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Sirius/XM reception issues???

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by rallaer, May 1, 2013.

  1. rallaer

    rallaer New Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Is anyone having issues with fade out or a weak signal with their XM radio? I transferred my account from my BMW M3 a couple weeks ago, and I can't drive anywhere there are trees without the radio going out for a couple seconds. This NEVER happened in my BMW, doesn't happen now in my wife's Ford Expedition, and hasn't happened with any other car we've ever had around here. I'm hoping it's a lose wire or bad connection. Can't believe this $100k car wouldn't have a good antenna for satellite radio (being that the owner of the company owns SpaceX).

    Please let me know if I am missing something.

    Also - anyone else think it's kinda cheap that the album art is simply a music symbol for XM? I know they transmit album art, because I get it in other cars. Maybe it's just my S, I hope. Something that can be fixed?
     
  2. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
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    1,397
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    I have xm on my S and my GM truck.... Both have sporadic yet repeatable drop zones...

    Is the S any worse? I personally don't find it to be the case.
     
  3. dgmanny

    dgmanny Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Metrowest Boston
    I agree with you. The reception for xm is much worse than my other cars. I live in a fairly wooded area. fm reception and am reception are lousy too. I am having the service center take my car for the day to put on the spoiler and check into the reception issues.
     
  4. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Aug 7, 2012
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    8,556
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Works perfectly in my car. Having said that, I've decided not to renew when my annual subscription runs out next month. The audio is not nearly as good as I get from other sources (phone, Slacker etc.) due to how much compression XM uses in the signal (noticed this on my other XM-equipped cars too).
     
  5. Miuaiga

    Miuaiga Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Williamsburg, VA
    I'm having significant drop out of the XM signal when under even modest tree cover. I would have periodic dropout in my Toyota Highlander when under heavy foliage, but nothing like this. I've made the excuse that since the MS is much lower than the SUV, the problem may be inherent to the design. I'm heartened to know that others have had good reception in comparable sedans. So, the question now is where is the XM antenna in the car? And, what can be done to improve reception?
     
  6. hasselboxster

    hasselboxster Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Buffalo, New York, United States
    I also have significantly worse reception in the model S than with my previous car, a chevy volt. The kicker is that the reception meter sometimes still shows 3 bars. It drops out very easily.
     
  7. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Jan 12, 2011
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    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    My mercedes does this also. I like Slacker and the other internet stations so much that I will not even activate the XM. Very poor customer service. I hate it every time I have to call them!
     
  8. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
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    13,257
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    Important to differentiate between XM and Sirius because of the different ways they transmit. Some parts of the country have more issues with XM, and we had issues with XM in previous cars. Funnily enough reception in the Model S is better than anything else we experienced previously.
     
  9. FatSal

    FatSal Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    My P85 has terrible XM reception. I have a street I drive down with a clear view of the sky and it constantly drops out. It works fine when I drive my wife's Prius. I brought it up to my service person and they implied there was an adjustment they could make. The car is in service today, so I'll report back if it improves.
     
  10. lov2krz

    lov2krz Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
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    16
    Location:
    Morgan Hill
    I to am having more drops outs of signal. I knew of 3 spots in my Acura and Prius that had consistent drop outs in the south bay, 87/85 interchange, Hillsdale Almaden underpass and 101/85 interchange. Now it occurs under most large interchanges and tunnels, hardly ever dropped in tunnels before. I think its related to the antenna placement. I'm going to write XM Customer Service as noted in a post below.
     
  11. Jesuis

    Jesuis New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    CT USA
    I still have my 2013 BMW X5M, and the radio (Sirius) reception in my 2013 Model S is much worse than the BMW. The leaves on the trees aren't even out yet!
     
  12. gglockner

    gglockner Member

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    Nov 7, 2013
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    Location:
    Bellevue WA
    I have Sirius on my 2007 Toyota and (IIRC) XM on the Model S. The sound and reception are much better on the Model S. The only downside with the Model S is that we get a slight static sound when we lose reception, whereas on the Toyota, it is dead silent when there is no reception.
     
  13. cmorn

    cmorn Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
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    46
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    I switched from Sirius band on my BMW to XM band on my MS in November. I have exactly the same signal loss issues and locations with both.
     
  14. Earthdog

    Earthdog Member

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    Oct 28, 2013
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    Location:
    United States
    My MS has the worst reception of any car and truck I have ever owned. I am told from the SC its just normal... I drive the same route to my office occasionally in my F150 and never have issues on the same station. MS reception is general is subpar.
     
  15. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    Apr 30, 2009
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    1,149
    The "static" is fake. It's just an audible cue to let you know the signal has weakened to the point where the data stream cannot be recovered, and if I recall correctly (haven't listened to XM since Sirius bought them) it also plays the "static" when the signal comes back. Some brands of receivers do that, some don't.
     
  16. gglockner

    gglockner Member

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    Location:
    Bellevue WA
    Thanks for the tip. The static is very annoying. Perhaps this can be changed in a future firmware.
     
  17. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
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    1,939
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    I've found that in my area Sirius has very good reception (almost no dropouts) while XM has repeatable dropouts in certain areas.

    Was really hoping Model S would be different, especially since you pay $2500 for the "privilege" of satellite radio (Sound Studio).
     
  18. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
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    2,497
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    I've found that where I live the Sirius reception in my wife's BMW X3 and now Volvo XC60 is substantially better than the XM reception in my Model S. My car will lose signal at the drop of a hat if there is any tree cover around. Hers won't.
     
  19. siai47

    siai47 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2014
    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Deland, Fl.
    Although Sirius and XM have merged into one company, the satellite orbital locations and how they work are totally different. XM uses geostationary satellites (3) located above the equator. Sirius has non-stationary satellites that orbit over the United States and their paths converge over the northern Midwest. Therefore, XM works much better in the southern latitudes and Sirius works best in the northern latitudes. If you have a fixed antenna, XM wants you to point it south, Sirius wants you to point it towards Minnesota. East-west roads in northern latitudes are a problem for XM because the elevation of the satellites are very low. Any trees on the side of the road will block the signal---not so bad with Sirius. It's too bad there isn't an option to choose which receiver to have installed in your vehicle when you purchase it.
     

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