Troubleshooting DAB Radio in Cars: What to Do When It’s Not Picking Up Any Stations

Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) radios in cars provide a superior listening experience with clearer sound and a greater choice of stations compared to traditional AM/FM radios.

However, like any technology, they can sometimes experience issues. A common problem is when the DAB radio in your car doesn’t pick up any stations. If you’re facing this issue, here’s a straightforward guide to help you troubleshoot and resolve the problem efficiently.

Pure Highway 200 In-Car DAB+/DAB Digital Radio FM Adapter with AUX Input for Music Playback – DAB Car Radio Adapter/Transmitter, Black

1. Check Your Antenna

Inspect and Adjust: The first step in troubleshooting DAB radio issues in your car is to check the antenna. Many reception problems are antenna-related. Ensure the antenna is properly connected and in good condition. If it’s a window-mounted antenna, check for any damage or obstructions that might be blocking the signal.

Antenna Type: Consider whether your antenna is specifically designed for DAB frequencies. Some cars might still be equipped with antennas that are optimized for FM or AM signals, which could affect DAB reception.

Portable DAB/DAB+ Digital Radio | 15 Hour Battery and Mains Powered | Kitchen FM Radio, 20 Presets | LED Display, 3.5mm Headphone Jack | Dual Alarm with Sleep Timer Function | MAJORITY Histon (Black)

2. Ensure Proper Installation

Head Unit and Connections: Verify that the DAB radio or head unit is installed correctly. Loose connections can lead to reception problems. Ensure all cables and connections are secure and properly seated.

3. Check for DAB Signal Coverage

Coverage Areas: Not all geographical areas have strong DAB signal coverage. Check online for a coverage map to ensure your regular routes are within areas that have good DAB coverage. Remember, even within coverage areas, factors like tunnels, underground roads, or areas surrounded by large buildings can affect signal reception.

4. Retune Your Radio

Scan for Stations: Use the auto-scan feature on your DAB radio to search for available stations. This can sometimes resolve the issue as it refreshes your station list. Some vehicles offer a ‘service following’ feature that retunes the DAB radio to the strongest signal automatically.

Pure Elan One2 portable DAB+/FM radio with Bluetooth 5.1 (LCD display, 10 preset buttons, can run with 4xAA batteries) Charcoal Black

5. Interference Check

Electronic Interferences: Other electronic devices in your car, such as dash cams, chargers, or satellite navigation systems, can sometimes interfere with your DAB radio signals. Try turning off other devices temporarily to see if this improves the DAB reception.

6. Software and Firmware Updates

Updates: Check if there are any available updates for your DAB radio system. Manufacturers occasionally release software updates that improve functionality and fix bugs related to signal reception.

Pioneer DEH-S720DAB 1-DIN CD Tuner with DAB/DAB+, Bluetooth, multi colour illumination, USB, Spotify, Pioneer Smart Sync App and compatible with Apple and Android devices.

7. Consult Your Dealer or a Specialist

Professional Help: If you’ve tried all the above steps and still face issues, it may be time to consult with your car dealer or a car audio specialist. There could be a more complex issue with your vehicle’s DAB system that requires professional diagnostics and repair.


DAB radios in cars offer enhanced audio clarity and more station options, making them a popular choice for in-car entertainment. However, issues with reception can occasionally occur.

By following these troubleshooting steps, most common issues related to DAB radios not picking up stations in cars can be resolved. If problems persist, seeking professional advice is recommended to ensure your in-car DAB radio returns to optimal functionality.

Related Posts

POP your Car DAB/DAB+ Radio Adapter Bluetooth FM Transmitter Handsfree Call Car Kit With 12v Power Jack/USB Charge Port/AUX Output/DAB Antenna