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FM radio sporadically quits

My 1997 Chrysler LHS FM radio has developed the nasty habit of quitting in a random manner; the AM mode on the radio consistently works (arghh!) I have replaced the radio, and the problem is still there (ARGHHH!) short of getting a different car, what do I do?

Depending on where you live and which station you’re trying to listen to, this could be normal.

Did you replace the radio with a factory unit or with an aftermarket radio?

Do you live in a hilly/mountainous area?

FM stations cut out depending on terrain and distance.

AM signals, for some reason, seem to be less affected by terrain.

Surely someone who understands why this happens will post a better response.

Let me clarify: I have had the LHS for years and the radio has always worked beautifully until last fall. The problem is with ALL FM stations. The replacement radio is exactly like the one originally with the car; bought it at the junkyard and it looks brand new. It is acting exactly like the old one, so my best guess is that the problem is not in the radio per se. All AM stations come in just fine.

Hi Bernetta, Randy here. Don’t panic. This is a common problem. The fixes depend on which model you have. The Chrysler cd-radio is built by Alpine. Other than the selfish jerks at GM and Ford, Alpine is the only company that refuses to let us buy parts and service manuals for their products. I repair them anyhow, just not with their parts. There is a list of common problems caused by automated manufacturing techniques. Once repaired, they are repaired for life. The problems include intermittent display, intermittent loss of just FM, intermittent loss of AM and FM, no backlighting of the faceplate buttons, no or incorrect response from the front switches, and incorrect response to the volume control. I address all of these things when a radio is shipped in.

The cd / cassette combo radios are built by Mitsubishi and are very high quality. They develop fewer common problems but intermittent FM is one of them. I have replacement FM tuners, but I figured out how to repair them so I don’t have to sell you a new one. I address a few other common things at the same time so you don’t have a new problem in the future.

The AM / FM and AM / FM / cassette radios are built by Chrysler. They had a very high failure rate of the FM tuners. Those are a sealed unit that is not repairable. I have the new improved version but they are very expensive. Unless you are “emotionally-involved” with your original radio, you are better off looking for another one of these at the local salvage yard. They are very inexpensive because fewer and fewer people want cassette players. Most of them should have developed the problem and been repaired a long time ago.

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