SiriusXM Keeps Cutting Out in Car- Troubleshooting Guide

A car stereo is not complete without SiriusXM. However, despite its popularity, many subscribers have likely encountered the frustrating experience of signal cutting out while driving. The last thing any driver would want is their SiriusXM cutting in and out, especially when listening to a favorite online station.

If these interruptions happen constantly, you might get worried about whether the stereo is damaged or there is something wrong with your subscription. Besides, it can occur at the most inconvenient times or when you least expect it.

Key Takeaways

  • If for whatever reason, the Sirius XM keeps cutting out abruptly, it means you won’t enjoy online radio in your vehicle.
  • SiriusXM signal interruptions can be caused by various factors, including physical obstacles and technical glitches.
  • Ensuring that your vehicle’s antenna has a clear line of sight to the satellite is crucial for optimal signal reception and minimizing interruptions.
siriusxm keeps cutting out in car

Reasons Why SiriusXM Keeps Cutting Out in Radio

SiriusXM is a satellite-based radio, meaning your vehicle’s antenna requires an unobstructed view of the satellite for optimal reception. Now, any obstacle in the path between your vehicle’s antenna and the satellite can disrupt the signal, leading to interruptions in your SiriusXM service.

For instance, obstacles such as tall buildings or tunnels can obstruct the line of sight thereby weakening or blocking signal altogether. So, if you’re navigating through areas where obstructions are prevalent, it’s common for the signal to be lost or disrupted temporarily.

Moreover, if you stop in an area with no signal or pass through larger ‘no signal’ zones, such as remote rural areas or tunnels, the radio will inevitably stop playing until a signal can be re-acquired. This can be frustrating, especially during extended drives or when you’re enjoying your favorite channel.

Fortunately, modern SiriusXM receivers are designed to automatically reestablish connection once the vehicle moves into an area with better reception. Signal interruptions can also arise from several other reasons including;

Prevailing Weather Conditions

Extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, or severe storms can interfere with the satellite signal and cause interruptions in SiriusXM service. Furthermore, severe storms, high winds, and turbulent atmospheric conditions can also disrupt signal transmission. This can, in turn, disrupt the reception of XM signal and lead to temporary outages now and then.

Solar Interference

Solar interference, also known as sun outage or sun fade, occurs when the position of the sun aligns with the path of communication between a satellite and its ground-based receiver. It is more prevalent during the spring and fall equinoxes when the sun is directly in line with the geostationary satellites used for communication.

During this period, SiriusXM receivers may experience decreased signal strength, degraded audio quality, or complete loss of signal for short durations. These interruptions typically last for a few minutes to up to 15 minutes.

Antenna Problems

If there’s any damage to the vehicle’s antenna, such as physical obstructions or corrosion, it can interfere with signal reception. Additionally, incorrect antenna installation or positioning may result in suboptimal signal strength, thereby making your radio cut in and out sporadically.

Interference from Other Devices

If there are electronic devices nearby, they can interfere with the SiriusXM signal. This interference can occur due to electromagnetic interference or radio frequency interference generated by other devices or infrastructure. As a result, you may experience degraded audio quality or complete signal loss.

Subscription Status

If your subscription is inactive or has expired, access to SiriusXM channels will be restricted. Therefore, the radio will cut out or cease to play until you renew the subscription. As such, users must maintain an active subscription to access the service.

Vehicle Positioning

The position and orientation of the vehicle relative to the satellite can also impact signal reception. For instance, parking your vehicle in locations where obstacles block the satellite signal, such as garages or under structures can lead to signal disruptions and, therefore, make the radio cut out.

Maintenance or Upgrades

SiriusXM may perform maintenance or upgrades on its satellite network or ground infrastructure occasionally. During these period, users may experience interruptions in service as the necessary adjustments are made to enhance the overall performance and reliability of the system. The interruption is typically temporary, and service is often restored once the maintenance activities are complete.

How to Fix Sirius XM Cutting In and Out

Ensure a Clear Line of Sight

Position your vehicle’s antenna in a location that offers a clear, unobstructed view of the sky. You can also consider mounting the antenna on the roof of your car or at a higher elevation to help minimize signal blockages from surrounding obstacles.

Check and Adjust the Antenna Position

Inspect your antenna to ensure it’s properly aligned and free from physical damage. If necessary, adjust the antenna’s position to optimize signal reception. You can experiment with different mounting locations to find the best placement for maximum signal strength.

Check for Loose Connections or Damaged Cables

Counter-check the connections between the XM antenna, receiver, and car stereo system. Ensure that all cables are securely connected and that there are no signs of damage or corrosion. Also, tighten any loose connections and replace damaged cables as necessary to improve signal stability.

Update Firmware and Software

Update your vehicle’s firmware and XM receiver software regularly to ensure optimal performance. The manufacturer often releases updates to address bugs, improve signal processing algorithms, and enhance overall stability. Ensure you check for updates through the vehicle’s infotainment system or SiriusXM receiver menu and install them as needed.

Consider Aftermarket Signal Boosters or Antennas

Explore aftermarket signal boosters or antennas designed to enhance XM reception in areas with weak signal coverage. These devices help amplify the incoming signal and improve overall signal stability, especially in environments with significant signal challenges. Be sure to research compatible options and installation requirements before making a purchase.

Minimize Signal Interruptions While Parked

If you frequently experience signal interruptions while parked, consider positioning your vehicle in an open area away from tall buildings or dense foliage. Avoid parking in underground garages or other locations with limited sky visibility, as these can hinder satellite reception.

Restart the SiriusXM Receiver or Reset Factory Settings

If you’re experiencing persistent signal cutouts, try restarting your receiver or resetting it to factory settings. This can help resolve software glitches or configuration issues that may be affecting signal reception. Always refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on how to perform an XM reset.

Also Read: Why Does My Car Clock Keep Losing Time? Here is the Truth


If you’ve been wondering why your Sirius XM keeps cutting out, you’re now informed of what could be causing the issue. The easiest way to solve the problem is to ensure your radio is receiving a clear and uninterrupted signal. You can achieve this by optimizing the position of your antenna and avoiding/removing obstructions. Remember, a little troubleshooting and attention to detail can go a long way in ensuring uninterrupted enjoyment of SiriusXM’s vast array of channels on the road.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *