Why Radio Keeps Changing Stations by Itself? (2024 Solutions)

Last Updated on September 17, 2022 by John Robinson

This is one of the most fascinating things that can happen in a car. Sometimes the radio will change stations on its own. However, this is caused by a faulty connection somewhere in your car audio system, leading many people to believe their car radio is haunted or possessed. While the abrupt change in station may be startling, there are several reasons why your vehicle radio may change channels on its own.

If your car radio changes channels while you’re not even in the car, it’s most likely due to a faulty ground connection. The radio, as if it were a radio station, is attempting to interpret a faulty electrical connection through the use of the radio. Battery testing should be done on a regular basis to ensure that your vehicle’s battery has enough energy to power all of its electrical components, and if the problem persists, your ground connection should be checked.

Reasons why radio changes stations by itself and Solutions

There are several different reasons why your car radio changes stations by itself. Our experts have summarized some of the most common ones below:

Poor link between your car’s antenna and the rest of the world

If you’ve tested your ground connection and it’s still not working, there’s a good chance that something is wrong with your car antenna. Radio signals are frequently received from the outside of your vehicle, but they must be powerful enough to pass through the antenna and into the receiver in order to function properly. The signal will be weakened if there is any type of obstruction (such as dirt, corrosion, or other debris).

Short circuit

It happens when there is an electrical short between the supply and the ground, causing current to flow through other circuit components. As a result, a car radio may be forced to change channels.

You will need to disconnect the vehicle’s electrical system and inspect all of its connections in this case.

A faulty power supply

If your car’s battery is not charging properly, it may not be able to provide enough power to drive the vehicle. You can check the voltage with a multimeter to see if the problem is with your battery or another component in your system.

Faulty car stereo power supply

In this case, you already know that the problem is with your battery, which will need to be replaced.

Electrical Interference

It’s worth noting that a vehicle stereo may change stations on its own from time to time, even while the battery is charging. This could be due to electrical interference, so it’s best to have the radio checked by a professional to rule that out.

Most of the time, this happens because you are driving close to electrical equipment that is emitting electrical interference while you are driving. You never know what’s lurking behind the wheel of another car.

A Mechanical fault with the radio’s internal components

If your vehicle’s battery is in good working order and all of the connections to the radio and antenna are securely in place, there could be a problem with the car radio’s internal components.

This means you’ll have to take your vehicle radio to a repair shop to have it checked out.

Electromagnetic Interference

Interference with other radio signals is another possible cause of your vehicle radio changing stations on its own. This could happen if other devices in the vehicle are emitting radio waves at the same time as the problem. It is possible that there is a problem with the wiring in the vehicle, or that another component in the vehicle needs to be examined.

If you notice that your vehicle radio switches stations when other electronics around you are turned on, you should avoid using other electronic devices while driving. If the problem persists, it is necessary to check the other devices for problems.

Faulty or filthy wiring

On the other hand, if your wiring is old or dirty, your AM/FM radio may pick up unwanted interference. Your car should be tuned to ensure that the FM/AM radio receives a clear signal, and any corrosion-prone wires should be repaired or wiped down.

car stereo wiring
Faulty Wiring (Image excerpt Wikihow)

If you have a cassette deck, inspect the wiring and clean any rust that you find on the cables. Your car radio, whether AM or FM, maybe receiving interference from a CD player or other devices, and you should take it to a repair shop to be checked for problems.

Sticky Radio Buttons

You may notice that your vehicle radio is changing stations on its own while driving. This could be because the radio’s radio button switches are filthy or stuck. To ensure that they work properly, clean them with a cotton swab.

Bug in the software

Another sign of a software problem is if your car radio starts changing stations on its own. This is most often the case when the software is incompatible with the software of your AM/FM radio, which is uncommon. To resolve this issue, contact a repair company.


There are several reasons why your car radio may change stations automatically. The most common cause is a problem with the connections, but it could also be caused by other equipment in your vehicle causing electrical interference, or it could even be caused by a software issue. However, the most likely cause of your vehicle radio changing stations on its own is a problem with the electrical connection or exposure to excessive amounts of electromagnetic interference.

In order to resolve this issue, you should:

  1. Check the battery and replace it if it is damaged.
  2. Remove any rust from the wiring and cassette decks by wiping them off.
  3. Take your CD player, or any other equipment that is interfering with your music, to a repair shop for service.
  4. Fourth, take your vehicle radio to a repair shop and have it thoroughly inspected for issues.
  5. If everything else fails, examine the computer’s software and make any required updates.

If you are looking for the best car stereo, our website is the best place to start. Our reviews and information on the best car radios save you time and effort by removing the need to spend hours searching for the right one.

Have a safe trip!

John Robinson
John Robinson

Howdy! I’m John Robinson from Levittown, New York. I am a mechanical engineer for 15 years and already had an established car repair company. I developed a personal relationship with cars since I was a kid. I always love the sounds and smell emitted by a car or truck and even at construction machinery. Since then I have been married but my love for cars only grew.