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2008 CLK350 Coupe,White/Stone
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My Sat radio signal is dropping out often. The Command screen says "Searching for Signal". It is worse on the channel that broadcasts the audio from MSNBC.

I have taken it to the M-B dealer to be checked out. They tell me that there is nothing wrong with it. No codes.

It almost seems like a bad antenna connection. Has anyone else experienced this problem?
 

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2005 CLK55 AMG Coupe, silver, 2004 G55 AMG silver
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122 Posts
It is normal. The antenna needs to have a clear sky. When you drive under bridge overpasses, next to tall buildings, trees etc, the satelitte signal will be blocked or weakened. It happens to my car too, but not often.
 

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2008 CLK350 Coupe,White/Stone
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It is normal. The antenna needs to have a clear sky. When you drive under bridge overpasses, next to tall buildings, trees etc, the satelitte signal will be blocked or weakened. It happens to my car too, but not often.
Understood. But I live and drive in flat-as-a-pancake suburban Florida. There are no buildings taller than 4 stories anywhere near me. This happens on the Turnpike also with no buildings in sight.

I have an Acura TL with XM radio and it never happens in that car.
 

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2011 E550c
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13 Posts
xpditor, I've had a E550c with a Sirius radio in it and it has done the same thing since I've bought it last August. At first the M-B dealer said it was a s/w issue and had something to do with the merger between XM and Sirius or some nonsense like that. Since I wasn't paying for it under the free trial offer, I didn't worry too much about it. Now, I live in northern IL and I noticed that as it got colder out later in the year, the satellite radio started to work more often. Eventually, during the winter months, it was working all day long since. Now that spring is here, it only works when the mornings are cold (less than 40F). So it seems to be an issue with the antenna and not the radio or Sirius' satellite coverage. I have taken videos with my mobile phone showing clear sky views at different temperatures and how the radio works only when it is cold. I plan to show them to the dealer in a few weeks and demand that they replace the antenna.
 

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2011 E550c
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An update.

I finally brought my E550 into the local MB dealership for the warranty repair of another item (motor for the Panoramic Sunroof) and I asked them to take a look at the satellite radio while they had the headliner removed. I explained the problem and told them I suspect that it was an issue with the antenna. Sure enough, they did some testing and eventually came to the same conclusion. Now I get great satellite reception regardless of the temperature or weather conditions.
 

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2012 E 350 Coupe - No Signal Issue

I am having intermittent signal on my radio as well. It works sometimes, took it to the dealer and they said no codes were found and they had reception i drove it out of the dealer and 20 min later i had no signal again.. Parked in a empty flat parking lot. with interference..
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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Sirius uses three satellites in a geosynchronous elliptical orbit. Basically, these three satellites fly a figure 8 over the USA with the "sweet spot" being somewhere around Michigan. So if you are further south, such as in Florida, your reception won't be as consistent. And even small buildings and trees can block the signal. Orientation of the antenna can also affect reception. If you are facing north-south in an open lot and reception is bad, rotate the antenna (i.e. car) 90 degrees and it will probably get better. This is not an MBZ issues; it's a Sirius issue.
 

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2008 CLK550 Cab
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402 Posts
I would think if it is a common problem based on geography you could Google it and confirm that. It would be well documented - and well complained about - by now. Here in Denver it will drop for just 2 or 3 seconds every now and then - maybe a couple times a week. Then it does that thing at least that often where it says "updating station list" and goes back to channel 1.
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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The "updating" issue is different - that's when Sirius remaps their channels. They used to not do that very often, but it seems like almost weekly now.

Years ago I had an office with a north-facing window and I had a Sirius radio with the antenna sitting on sill. In the morning, I'd have full signal strength, but sometime in the afternoon, it would drop out. I could move the antenna a few feet down the sill and it would come in again. I had a clear view of the sky, but the angle of the elliptical orbiting satellites would go just steep enough at certain times of the day to not make it to the antenna.
 

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2008 CLK550 Cab
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402 Posts
I'm happy to live with momentary burps since it's free. If I am reading the build sheet right, the original owner bought a subscription that expired a little over a year ago. But I'm going on two years of free radio, so every time it drops signal or does the update I think it might not come back.
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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Sirius has sort of a design flaw in their activation system. First of all, it's a one-way communication, so they have no way to know which radios are in use. Also, once a radio is activated, it stays activated forever until it gets a kill signal. The section of their overall bandwidth that they use for activation updates is relatively small, so they are limited as to how many kill signals they can send. What happens is when you discontinue a subscription, they immediately send the kill signal for your radio's serial number, and they may send it a few more times over the next few days, but that's it. If your radio is not on when they send the kill signal, it stays activated. Now, sometimes they will do "housekeeping" and resend kill signals. But with all of the radios they have that are no longer active, they really never get to all of them, so your sort of playing the odds that your number will not come up when your radio is on.

Another consideration is the lifetime subscription. At one time, when you bought a car with a one-year subscription included, they would discount the lifetime by $100, making it cheaper to buy that than two years of pay-go. So many people (like me) did that. Once a radio is on lifetime, it never gets deactivated unless the original subscriber calls to cancel it, which most don't.
 

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2005 MERCEDES CLK 500
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153 Posts
Im having trouble activationg my sirius radio subscription. Thought the problem at first was the module. After doing some research, I learned that I have the sirius module already in my car. I sent a signal from the website with the SID number that comes up. Nothing happens, is stay on displaying searching for signal.
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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If it's "searching for signal", then that has nothing to do with activating it - that means it's not receiving a signal. Even unactivated, you should get the "demo" channel. Are you parked with a clear view of the southern sky?
 

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2005 MERCEDES CLK 500
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153 Posts
Yes, my car is clear in the open. Something must be wrong with the antenna. Whats the difference between the trunk antenna and the antenna on the top rear windshield? Anyone have any troubleshooting ideas?
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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