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Digital Audio Broadcasts or DAB radio is a high-quality radio broadcast that is aimed at giving out improved sound quality than an FM radio. DAB radio has a broad range of high-quality channels that have the potential for the best sound quality. 

Although DAB radio gives better sound quality, they need to have a higher bit rate to transmit large packets of audio signals. To handle large amounts of data packets the connection can get somewhat slower and even in some extreme cases your DAB radio won’t pick any signals. 

Since the DAB radio gives better and enhanced performance than FM radios. Most modern cars are equipped with a DAB radio. But the DAB radio over time becomes prone to malfunctions and sometimes it won’t pick up any stations. So, what to do if your dab radio is not picking up stations?

To crack down on the situation and have a higher edge you first need to diagnose the causes that are letting your connection down. After finding out the potential culprits behind this no signal no station situation you would have to eliminate them one by one and then re-tune your DAB radio.

If no underlying issues would be left, your DAB radio will presumably start working again without any further requirements. 

So, let’s head straight for the causes leading to these low signal conditions. Before heading for the troubleshooting, it is recommended to switch off your DAB radio and then tune it again. In most cases. Re-tuning your DAB radio after a moment of power cutting will improve the signal strength and your DAB radio will pick up signals for the required stations at your locality. 

Why Is My Dab Radio Not Picking Up Stations?

DAB radio is an excellent choice for car radio and occasionally faces some serious issues. Among the typical issue that DAB radio encounters occasionally is that of no stations or low signals.

There may be multiple causes behind this scenario. The source of the problem will help you in removing that hurdle. 

Stations Moved To New Frequencies

The biggest reason why you can’t find some radio stations while others are playing normally, maybe the changing frequencies. For instance, if you have installed DAB radio in your car before 2016 it will not have the functionality of a second digital radio network. 

This second digital radio network was launched in 2016 and has shifted the frequencies of many popular classic FM radio stations.

If you are used to listening to your favorites and then added stations won’t play any longer it means they have moved to new frequencies. For example, all classic FM radio stations will work normally but the Planet Rock or Absolute 80s radio station is not working on your DAB radio.

This is due to the reason that Absolute 80s have changed to a new frequency after 2016 and your DAB radio needs to rescan it after tuning. 

This problem can be easily resolved by deleting all your saved stations and then scanning the new stations. In this way, you will get all your desired stations on their new frequencies and then save them or add them to your favorites for easy access. 

If you can’t fix the issue with your DAB radio even after you have rescanned it, then it means the problem is not with the stations but the radio itself. Therefore, you need to go through the following problems and their fixes.

Problem 1: No Signals

The first and most common problem is when your DAB radio will not receive any signal but rather will display a notification reading No Signal or No Service. 

In this situation, you can perform the following fixes

1. Resetting:

You can factory reset your car’s DAB radio and see if that makes any difference. You can consult video tutorials or online help to know how to factory reset your car’s DAB radio.  You can also reset your DAB radio by disconnecting your car battery and then reconnecting it.

2. Changing The Aerial Type:

If you have recently switched to DAB radio from an FM radio in your car, you will need a new aerial compatible with the DAB radio. Therefore, get yourself a new aerial.

3. Keep Your Aerial Powered:

Sometimes, when you are using an amplified DAB radio, your car radio aerial will not be powered. Ensure that the aerial is properly powered for it to work normally.

Problem 2: Poor Reception

If some stations are working and some are not then it means your radio is working but has poor reception. You can usually fix this situation by shifting/ changing the position of the radio aerial on your car. Below given are some fixes to this typical situation with the car DAB radio.

  • Try switching your car radio aerial to a new location. 
  • Remove all possible interferences like electronic devices or USB chargers in the car. 
  • Removing unnecessary electronic gadgets in your car will improve DAB radio reception. 
  • Try scanning your radio in a different location away from hills and tall buildings. 

Problem 3: DAB Signals Keep Losing

If your DAB radio station works normally sometimes and then suddenly the signals drop your surroundings may be the culprit. Tall buildings, hills, trees, or other obstructions nearby may cause your DAB radio signals to drop. Removing the obstructions and rescanning your DAB radio will improve the signal strength and the DAB radio will perform normally.

Final Words:

Why is my dab radio not picking up stations? It is a common query and may have multiple reasons behind it. Your surroundings may pose obstructions in receiving the radio signals or your locality may have poor reception of DAB radio signals. In this article, we have tried to mention all the possible causes and given some simple fixes. We are sure that by trying a few of them your DAB radio will start picking up stations and will work normally.

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About the author

Zeeshan Farhad

Zeeshan Farhad is the Founder of He is well known for his experience in Digital Marketing! He loves to write about trending topics and review different products on daily basis. Read More

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