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Hi all! I know that people have been posting messages about poor reception with their RAV4s, so I hate to sound like a broken record by posting yet another one.

I've had two different decks in my RAV4 - a Panasonic and a Clarion - both of which yield less-than-satisfactory FM reception, especially long-distance. I originally had a Panasonic that came brand-new with the RAV4. I replaced it because of unacceptable interference with AM reception. I have a Clarion deck, which does not have the same problem with AM reception that my Panasonic had. However, my FM reception didn't really improve with the new deck - and I've noticed that even long-distance AM reception is a chore.

I drove home from Portland, Oregon, after a mini-road-trip, yesterday. I noticed a big difference between my RAV4 and my old Tercel in terms of radio reception, both AM and FM. There are some Seattle FM radio stations that I was able to pick up in Vancouver with my old Tercel that I could barely pick up even half way up Interstate 5 with my RAV4. In addition, there are plenty of Vancouver, BC AM stations that could not pick up until I got really close to the border, whereas I was able to pick up their signal OK with my old Tercel, even while in Seattle!

Is there something wrong with the design of the RAV4 or the antenna itself that makes reception so poor? Will a signal booster do any good for FM reception? Just for the records, I had a Clarion deck in my old Tercel.

Thanks!
 

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I forget if it was here or on Rav4Oz, but there was a discussion awhile back and someone mentioned that it could be a design flaw. Something about the antennae picking up too much interference from its proximity to the engine. A suggestion was to run the antenna from the rear of the Rav4 like any Euro spec Rav does thereby eliminating engine interference.
 
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Slayer said:
I forget if it was here or on Rav4Oz, but there was a discussion awhile back and someone mentioned that it could be a design flaw. Something about the antennae picking up too much interference from its proximity to the engine. A suggestion was to run the antenna from the rear of the RAV4 like any Euro spec RAV does thereby eliminating engine interference.
Thanks for the input. Yes, I recall that I read the design flaw theory on this site. However, sometimes, the engine doesn't have to be on for the interference to occur. I often have no problem when my key is on ACC. However, as soon as I turn it to ON, even without actually starting the engine, the interference kicks in :?

Oh well... I'll just wait till I get satellite radio. ;)
 

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did you ever find a fix? i just had a kenwood ddx8017 installed and fm reception is horrible with static. I can get clean am reception if I unscrew the antenna to the rav4 hood am reception goes away but fm reception is not degraded, any ideas?
 
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proudx said:
did you ever find a fix? i just had a kenwood ddx8017 installed and fm reception is horrible with static. I can get clean am reception if I unscrew the antenna to the RAV4 hood am reception goes away but fm reception is not degraded, any ideas?
FM reception is still an issue with my RAV4. I've had the same problem with two different head units. I even have a bit of static with local radio stations.

Oh well... :(
 

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rav4 reception and aftermarket radios

does the rav4 use a diversity antenna? I looked at the stock toyota radio that the installer pulled from my rav4 and it has a coax antenna hookup port as well as a screw in ground.

Does the RAV4 have an amplified antenna stock?

Maybe the static has soemthing to do with ground or another wire that is not connected?

and for my own testing I unscrewed the RAV4 antenna and FM stations did not degrade much at all but AM stations went away, so I know the Antenna is connected, just something with the FM isn't right. I wonder if Toyota would have any answers? maybe we need to find a antenna line filter or new antenna that works better with aftermarket radios?
 

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My '05 Chili also has poor AM & FM reception with the Panasonic radio, but I've always chalked it up to the fender mounted antenna......but with nothing to prove it. My previous '98 Rav had the A-pillar antenna and because of garaging it every nite, I only extended it half way.......but the reception was great on AM & FM in spite of this.......the radio was the factory am/fm/cd, but don't know who made it.
Sorry I can't add any solutions, but I'll be following this post to see if anyone can find a solution.....

PS: This can't be doing Panasonic's reputation any good......and they can't be happy about it.......maybe a post or email to their site would get better results than from Toyota.......?????
 
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Bluenoser said:
My '05 Chili also has poor AM & FM reception with the Panasonic radio, but I've always chalked it up to the fender mounted antenna......but with nothing to prove it. My previous '98 RAV had the A-pillar antenna and because of garaging it every nite, I only extended it half way.......but the reception was great on AM & FM in spite of this.......the radio was the factory am/fm/cd, but don't know who made it.
Sorry I can't add any solutions, but I'll be following this post to see if anyone can find a solution.....

PS: This can't be doing Panasonic's reputation any good......and they can't be happy about it.......maybe a post or email to their site would get better results than from Toyota.......?????
*sigh*... I've all but given up on the whole FM reception thing. :( The good news is that, on a nice sunny, clear day, I can still receive KUBE 93, a Seattle hip-hop radio station. I used to be able to receive it everyday, crystal-clear, on my old '95 Tercel with an A-Pillar mounted antenna. Nowadays, I have to wait for the weather to be nice and sunny in order to receive KUBE 93 (or I might as well just listen to CBC Radio One or Two :roll:)

However, the one big issue that I had with my Panasonic deck, that I never had with the Clarion that replaced my Panasonic, is that AM reception is attrocious when I drove under those big power lines. With the Panasonic, I used to experience a really annoying "HUM" when I'm under those big transmission power lines. However, the problem went away when I had my Clarion installed in December. I'm not sure whether it was a problem specific to the Panasonic, or just a "bad unit".
 
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It's a problem specific to AM, and you just have a radio now whose makers figured out how to lessen it to an unnoticable degree. Power lines disrupt Amplitude Modulated (AM) radio waves, because they mess around with the radio waves themselves by putting out their own interference (when they're carrying enough voltage). FM doesn't have the same problem, because (extremely simply put) your radio's looking for how often the waves hit it, not how powerfully they hit it.

Think of it kinda this way... You're standing at the beach, watching the waves roll in. If you're watching for how high on the beach the waves hit, putting a bunch of big rocks in the shallows is gonna mess you up. If you're only watching for the number of waves to roll up to you, though, you'll still get the same count, even though they've hit the rocks.
 

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thats really strange. I have 2004 rav4 S and i had never any problems with reception. even when im driving under the bridge or even in tunnels i never had any problems. I haven't done any mods regarding antena. :?
 
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Alien18 said:
thats really strange. I have 2004 RAV4 S and i had never any problems with reception. even when im driving under the bridge or even in tunnels i never had any problems. I haven't done any mods regarding antena. :?
Hmmm...

Do you only try to tune into local radio stations? I have no problem with reception with local FM stations. However, when I try to tune into Seattle radio stations (and Seattle is about 120 miles south of Vancouver, BC), all I get is static (for most stations) on a cloudy day, while in my old car, reception used to be near-perfect!

However, AM reception was one problem that was absolutely unacceptable with my old Panasonic that came with all Chili special edition RAV4s.
 

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guys its a problem with FM for me and yes locally. Even 15miles away from the FM transmitter tower. I have exchagned the Kenwood DDX8017 with another one and it does the same thing. FM has constant static and high frequency distortion. I'd say aroud 12 to 14khz is where I am hearing the distortion and static. Wasn't a problem with the factory toyota head unit.
 
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proudx said:
guys its a problem with FM for me and yes locally. Even 15miles away from the FM transmitter tower. I have exchagned the Kenwood DDX8017 with another one and it does the same thing. FM has constant static and high frequency distortion. I'd say aroud 12 to 14khz is where I am hearing the distortion and static. Wasn't a problem with the factory toyota head unit.
You still have the same problem, eh? :( I'd be pretty P.O.ed if I had the same problem with local stations.

I think the next step now is to install a replacement antenna, say, on the roof of, near the rear. I think somebody else in this forum once installed an amplified roof-mounted antenna.

Could it a problem with Kenwood decks in general? I have no experience with reception with Kenwood products, so I don't know.

Frankly, I've given up on the problem, until I find a simpler solution. :roll:
 

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"Bump" to see if anyone has found a solution to this.......
AM and FM stations from Halifax, 100 klicks (60 miles) to the south that came in great in the ol' 98 Rav, not so in the 05 with the better? Panasonic stereo........
 
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Bluenoser said:
"Bump" to see if anyone has found a solution to this.......
AM and FM stations from Halifax, 100 klicks (60 miles) to the south that came in great in the ol' 98 RAV, not so in the 05 with the better? Panasonic stereo........
Oddly enough, I replaced my Panasonic head unit with a Clarion. The FM reception only improved slightly. On the other hand, with my old Tercel, my Clarion deck picked up Seattle radio stations (120 miles to the south) as if they were local. I still think that there's something wrong with the antenna design of the 2001-05 RAV4s. Sadly, I've given up. :(

Fortunately, on clear sunny days, I still pick up my favourite Seattle radio stations, but on cloudy days (even slightly overcast), I pick up either static or stations on neighbouring frequencies.
 
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I was going through these old posts and thought I would share this with all of you. I have had two head units installed, and my dealer even ripped out the antenna and checked the connections and put it back in. I even tried different antennas, short, tall, silver, black, you get the idea.Nothing worked FM was HORRIBLE. Anyway my wife and I took our daughter to Disneyworld and while we were there I put a little silver sparkly mickey head on the top of my factory antenna(I put it back on since nothing worked anyway) Anyway, my FM reception is almost perfect. I know that sounds bizarre, but its absolutely true.
 

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Tnks Sibbo.....now I gotta find a big paper clip to put on the antenna so I can get 720 from PEI.....gotta have my oldies :roll:
 
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