Easy Ways to Fix A Car Radio That Keeps Changing Stations!

The most common reasons for a car radio to keep changing stations are- a loose connection between the antenna and the radio, a defective antenna, faulty control buttons, electromagnetic interference, or the car stereo going bad.

If your car radio keeps changing stations, it can be really frustrating. You’re driving along and the song you were just enjoying suddenly changes to something you don’t like.

It can also be dangerous if you’re trying to listen to traffic reports or directions.

Car Radio Keep Changing Stations

In this blog post, I will discuss the causes of this problem and how to fix them!

Diagnose the Issue

Before you can fix your car radio, you need to figure out what is causing the problem. There are a few common issues that can cause your radio to change stations:

  • A loose connection between your antenna and radio
  • A defective antenna
  • A problem with your radio’s circuitry
  • Faulty Buttons
  • Electromagnetic Interference
  • Car Stereo Going Bad
  • Accidentally Pushing the Button
  • System Software malfunction
  • Automatic Frequency Search Enabled

How Do You Know What’s Causing the Issue?

If you’re not sure what’s causing your car radio to change stations, there are a few things you can do to diagnose the problem.

Start with non-invasive ways first-

Keep Your Hands Out of Radio Control Buttons

If you have a habit of playing with the buttons on your car radio, it’s possible that you’re accidentally changing the station.

To rule this out, try to keep your hands off the buttons for a day or two and see if the problem persists.

While you may not touch the radio buttons on the dash, your hands may have been touching the steering control buttons causing the radio to change stations.

Try to keep your hands out of all radio buttons, no matter where they are located. Plus, try to find out a pattern in changing the stations. It will help you to figure out the issue faster.

Faulty Steering Buttons Can be Culprits

In some cars, the steering wheel has buttons that can be used to control the car radio. If these buttons are faulty, they may change stations on their own.

To test this, try using the steering wheel buttons to see if they work properly. If not, you may need to replace them.

In most old cars, steering control buttons go bad pretty quickly causing all sorts of trouble.

An easy way to know whether this is the issue is to check if any of the steering control buttons malfunction or not. If one is malfunctioning, there is a good chance that other buttons will go bad.

Sometimes, the issue can sticky buttons. These are caused by wear and tear from regular usage along with the accumulation of dust and dirt.

Radio Settings or System UI Bug Can Cause this Problem

It’s also possible that the problem is with your car’s infotainment system UI. Or you may have changed any settings which triggered this unorthodox phenomenon to happen.

Try to remember when the issue started and if you have done anything to the radio settings.

In some car radios, there is SCV/SSV feature. This is simply an automatic process that increases and decreases the volume of the speakers based on the speed of the vehicle.

So, speeding up will increase the volume, and slowing down the car will cause the radio volume to go down. Sometimes, people call it car radio fading in and out while some people mistake this as station change.

Plus, automatic radio frequency search-enabled devices can also trigger issues like this when one station’s frequency gets low and another has a better frequency during the drive.

Check If Electromagnetic Interference is Present Inside the Vehicle

Another common cause is electromagnetic interference. This can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • An electronic device that emits electromagnetic waves (such as a cell phone)
  • 5G network tower in close proximity
  • A power line or transformer near your vehicle
  • A loose connection between your antenna and radio

To rule out this possibility, try to turn off all electronic devices inside your vehicle except the radio. If the problem persists, it’s likely that electromagnetic interference is not the issue.

However, if you notice that the cell phone network drops suddenly, data connection slows down significantly, or calls drop at the same time as the automatic change of radio stations, then there is a high possibility that electromagnetic interference is the root cause of your issue.

If you have ruled out the possibilities above and your car radio still changes stations, it’s time to move on to more invasive methods.

These methods may require you to take apart your dash or remove your car stereo.

Check for Loose Wires

One of the most common causes of a car radio changing stations is a loose wire. Over time, vibrations from driving can cause wires to come loose.

To check for loose wires, you’ll need to remove your car stereo. Once it’s out, inspect all of the wires and connections.

If you see any loose wires, tighten them up and see if that fixes the problem.

In most cases, a loose antenna cable connection or ground connection will make this happen. So, carefully inspect those two for any loose or corroded connection.

Is the Antenna Defective?

If your car radio is constantly changing stations, it’s possible that the problem lies with your antenna and not the radio itself.

To test this, you’ll need to remove your car stereo and disconnect the antenna cable. Once it’s disconnected, connect another antenna. You can take one out of your second car or borrow it from a friend.

Car Radio Keeps Changing Stations: How to Fix?

Now that you have diagnosed the issue, it’s time to fix it.

Fixing Software or Settings Issue

If the problem is with your car radio settings, try resetting them to the default settings. To do this, consult your car radio manual or look for the reset button on the radio itself.

Software bugs may require you to hard reset the unit but make sure to get a backup of your important files in the storage before doing so. Hard reset will erase all data stored in the stereo storage.

Replace Damaged or Corroded Wire

If you have checked for loose wires and found one that is damaged or corroded, it will need to be replaced.

You can buy a replacement wire at your local auto parts store or online. If you’re not sure which wire needs to be replaced, take the old wire with you to the store so they can help you find the right replacement.

Once you have the replacement wire, follow the instructions in your car stereo manual to properly install it.

It’s an easy process. The only thing you need to ensure that the wire is compatible and it’s connected perfectly.

Install a New Antenna

If the problem lies with your antenna, you’ll need to install a new one. You can buy an aftermarket antenna or replace the old one with a new one from your dealership.

Installing an aftermarket antenna is usually pretty easy and doesn’t require any tools.

You can remove the old one from the vehicle by hand and replace it with the new one. However, in some cases, you may need a screwdriver to remove the whole antenna setup.

This is still easy and effortless. So, don’t worry about this.

Dealing with Electromagnetic Interference

There is not much you can do if the problem is caused by a close power line, 5G network tower, or other electronic devices that are emitting high levels of electromagnetic interference.

The best thing you can do is to keep your car as far away from the source of interference as possible. But, this is not always possible or practical.

If you live in a city, you may have to deal with this issue on a daily basis. In this case, you can try using a radio frequency filter.

These filters are designed to reduce the amount of interference coming into your car stereo system. They are available at most electronics stores and online retailers.

However, in humid areas, too much humidity can cause excessive electromagnetic interference. If you’re in such an area, try using a portable dehumidifier inside the car to solve the problem.

Replace the Radio Unit

If you’ve tried all of the above and your car radio is still changing stations, it’s possible that the problem lies with the unit itself.

Sometimes old car stereos start behaving abnormally before dying completely. It may be a sign that your stereo is too old and requires a replacement with a modern one.

If you are confident that the issues we have talked about aren’t causing the problem in your case, it may be time to get a good stereo system for your car.


A car radio that keeps changing stations can be annoying and distracting. But, it’s usually not a big problem.

The good news is that there are a few things you can try to fix the issue yourself. If none of the solutions work, you may need to replace the radio unit.

We hope this article has been helpful and informative.

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