'89 Accord Bose Stereo

I have an '89 Accord SE-i with the Honda Bose sound package. Recently it seems the reception has begun to cut out for FM channels. The sound will basically cut out and I will only be able to faintly hear the radio, this happens on and off. This only happens with FM, if I switch to AM or use the cassette deck there is no problem. I’m trying to figure out whether this is an issue with the antennae or with the stereo itself. I’m hoping antennae since it’s cheaper to fix, but i’d be interested to hear what others have to say.

If you can really hear the FM stations faintly, then the problem is probably in the electronics, not in the antenna. If, OTOH, you hear nothing on FM, then then you have a good chance that it is the antenna, but could still be the electronics.

The problem is easy to diagnose. On my 89 Accord with the standard radio/cassette the antennae wire pulls out of the back of the unit and is easy to reach. Go and buy yourself a replacement antennae (less than $10) and plug it in and play with it. Get the replacment for your model, as that is pretty easy to replace also. If you need help, post back . . . I’ve replaced mine twice and it’s easier if you know how. Rocketman

Where do you find one for less than $10? All of the ones i’ve found are $90 or more!

Most chain autoparts stores sell generic antennas for that price range. A correct one for your car will probably cost a lot more, especially if it’s a power antenna.

If it’s that easy to get to the radio’s antenna jack (connector) you don’t need an “official” antenna to do that test. Just get a few feet of wire connected to the jack’s center conductor, and maybe connect the outer shell of the jack (or the radio’s case) to a convenient ground. If the new-fangled connectors are like the one’s I knew 40 years ago, you might have to slide a nail or small screwdriver into the jack to make the center connection. Use something that fits snugly enough to make contact, but not so big and tight that you distort the jack.

Yeah, i’ll have to give that a try to test whether it’s the antennae or not. The jack is very easy to get to, only have to remove two screws and you’re there.

Autozone has one for $9.99 . . . part #AW-UT391 . . . universal made by Metra . . . your SE-i has an electric one on the rear fender, right? This will fit but won’t retract as it is one piece and fixed. Even if you just use it as a test antennae . . . 10 bucks is cheap. Rocketman

I think if the antenna was bad your AM tuner would have bad reception also. I suspect that the problem is within the FM section of the radio, possibly the IF section, but I could be wrong. Trying a different antenna is at least easy to do. If the radio is the problem there are places you can send it for repair if you like.