Car radio problems on AM


AM reception can be especially prone to interference from the car ignition system. The problem often sounds like a whine which rises and falls with engine speed. It can also cause a rough crackling noise which can be worse on LW than MW.

What to do

If interference only occurs when the car engine is running, it may be because of poor earthing or faulty/corroded HT leads or spark plugs. If you still have the problem with the ignition on but the engine stopped, it may be associated with the vehicle's engine management system (EMS).

Check the radio and aerial have good earth connections, free from corrosion. You may need to change the HT leads and/or spark plugs. A competent automotive electrician can usually deal with most problems, although for EMS issues you may need help from a specialist dealer.  

How would you rate the usefulness of this answer

Poor Excellent

Transmitter Checker

Enter postcode and platform below to check for faults with your local transmitter (Format: AB12 2AA)

For information on how we use your postcode (and any other personal data you may provide to us), check the 'How we use your personal information' section on our 'About Us' page.

Problem Assistant

Get started with diagnosing your problem with our self-help tool.

Launch the tool by clicking here