Help Me, My Radio Has Gone Crazy!

I own a 03 Saturn Ion which I love. But a week or so ago it started having the strangest problem. My radio memory buttons keep switching channels! I asked my mechanic, he said it probably picked up a stray signal that messed with it, but it is getting worse about it. I love and must have my radio stations when in my car; pleeeaaase help me!

Are you sure you’re not leaving the key in there when some kids are playing “car”? Any practical jokers who know you intimately enough to see that you’re way too wound up about station hopping? I had a female friend that evidenced her basic neurotic state by constantly swapping stations as she drove. I would periodically make all the buttons go to the same station. It would drive her nuts.

Check the constant power for the memory and make sure it isn’t being interupted. If that is ok then something inside the radio is causing the memory problem and you would be better off cost wise getting a used radio off Ebay or have a new one installed rather than fixing the one you have. Crutchfield is a good place to shop for new systems if you want to go that route.

This could be an early indication of a failing alternator.
An inconsistent power supply could periodically wipe out the radio’s memory settings.

With a former employer (that provided warranty radio service for the former “big 3”) we brought ina fair number of radios for repair when the complaint was losing presets, certainly check constant power and ground.

Hello everyone!
Thank you all for all the great input on this! The memories all have my stations in them, but they will hop locations, and it’s happening more and more.
I do not have kids and would not allow them to play in the car if I did. Boyfriend does not have a key and is never alone in my car. My neurotic channel jumping is well guarded:-)
I will take all the power suggestions out to my mechanic Monday and hopefully it’ll be one of the simple easy fixes, though not sure there is such a thing as simple with a car problem like this. I’ll be sure to let you guys know the outcome.
Thank you again!

Yes, please let us know what your mechanic, Monday, finds when he checks the car.

I ran into something similar once. Many radios support multiple bands of presets. I was inadvertently changing bands and wondering why the presets were different. At least something to consider…

VDCD, I Knew You’d Do That. Maybe By Consulting His “Man Friday” A Solution Can Be Found.


Did I miss something???
I have my own mechanic whom I have trusted for over fifteen years.

Thanks for the suggestion.
My radio does have FM1 and FM2, but I’m sure I’m not switching between them.
Wish it were that simple:-)

Did you miss anything?
Yes, you missed out on the little bit of sarcasm in which CSA and I were indulging!

Your sentence, “I will take all the power suggestions out to my mechanic Monday…”, was constructed in such a way as to imply that your mechanic’s name is “Monday”. Some of us occasionally like to have a little fun with our responses, in addition to doling out good car advice.

The good news is that there is no charge for our help with English grammar!