FM radio VERY quiet, AM/XM are fine - Pontiac G6 Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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FM radio VERY quiet, AM/XM are fine

Hi All-
Just bought a 2007 G6 hardtop convertible with 170k. (Love the car so far, except for the transmission...) I had to replace the battery a couple weeks ago though. Not sure if that's related to the problem.

Anyway, the problem right now is with the monsoon stereo system. I usually listen to XM which works great- it blasts loud and great sound. I just tried to tune in an FM station this week though, and no luck. When I press the 'seek' button, it goes to the next station in my city. When it's parked and quiet, if I turn the volume up the whole way, I can hear the station just barely. AM radio works normally, it's just the FM.

I checked the fuses for the radio amp and it's fine. I searched the forums and found a couple similar problems, but no resolutions. Some said it was the antenna amplifier, some said it was the antenna cable, and some said it was anti-theft on the stereo. I haven't pulled the stereo out, but I guess this would happen if the antenna were unplugged, but how would that happen?
Anyway, thanks for any ideas.

Cheers.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 07:36 PM
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It can be many things, but here is what it ISN'T:
Anti-theft. That would stop the radio from working on all bands.
Antenna cable unplugged from radio. That would cause it to not work on AM as well. Or it might work on one very close station only.
Amp. The amp doesn't work differently on different bands.
Fuses. Bad fuses would cause the radio not to work at all.

I would start by pulling the radio, removing the antenna cable and plugging a long piece of regular wire (not coax) in its place. If that doesn't change anything, it's the radio.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 08:20 AM
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If it's not the antenna then it is the radio


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 04:54 PM
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I don't think the OP is indicating he is having any trouble receiving the FM stations, simply there is low audio.
That would rule out an antenna issue - even if it was you should be able to hear loud FM 'rushing' noise if no station is being tuned.
Since the monsoon amp only has a single input from the radio for AM/FM/XM, anything beyond the radio is probably not at fault.
Sounds like something internal to the radio
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamptonbeach View Post
I don't think the OP is indicating he is having any trouble receiving the FM stations, simply there is low audio.
That would rule out an antenna issue - even if it was you should be able to hear loud FM 'rushing' noise if no station is being tuned.
Since the monsoon amp only has a single input from the radio for AM/FM/XM, anything beyond the radio is probably not at fault.
Sounds like something internal to the radio
Re-reading the original post a few times, I agree, it has to be inside the head unit, either the FM tuner output stage, or downstream one step at the input (source) selector.

But dxG6's idea struck me as having merit. There are some antenna path failures that can kill some part of the spectrum - FM, in this case - while the AM still passes thru.

That said, if the FM can be heard, albeit very softly, then the tuner is working. But there's a gain stage in the FM tuner section or just downstream of it that's not doing its job.

At that point, I'm not sure what I'd do. Getting the head unit repaired can be costly. Replacing it with a junk yard unit is a question mark for me - I don't know how different the Monsoon head units are than any other factory units.

Going to an aftermarket head unit has the upside of getting some of the latest features (blue tooth, screen for backup camera, HD radio, etc) but the XM may be lost or require a new tuner suitable for the new head unit.

If a reasonably priced repair can be made on the head unit, that strikes me as the first choice. After that, I'd probably start looking at an aftermarket head unit, and possibly a new amp and XM tuner to go with. As I recall, one downside to this, besides buying all that gear, is that there are some driver features in the radio that you might lose, or would need an external replacement adapter, as I recall.

[edit]I forgot about steering wheel controls. Not sure what's entailed with an aftermarket head unit.

[edit2] You can ignore some of my post above. According to this Crutchfield article "The standard G6 system consisted of an in-dash AM/FM/CD single-disc player with six speakers. XM satellite radio and an MP3 player were added to the package later on. The premium system used the same radio with an 8-speaker Monsoon system."

So, this indicates any comparable GM radio should work. A cheap unit from the junk yard may be all that's needed. My only concern is making sure it's not locked. HTH.

Doug

.

Last edited by plano_doug; 03-27-2019 at 06:51 PM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 08:31 PM
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Pretty sure there are at least 2 different head units, one with the single CD and the other with the 6 CD changer.
If you go with a double DIN aftermarket you lose the DIC (Driver Information Center) that is integrated into the radio. I like to see the "top secure" message when operating the top. That and numerous other warning messages you get from it make that a deal breaker for me.
They do make an aftermarket DIC that fits into a single DIN space allowing a single DIN aftermarket, but I think the stock monsoon system is good enough I'd go for a junkyard replacement.

edit > link to aftermarket DIC
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Last edited by hamptonbeach; 03-27-2019 at 08:36 PM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plano_doug View Post
There are some antenna path failures that can kill some part of the spectrum - FM, in this case - while the AM still passes thru.
That said, if the FM can be heard, albeit very softly, then the tuner is working. But there's a gain stage in the FM tuner section or just downstream of it that's not doing its job.
Almost. The FM tuner could be working fine but not receiving enough signal. Depends on how much hiss is heard together with the soft audio. If the audio is faint but clean with no hiss, you are correct.

If the head unit is faulty, I would replace it with a junkyard 2008-up. 2007 doesn't have the aux in jack. Aftermarket you lose the display.
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