AM car radio failure

  shellship 18:35 PM 03 Sep 11
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Answered

Don't know if this should be in Consumer Watch or Speaker's Corner but no doubt FE will put me right. Volvo S80 D5, 2007 just under a year past warranty. AM radio suddenly failed to operate - FM is fine. Volvo dealer checked both AM and FM antenna and found no problem thus fault is in radio itself. Unfortunately radio is inextricably linked to phone in centre console and repair is likely to cost about £500 (probably a new unit). Local big car radio specialist will not touch it. In this day and age radios should not go wrong. I have asked garage to ask Volvo for a contribution but I still feel miffed. I could buy a DAB link to the FM for much less and listen to AM stations that way, but why should I?

  Quickbeam 07:45 AM 05 Sep 11

"I could buy a DAB link to the FM for much less and listen to AM stations that way, but why should I?"

Because it's cheaper than the radio replacement/repair by far and you will get your preferred am stations back plus many more, and also with an improvement in broadcast quality over am which is akin to the improvement that am is over a pre-war cat's whisker set.

Once you've listen to the talk/sports output on DAB, you'll never again want to be bothered the constant retuning of the fading voice from a biscuit tin source that am is. It's a technology of last century, and belongs back there along with various other orphaned technologies that we've abandoned along the way, valve radios, compact cassettes, eight track, vinyl discs betamax, 35mm film, spectrum ZX. They were all ground breaking in their day... way back in last century!

You will need an external aerial though, the FM splitters, or the windscreen stick-on one are crap.

pure one & aerials

  interzone55 13:24 PM 05 Sep 11

I've got a DAB radio built into my car and I was most pleasantly surprised.

I expected the signal to consist of the bubbling mud that you get with a cheap DAB radio in a poor signal area, but the quality is usually excellent, if the signal is ever poor enough to cause bubbling the audio just shuts off, then comes back again when it's good enough.

I live in North Lancashire, and generally the signal doesn't drop until I get more than about 20 miles away from the M6, and then only when I'm deep in the countryside.

You do need a proper aerial though, as I said, mines a standard fit and I've got a combined FM / DAB aerial on the roof, a little longer than the standard aerial on a MINI

  wee eddie 13:56 PM 05 Sep 11

I think that you should be able to expect a Radio to last longer than a Year.

Contact your local Consumer Advisory Services asap.

The Garage are giving you the runaround.

  interzone55 14:05 PM 05 Sep 11

wee eddie

You've misread, the car is from 2007 & one-year out of the warranty...

  wee eddie 17:14 PM 05 Sep 11

Allan ~ thought that that was the Model Number

  shellship 11:49 AM 06 Sep 11

Latest news is that garage, having been on to Volvo, state that repair (new installation?) will cost £800 and that Volvo have offered 20% contribution. Have now written to Volvo UK CEO and will see what that brings. Watch this space!

  wee eddie 12:46 PM 06 Sep 11

There are two thoughts here.

  1. as you appear to be in England, such a piece of equipment should be expected to last for at least 5 years.

  2. You have had over 3 years use from it and therefor it is unlikely that you should expect a full refund, although 20% of the Total Replacement Cost, including Fitting, appears to me anyway to be a little on the low side.

  Quickbeam 14:33 PM 06 Sep 11

But for less than £100, you could have what I would put straight into a new car without DAB. Even if they offer 50% off the cost, your fitting a piece of dinosaur technology with a replacement cost of 4X the newer technology. I can't see why you're so bothered.

The quality of AM is unlistenable in this day and age compared to the alternatives. To still want am in the car is like still insisting that an Imperial typewriter is still a viable alternative to MS word because you can still buy a replacement for the worn letter 'P' to make it carry on working...

  shellship 13:00 PM 10 Sep 11
Answer

Quickbeam AM may be no good for you but without it I cannot listen to programmes like the Test matches which are wonderful for long journeys. Dare I also mention Radio 5? Also, replacing the existing unit with a simple new radio is not on as the whole thing is inextricably linked with the phone and as I said in my original post just cannot be done.

Wee Eddie Quite agree.

Anyway, had Volvo back to me straight away with a 70% offer. Tried to negotiate for a bit more and got an undertaking to speak to garage to persuade them to take a cut. Garage contacted to offer to do all work at cost. So I am pleased that I tried hard and well done Volvo..

  Quickbeam 10:25 AM 11 Sep 11

You get those stations on DAB without the annoying squelch that am is notorious for.

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