for them?
 

cafz

Member
Jul 17, 2020
585
548
Australia
Lesson here seems to be for older S's - if your MCU1 goes, get them to fit a new MCU1 under the extended warranty terms. I'll probably be moving to a new car by then anyway...
By all reports the MCU2 is much nicer to use though - and it also supports LTE, which is going to be necessary in a few years when the 3G network is decommissioned.
 

Jimat

Member
Jun 21, 2014
102
14
Burra NSW
You can always download the Spotify app to your phone and stream it through the car.
Edit,
Sorry I just realised I meant Tune In. You can install the Tune In app on your phone and get most Australian radio stations, then stream that to the car.
Thanks for the heads up Meloccom- I have installed the Tunein app and blue toothed to the car.
It will be interesting to see how much better my iPhone is compared to my MS.
There are a few black spots for phone reception on my drive into town- but no where near as many as the car seems to suffer.
 

aegidius

Member
Aug 27, 2018
450
315
Brisbane
The Tesla tech who changed over both of my MCUs reckons that not only is the FM tuner a real b***ard to fit but the units are frequently troublesome.
What sort of extra cost was involved for the radio upgrade? And does it give you DAB like the Model 3's have?
(public holiday here so can't get answers from the big T)

what I have looked for is radio tuner AM and/orFM with Bluetooth output- can’t find one.
At a quick look they seem to be all over Aliexpress, so they must exist (although you have to wade through a lot of FM transmitters). I'll see what else is out there...
 

bradjc

Member
Mar 7, 2016
319
175
Melbourne, Australia
Thanks for the heads up Meloccom- I have installed the Tunein app and blue toothed to the car.
It will be interesting to see how much better my iPhone is compared to my MS.
There are a few black spots for phone reception on my drive into town- but no where near as many as the car seems to suffer.

Hey @Jimat I recently upgraded to the MCU2 and having a lot of connection issues, but I don’t think it’s the 4G module. 80% of the time the app doesn’t wake the car in my garage, and we live 800m from a Telstra 4G tower and wifi at home. Also while driving it regularly disconnects from the network with no signal when I normally would. I think its a software thing and was hoping a recent update would fix, but still happening and it’s a bit of a pain. I have a SC appointment coming up and was going to bring up the issue with service then.
 

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