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How to get better AM reception in my Elantra?

I have a late model car with one of those fins for a radio antenna. I also have an older Ford with the old type of tall antenna. Problem is I can’t get good AM reception on the newer car. I don’t care about satellite. Can I connect the radio in the new car to an old style antenna with good results with AM reception?

You header says 2019 but I guess that is not correct. What are we talking about here because you may still be under warranty. Also is this a new problem ?

If you can determine the antenna connection on the radio and install an old style whip antenna with the same connector (the hard part will be snaking the cable through the bodywork) yes, it should improve things considerably…Todays car radios are not optimized for AM signal reception…

You do realize they’ve started coming out with 2019 model vehicles a couple of months ago?


An AM radio signal is an analog signal, not a digital signal.That’s why you can’t get a good/strong signal.

They do sell aftermarket radio antennas for AM/FM analog signals. But I have no idea how well they work.


AM radio signals are the same as they have been for about 100 years. But there are more stations, more crowded airwaves, and more sources of electromagnetic interference that AM is subject to. AM car radios have been and can be far better than what your Elantra has. The big loss in AM car radio performance started in the early 1960s when transistor car radios replaced those with tubes.

I think most carmakers don’t put much demand on their audio system suppliers to make better AM sections. I, too, don’t know what a longer antenna would do for you. But another limiting factor is the quality of the AM section of your audio system.

Hey! @shanonia

Is WEBC A/M radio still on the air in Duluth?


With some vehicles the “shark fin” antenna is used for the GPS antenna and the cellular telephone connection, the radio antenna is in the rear window.

The most common cause of poor reception in cars with the antenna in the rear window is a window tint film with a conductive quality.

AM radio is not dead yet, some late model cars have HD radio receivers, HD AM sounds nearly as good as FM reception.

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Yes, on 560 Khz.

I had a similar problem when I was a freight hauler for a class 1 common carrier.We drove a different tractor every night, sometimes 3 different ones a night. Our trucks had no radios of any kind, so we had to provide our own radios, speakers and antennas. I built a wooden box with 2 wheels and a folding handle, we had to walk a long way to dispatch from the parking lot and longer still to what ever tractor and two trailers we were assigned. My box had a cb and an am/fm radio and 2 6 x9 speakers and I had two antennas on a vise grip mount and a power and ground wires with alligator clips.

I wanted a good am/fm so I went to a shop that specialized in radios of all kinds and spent $200 for a radio that the shop owner assured me was the “Cadillac” of radios. Well, it must have been the Cimaron model because the fm had about a 40 mile rande, the am wouldn’t pull anything in unless I was almost sitting in the parking lot. I tried a longer, adjustable antenna because the ones they make for cars were the optimal length for fm, I even added an additional ground wire from the antenna to the chassis to see if I was getting insufficient ground from the mirror brackets.

Nothing helped so I went back to the radio shop, and the owner called the factory rep while I was there. His answer was, “nobody listens to am anymore” , Sheepishly, the owner refunded my money and I went to a closeout store that had a bin of unused Chrysler push button radios from the 70s or 80s for $5 each. That night I was back up to the 500 plus range on the am! I went back and bought two more, just in case.

It might be easier just to stream the stations you’re interested in.

Do you really want to go mucking around with the body and interior of a brand new car??

Perhaps an inline signal booster would help, but that would still involve surgery on the dashboard. Maybe carry a boombox for AM? Pick one up at a yard sale for a couple of bucks.

Yes I do, but I was going by the ( I have a late model car ) . But it does not matter because the person may never return.