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2009 S60 2.5T w/HU 650 radio - intermittent AM (at best)

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Dave in Maine
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:12 pm
Year and Model: 2009 S60 2.5T
Location: Maine
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Dave in Maine

2009 S60 2.5T w/HU 650 radio - intermittent AM (at best)

Post by Dave in Maine » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:37 am

I got the 2009 S60 2.5T about a month ago (to replace my dearly departed 96 850 turbo) and so far pretty much it's all ok for a 10 y/o car with 100k miles.

Big issue so far is the HU-650 radio. (The other issue is the access cover to the fuze box under the dash, behind which hides the fuze for the lighter plug, which I blew inadvertently by ignorantly hooking a 20A inflator pump to the 15A lighter plug. The cover says "touch me and I'll break, just to show you". But that's for another day.)

First, let me get this out of the way: Who were the design geniuses who decided this radio didn't need a tuning knob? This has to be the first radio since radios went into cars without a knob for tuning. Absolute idiocy.

OK. Enough of that. Last time I'll mention it.

The problem I have with my radio is that AM reception is spotty at best. Sometimes it works, more often ( a lot more often) I get nothing. Nearby stations during the day, clear-channel skywave stations at night, doesn't matter. No reception. Crank the volume all the way up and nothing. Flip to FM and blow my ears out.

It strikes me as possibly 3 problems: (1) a bad or nearly-nonexistent connection between antenna and radio; (2) a break in the conductor somewhere in the antenna; (3) something inside the radio. Talking to my autobody guy this morning he suggested getting a can of air and blowing out the radio (preferably without taking it out of the dash, i.e., spraying the air through the front. Given the design, that doesn't seem too practical. The other alternative he mentioned was "replacing the radio for a couple hundred bucks", an opportunity which is not too appealing.

What is the path to my fix, what to do? I like to listen to ballgames and such after dark and can't do this with what I have now. Help, please. And don't tell me to go to FM....
1996 850 Turbo Gold Edition, 7 years' reliable service and >220k mi, sadly now gone
2009 S60 2.5T, now getting acquainted.

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