Submitted by Paul Koning on August 14, 2014
I'm generally quite happy with my S, but one thing is a real annoyance: the XM radio does not work properly.
Worse yet, it does work in the repair shop. It seems that XM has "boosters" in metro areas, so the shop -- in Boston -- has a great signal, but out in NH where I live the signal is variable.
The symptom is that the audio stops the moment the signal drops below full 3 bars. 2.5 bars is enough to make it drop out. Also, very strangely, almost every drop comes with a short hissing sound. To me that means the radio designers don't know what they are doing, because digital radio should never do such a thing.
In any case, on my drive home I get dropouts along a main road, every time a truck drives by or I pass even modest size (2 story) buildings. And once I get on the back roads, the radio is essentially dead; the simple presence of trees kills the signal.
My wife has a BMW with Sirius. It too shows variable signal strength. The difference is that it doesn't drop as much, and more importantly, the audio doesn't go away until the signal drops all the way to zero bars.
I've had the car in the shop a couple of times for this. The latest answer from the shop is "this is how it works" and "for the next project, the factory is planning to design a fix of this issue". Not exactly a good story. And my notes to the factory have not been answered, which is rather unusual.
Is my experience unusual? Have others seen XM issues like this? Have your been fixed? It's irritating to have paid substantial money for the feature, plus substantial additional money for the XM subscription, and not get the service I paid for.