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TSS Radio Troubleshooting Tips

From time to time you are bound to hit a snag with your SiriusXM service and/or equipment.  After all, there's a lot involved in recieving a radio signal from outer space.  Not to worry, because we are here to make this as painless as possible for you.  The trick is knowing how to get to the root of your troubles, and correcting them. Generally, any issue with a satellite radio reciever can be narrowed down to one of five parts, and you just have to figure out which part is causing the problem.  Here are the most common parts you would need to replace:




Often times the problem is in the radio head unit, or receiver, itself.  Not to worry, replacing your reciever is easy and inexpensive.  Here are some suggestions to help you find the replacement that is right for you.


Which receiver is right for me?


If you have           Replace with

Universal Sirius Receivers

Sirius Universal Receivers





Stratus 7 or Starmate 8




Universal XM Receivers




Onyx EZ or Onyx Plus




Portable Receivers



All portables have been discontinued, but we do have a limited number of options new and used Portable Radios.  These options tend to have inflated price points, and it may be best to look into replacing with one of the Plug and Play options.





Older Style Receivers


    We can likely find a replacement for most recievers if we don't already have it listed under our Replacement Standalones.  However, it is beneficial to update to newer equipment as the new parts will be more readily accessable and it will likely be more cost effective.  If your concern is having to replace multiple docking stations, we have a couple of bundles that include both the home and car kit, which should help you find alternatives at an affordable price.  Feel free to contact us for other replacement or bundle options.


What if I have a lifetime subscription?

Swapping out a reciever can be a concern for those who've purchased a lifetime subscription from SiriusXM.  The good new is, you should be able to keep that subscription going strong as lifetime subscriptions are transferable!  Depending on when you started your lifetime subscription you could have a number of subscription transfers available to you.  You can find out just how many transfers you have available to you here.





This chart should help you find a solution for some of the more common issues you may come across.



‘Acquiring Signal’ or ‘Antenna Not Detected’ error message

The signal is being interrupted because one (or more) of three parts is defective.  You need to replace your Antenna, Cradle, or Receiver.  (See IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM below).  In some instances, like with the Sportster Replay, this message is an indicator that the tuner is starting to fail, and you will want to replace it, or update your equipment.  (see REPLACING YOUR RECEIVER above)

Audio has static or interference when playing on FM frequency

You need a better connection for audio.  You can connect through an auxiliary jack with a 3.5mm Aux Cable, or to standard RCA inputs with 3.5mm to RCA Audio Cables.  Or to improve the strength of signal through an FM Frequency, you can tie directly into the car stereo with an FM Direct Adapter, which will eliminate static.  You may also want to try a different frequency.  You can find the best frequeny in your area with SiriusXM's FM Channel Finder.

Signal/audio is dropping out but there is no error message

There are a number of things that can attribute to this issue.  It could be signal interference from nearby obstacles.  Try altering the antenna location to see if there is any improvement.  The goal is to get a clear line of sight to the satellite.  For home set ups, SiriusXM reccomends aiming the antenna South, but if you still are struggling to get a good signal, you may want to try upgrading to a stonger Home Antenna.  You can also have SiriusXM send a refresh signal to see if that improves reception.  Ultimately, it might just be the quality of signal coming from the satellite at that time, and there may not be much you can do about it.

 No audio (Connected through auxillary)

 If there isn't any sound coming through when you are connected through the audio out jack, first be sure the stereo you are connected to is in auxillary mode (press 'AUX' button).  If that doesn't do it, try a set of headphones in the audio out jack on your cradle.  If there is sound, it is either the Aux Cable or the stereo you are connected to that is the problem.  You can identify which one by connecting another audio device such as a smartphone.

No audio (Connected through FM frequency)

If you are connecting through an FM Frequency, first check your settings to ensure the FM Transmitter is turned on and the frequency is paired to the same channel on the stereo you are connected to.  If you still cannot hear anything, try changing the frequency.  You can find the best frequencies in your area with SiriusXM's FM Channel Finder.  If you still are having an issue we reccomend the FM Direct Adapter.

 Radio will not power on

First make sure you've pressed the power button.  Though it sounds trivial, it is often overlooked.  If you still have an issue there is likely an interruption in the electrical circuit caused by one of three parts being defective.  You will need to replace the Power Adapter, Cradle, or Receiver.  (See INDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM below).  It is also a good idea to test the power outlet that you're connecting to with another electronic device.  If you have a Speaker Dock or Boombox, it is reccomended you test it with batteries to determine whether or not it is the power adapter or the speaker dock.  If it is not the power adapter or the docking station, you will want to replace your receiver.  (See REPLACING YOUR RECEIVER above)

Screen not visable or dim backlight Sometimes this issue can be corrected in the settings.  Look for screen brightness or other similarly worded menu options.  If the screen is still dim, or otherwise damaged to the point where it is unbearable, it's probably best to replace the reciever. (See REPLACING YOUR RECIEVER above)
 Certian buttons or functions not working  While rare, some glitches can pop up here and there.  The first thing to look at is whether or not you have a reset feature in your settings.  Usually this will correct most of these types of problems.  Starmate 5's are known to have an issue where the contact strip under the presets becomes misaligned, and we can help walk you through a fix.  Otherwise, you may want to look into replacing your reciever.  (See REPLACING YOUR RECIEVER above)
  Radio connections, screen, casing, or inputs damaged If your receiver is damaged to the point that it affecting its functionality, it is generally in your best interests to just replace your radio.  (See REPLACING YOUR RECIEVER above)


Stiletto error message or recording issues

 Stiletttos can be problematic from time to time.  Fortunately, there's a fix!  Learn more about device recoveries on our Stiletto Recovery Page.


 What if I don't see my issue listed?

The above chart only highlights some of the more common issues.  If you have a problem that we have not outlined a solution for, please contact us.  We are happy to help.






If you have additional docking stations (e.g. Home KitsCar KitsBoomboxes, etc), you should be able to identify the issue through process of elimination.  For example, if the reciever works in one dock and not the other, you can swap antennas, power adapters, or audio cables from the working kit and use them with the kit that is not working.  This simple swap out process can tell you a lot about what is causing your issue.  Does one antenna work and not the other?  The antenna is the issue.  Did the radio work fine with both antennas, but only in one of the two docks?  Replace the dock.  And so on.  If the receiver is not working in both kits, it's safe to assume the receiver itself is bad, but fortunately, they are usually relatively inexpensive to replace.  See more about REPLACING YOUR RECEIVER above.


What if I don't have any other docking stations?

This swap out process is a great place to start with any issue, but what happens when you don't have any additional accessories to swap out?  We can still help.  You can find inexpensive Car and Home Kits on our site.  Of course, buying a kit just to troubleshoot an issue may not be ideal for you.  In which case its best to see if a friend has similar equipment that you can swap out with.  If nothing else, you can mail your equipment in to us.  We would be happy to test out your equipment and figure out the issue.







Monday-Friday Noon-6pm Central Time