Why Car Radio Keeps Changing Stations by Itself

Why Car Radio Keeps Changing Stations by Itself?

There are a slew of potential causes for your car radio to randomly switch channels. When a motorist mistakenly presses a button on the steering wheel or turns a knob instead of pushing it, it is the most prevalent cause.

If your stereo has a sluggish knob, this might also happen. There are a few other possible reasons for this, like not wiping off the water before entering your car or using an air dryer that blasts out humidity after cleaning your windows inside.

There may be an issue with your vehicle’s electrical system wiring if none of these suggestions apply to you.

Regardless of what’s causing this problem, these are the steps you can do to repair it-

Accidental Push of Button

When it comes to the problem we’re discussing, this is the most typical reason. It’s possible to accidentally push a radio button while driving if the radio controller in the steering wheel is very sensitive.

First, you should strive to keep your hands away from the radio control buttons on the steering wheel before we go into the solutions section. In order to ensure that the problem is not caused by accidental button presses, you can utilize this method.

Sticky Knob on the Stereo

If the buttons on your stereo are ancient, this might be the cause of the problem. In this scenario, you can use a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol to clean the buttons.

Dirt might cause the buttons to stick inside after a push, causing the system to receive continual input, which can be annoying. If this is the case, you’ll need to adjust the radio buttons on your car.

It is possible to replace out the faceplate of some stereos with a faceplate made by the manufacturer. If you’re a handy person who doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty with the electrical wiring and circuitry, this is the best alternative for you. I wouldn’t recommend it for a first-timer!

Electromagnetic Interference

It’s possible that electromagnetic interference is causing the radio to switch channels without your permission. A stereo system that is not properly grounded or has a high impedance in its wiring might result in this problem.

With some cases, a malfunctioning alternator may create electrical difficulties in your vehicle’s speakers and radios. However, a malfunctioning alternator or battery won’t only affect your car’s radio; it will affect the entire electric system. As a result, we’ll cover that topic in a subsequent post.

These are the measures to take in order to resolve this particular problem:

1. Check Grounding

Car stereo grounding is commonly messed up since it’s difficult to connect to the parking brake. Unless you ground the stereo correctly or attach the ground wire to a metal item, it’s going to cause you a lot of discomfort in the long run.

It is, however, simple to ground the automobile radio. Remove the stereo from the dashboard and locate the bright green cord. ‘ Use a screw at the rear of your radio to connect it to a metal item, such as a metal pole.

2. Look For Open Wires

If the grounding is sound, it’s possible that a loose wire is producing the interference. When you remove the stereo, check to see whether the rear of it has any exposed wires.

If not, check the cables that are attached to it for any tears or cracks. When electrical wires come into touch with a metal item, the insulation on the wires might break, creating an electromagnetic field.

Any broken wire should be replaced. If there are any exposed wires, make sure they are completely covered with tape before moving on.

3. Check Humidity

A humid or damp environment may be to blame for the problem. Some exposed wire connections may short out and produce an electromagnetic field if there is too much dampness around it.

This problem may be alleviated by keeping a desiccant in the car, ideally near the radio.

Radio Controller Wiring Malfunctioning

Radio Controller Wiring Malfunctioning

Wiring problems may be the cause of your car radio constantly changing stations. Because of recent accidents or water damage, your stereo system may not perform as well as it used to. Damage to the wiring might be the root of the problem.

Find out where the problem is occurring and fix it, in this situation. It is possible that the problem is caused by faulty cable connections. In the event that the wire is broken, just replacing it will suffice.

Software Bug

Even if you’ve done everything correctly, you may still be plagued by a problem with the vehicle radio’s firmware. Try resetting your stereo to factory default settings to fix this issue.

Try searching for an updated firmware on the manufacturer’s website and then updating the existing one with the newer one. At this point, you should be all set to go!


Any time your vehicle radio continues switching channels, there should be an easy remedy. However, it doesn’t have to be complex if you’re having issues with your car or electronics system.

Incorrect grounding or connection to the metal item, an open wire that produces electromagnetic interference, excessive humidity, and more can all cause a problem. Often, these issues may be fixed without any additional expertise or assistance from experts!

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