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How Do I Get Sirius Radio In My Car?

The power of radio cannot be denied. Many had thought that the era of the internet and streaming would bring an end to radio in the traditional sense. It did, but only to have it become something so much bigger.

If you’re a car audio enthusiast and like a bit of variety, you’ve probably heard of Sirius Radio. It’s one of the biggest satellite radio services in the world.

If you haven’t, it provides access to over 300 channels of non-stop content reaching every genre of music and topic of discussion. Best of all, everything is add-free

Where do I sign up? 

Well, in this article, I’m going to answer a simple question, “How do I get Sirius Radio in my car?”. Sirius is a paid service, but there are plenty of options available to suit the needs of everyone. 

In short, starting your journey towards unlimited ad-free content is quite simple. You might be surprised to learn that some car’s come equipped with everything you need to handle the Sirius signal. You should be able to determine your ride’s compatibility with a quick internet search. 

How does it work?

So, if you already have a Sirius Radio compatible car, you just need to subscribe to the Sirius service online, and you can enjoy hundreds of stations. If your vehicle is not “Sirius Ready,” you can buy a satellite radio unit and install it on your dashboard. 

There are some cars with Sirius Radio preinstalled as an option. If you are curious as to how to get Sirius XM Radio in your car, then it’s time to find out more… 

What Are The Options?

The Options

Depending on your circumstances and how much you are willing to spend, the options can vary from simple and cheap to more costly and less simple. Either way, if you take care to read carefully, you’ll be sure to find an option to suit your needs.

FM-Modulator

An FM-Modulator is the most cost-effective and easiest way to get Sirius XM in your car. The device works on a very simple principle; it converts the signal received from the satellite broadcast (Sirius Channel) into a normal FM signal that any car radio can receive. 

This setup is ideal for folks who’d like to have their Sirius XM jump with them from car to car. You don’t need anything except the modulator, so it’s simple to connect to any vehicle you might be using.

Where Can I Get One?

You can pick up an FM-Modulator from most local retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart, and many others. FM-Modulators come in many varieties, and costs can range from fifteen to seventy dollars.

The best solution, however, is probably to head over to SiriusXM.com and pick up one of their many modulators. These are not as expensive as you might think, and there’s a wide range available to suit anyone’s wallet.

What Kinds of Vehicles Can Use an FM-Modulator?

The majority of people who use these modulators own older vehicles, which have very little compatibility beyond an aux cable and a CD player. Some are even older and have nothing but a lighter socket.

Luckily that’s all you need if your car stereo doesn’t support a Sirius connection by default. Simply remove the lighter part and insert the modulator into the socket. The audio is received via the antenna, and presto, you can jam to hundreds of channels in the 70s muscle car you love so dearly.

How Do I Get Sirius Radio In My Car?

Radio In My Car

Satellite receivers are installed as standard on newer model vehicles. In these cases, you need to subscribe to the Sirius XM service and pay a monthly fee.

If your car stereo doesn’t support satellite connections as standard (not Sirius ready), you have the option of adding this capability to the system via a VIAS Radio Adaptor Kit. 

However, if your stereo is Sirius ready but not activated by the manufacturer, you need to get your hands on a Sirius XM SXV300AZV1 to receive the satellite signal. This is a more affordable option than the VIAS Radio Adaptor Kit and is also universal, meaning you can connect the adaptor to many cars.

Which Cars Come Sirius Ready?

There are quite a few cars with Sirius XM radio preinstalled as standard. Some of these include models from Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, and General Motors. 

For more detailed information on the compatibility of your vehicle, you need to find the VIN. You can then head over to siriusxm.com and type in the VIN to determine your ride’s compatibility. 

If you happen to discover that your car is Sirius compatible, you might consider adding a Sirius XM Tuner. This is a very affordable option and will allow you to enjoy over 165 stations in your car. 

How To Connect Sirius XM to the Car Stereo

It’s quite easy to connect Sirius XM to a car stereo and shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes of your time. 

If you have a car radio that is Sirius ready, then all you need to do is connect the stereo to the Sirius XM antenna. The antenna is usually mounted on the roof to ensure the best possible signal. Avoid dash-mounted antennas as well as those mounted close to the roof bars of the vehicle. 

Once the antenna is connected to the stereo, you can hook up the power supply and turn on the satellite radio.

How Do I Setup Sirius Radio in My Car?

If you plan on having your favorites and repeatedly coming back to them, setting up your Sirius favorites is your last step before you’re home free. 

What you’ll need to do is start by turning on your car’s radio and making sure that the satellite radio is selected as the source. You can now begin seeking through all the available channels until you find the ones that you like.

When you find what you want… 

You need to save the station frequency using the method your car’s radio uses. Usually, this will mean holding down one of the preset buttons until it flashes or beeps to indicate that the station has been saved to that preset. 

Once your stations have been saved, you can simply press the numerical button to jump to the desired station, just like you normally would on your car’s radio. 

Sirius Radio in Two Cars?

As a rule, Sirius Radio will only work with one car. If you want to have the service available in more than one vehicle, you’ll need to install two separate radios in two separate cars. You will also have to get two subscriptions.

If the second car, boat, or bike has a satellite radio installed, however, you simply need to activate the satellite radio. You can then add the second radio to your existing account And, by doing this, you will receive a discount.

If the second vehicle is not Sirius ready, however, you will need to purchase a second radio or Sirius Tuner to connect it with the existing stereo. 

Other options…

There is also the option of purchasing a Dock & Play Radio which you can easily take with you from car to car. Before you make your purchase, it is important to check your vehicle’s specs and your budget to determine the best option for you. 

If flexibility is what you need since you know you’ll be moving from one vehicle to another a lot, the Dock & Play is the best option for you. 

How Much Will It Cost To Install a Sirius Radio?

How Much Will It

Installing a Sirius radio into most car systems is so simple that you can do it yourself. There is no need to send the car to a pro. 

However, if you feel the need to do so, they will likely charge you around eighty dollars for the installation. If you go to local electronics stores, you might pay a little less. But, this is still going to be much more expensive than doing it yourself. 

How Much Does a Sirius Radio Cost?

The most expensive part of the entire process will be the radio itself. Depending on the model you choose, this can cost around $60 up to $150 for something like the Sirius XM Tour with 360L and Vehicle Kit.

The second-largest part of the process will be the monthly fee. If you are a brand new customer, the first few months will likely be free, or they will cost much less. When this period is over, you will pay the full subscription fee. You’ll pay monthly or annually, depending on the package you select. 

Three main packages are offered, two of which are for use in vehicles. However, there is a host of customized bundles and other packages. 

Since you know the answer to “How do I get Sirius Radio in my car?”, let’s check out the Sirius Radio subscription plans in more detail.

Streaming Platinum

  • 350+ channels.
  • Ad-free music.
  • Original talk, podcasts, exclusive comedy, and news
  • NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, and NCAA play-by-play.
  • Two Howard Stern channels.
  • Create Pandora stations.
  • Sirius XM video library.

Music & Entertainment

  • 325+ channels.
  • Ad-free music.
  • Original talk, podcasts, exclusive comedy, and news.
  • NHL play-by-play, NASCAR.
  • Sirius XM video library.

Platinum

  • 350+ channels.
  • Ad-free music.
  • Original talk, podcasts, exclusive comedy, and news
  • NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA play-by-play, plus NASCAR.
  • Two Howard Stern channels.
  • Create Pandora stations.
  • Sirius XM video library.

If none of the three main packages take your fancy, you can select from a host of more specialized and varied packages. These can also be further customized upon request:

Streaming Platinum for students

  • 350+ channels.
  • Ad-free music.
  • Original talk, podcasts, exclusive comedy, and news.
  • NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA play-by-play, plus NASCAR.
  • Two Howard Stern channels.
  • Create Pandora stations.
  • Sirius XM video library.

Streaming Music & Entertainment

  • 325+ channels.
  • Ad-free music.
  • Original talk, podcasts, exclusive comedy & news.
  • Play-by-play of select major sports, NASCAR.
  • Sirius XM video library.

Music Showcase

  • 100+ channels.
  • Ad-free music.
  • 10+ talk and news channels.
  • Sirius XM video library.

Platinum Family Friendly

  • 300+ channels.
  • Ad-free music.
  • Original talk, podcasts, exclusive comedy & news.
  • NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, and NCAA play-by-play, NASCAR.
  • Create Pandora stations.
  • Sirius XM video library.

Music & Entertainment Family Friendly

  • 275+ channels.
  • Ad-free music.
  • Original talk, podcasts, exclusive comedy & news.
  • NHL play-by-play, NASCAR.
  • Sirius XM video library.

A La Carte

This option allows the user to select their favorite 50 channels from the Sirius XM Music & Entertainment plan. There are options ranging from music, sports talk, news, and entertainment in all its audio forms.

In addition to the chosen 50 channels, the user will also receive access to several extra services, such as niche news and special interests, including BBC World Service, NPR, and The Catholic Channel.

A La Carte Gold

This package is almost the same as the normal A La Carte. The biggest difference is that instead of 50, you can choose 100 channels from the Sirius XM Music & Entertainment plan. 

All the channels are ad-free and include music, premium programming, sports, news, talk, and entertainment.

In addition to the selected channels, you will receive access to special interest and news channels, including BBC World Service, NPR, and The Catholic Channel. It is important to note that both A La Carte plans require a Sirius Stratus 7 Radio.

All-in-One

This is the big one, the mac daddy; it includes access to absolutely everything. 

How Much for Two Vehicles?

for Two Vehicles

If you’re interested in having Sirius Radio in more than one vehicle, take a look at their newly announced Platinum VIP package. It allows you to log in from two vehicles at once and will set you back at around $35 a month.

Not only do you have access to live streaming, but you can access over five thousand live concert recordings. There is also a library of over 250 videos which can all be viewed at no extra cost.

The Platinum VIP plan is especially appealing to families since it allows access to a wide variety of content and comes with a bunch of extra content. Not only that, this allows you to meet the needs of all the mixing tastes within the group and not have to fork out the money for two subscriptions.

How to Activate Sirius Service in the Car

With a factory-installed Sirius radio, everything should be available at the time of purchase. If the right channels are not available, there is an option to send a refresh signal. But, you need a radio ID to send the signal. 

Preowned vehicle with a Sirius Radio installed…

You can activate and start using the free service as soon as your purchase has been made. Although, if your channels are not being received correctly, you need to do the same refreshing process as mentioned above, But remember to have your radio ID handy otherwise, it won’t work.

Preowned vehicle with no information on Sirius…

You can go to the customer care section on the Sirius website and use the link to fill in a form that will send the signal to refresh. However, if this does not work, you need to activate Sirius and order a new free subscription from their website.

Have An Older Car?

If you’ve got an older vehicle, the chances are that you are not equipped with a satellite radio receiver. This means you are not Sirius ready or even compatible. 

In these circumstances, you have to work around the problem with one of the following methods. These will help you find an answer to the question, “How do I get Sirius Radio in my car?”

  • Add an FM-Modulator to your car. These are powered via power sources from the vehicle, like the lighter socket.
  • Install an external satellite radio into the car.
  • Install a satellite radio Add-on adapter kit.

After you’ve done one of these three, you can purchase your subscription from Sirius XM and begin enjoying your content.

How Do I Know My Car is Sirius Ready?

You may be asking yourself. “Is my car Sirius ready or compatible?” If you don’t want to check the VIN on the website, there are a few simple checks you can do:

  • Look for the Sirius logo – Manufacturers will often put the Sirius logo somewhere on the control panel in the car to indicate its compatibility. The logo might be stylized with the auto manufacturer’s as well, but it won’t be hard to spot if you look carefully.
  • Check for an SAT button – You’ll often see these in car stereos that have a built-in satellite receiver. Typically, this can be found near the other source selection buttons like AM/FM, Disc, or AUX. 
  • The owner’s manual – This will specify the capabilities of the vehicle’s stereo, but also how to activate or set up the Satellite radio if there is one installed. 

Resetting a Sirius Signal

Sometimes your Sirius radio will lose connection to the satellite due to weather or driving through a tunnel, etc. It often occurs that the component struggles to regain signal if it’s been severed for a long time, so you might have to reset it.

To reset Sirius components, you can simply turn them off for two minutes and then back on again. Disconnecting the power will achieve the same effect. 

If this doesn’t work, you can reset the incoming signal by going to the Sirius website’s support page. After you’ve refreshed the signal, try turning the radio back on to see if the problem is solved. 

How To Remove a Sirius Radio

If you’re on the free trial period, all you have to do is wait for the trial to expire, and you will not be charged anything. With an active subscription, you’ll have to call the customer service line between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm EST (Saturdays and Sundays excluded).

The other alternative is to go to your account page on the Sirius website and cancel the renewal of your subscription. The radio will remain active until the end of the current billing period.

How To Switch a Sirius XM Radio To a New Car

To move a Sirius Radio from one vehicle to another, you can do one of two things. One is to phone customer service for assistance. The second option is to log into your Sirius XM account and do the move manually. In addition to this, you can also:

  • Add new radios to your account.
  • Check to see if you are eligible for a multi-radio discount.
  • Apply any of your unused credits towards a new subscription.
  • Remove radios you no longer own or use from your account.

Why Does My Sirius Radio Say No Signal

Satellite radios are known for having a stable connection in most places. But, sometimes, you’ll see a “No signal” or “acquiring signal” message on your screen.

Start by checking the antenna and that there are no obstructions, but remember that weather can play a part in this. If you are parked in an underground garage or are close to somewhere where electromagnetism is high, this can also interfere with your signal.

The last thing is more of an installation issue, but it’s worth making sure that your antenna is securely fitted to its cradle and that it is securely wired. If wiring and weather are not your problems, try turning the Sirius Radio off and on again to see if that solves the problem.

If you are using a Dock & Play portable radio, try removing the radio from its cradle to reset the radio’s memory and then replace it. This should have the same effect as doing a reset. In most cases, this should take care of any error messages.

How To Improve Sirius XM Reception

When your radio sufferers from a bad or weak signal, you will see a message on your screen saying “antenna” or “check antenna” In this case, simply do the same checks as mentioned above to ensure the connections are secure.

If the wiring and connections are all solid and you’re still suffering from a weak signal, you will likely need to check the antenna itself and perhaps replace it. 

Why Won’t My Sirius Radio Turn On?

Installation and connection are all good and well. But, we all know the moment of truth is when that switch gets flicked, and the lights go on. Well, that’s what they’re supposed to do anyway.

Sirius Radios are made to be quick and easy to install and operate. However, the odd mishap does sometimes occur after updates or disconnecting and reconnecting the battery. This results in a radio that is “dead.”

Do not panic…

The issue can be circumvented in one easy step. Simply press and hold down the power button for ten seconds. This will do a hard reset, and the radio should come back on. 

If the hard reset doesn’t work, try disconnecting the battery cables of your vehicle for ten seconds, then reconnect them and start up the radio. This should have the same effect as the above-mentioned process, and your radio will be right as rain again. 

Want to Improve the Audio in Your Vehicle?

We can help with that. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best 3000 Watt Amps, the Best 2000 Watt RMS Amps, the Best Monoblock Car Amplifiers, the Best Car Amplifiers, and the Best Car Subwoofers you can buy in 2022.

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How Do I Get Sirius Radio In My Car – Conclusion

Sirius XM is a fantastic source of virtually never-ending entertainment in scope and variety. No matter what your tastes or needs, there’s bound to be a channel on Sirius that can make you happy. 

Yes, it might not be conventional radio in that the service is paid for monthly. But, considering what you’re getting, the rates are quite low, and there are packages to suit every circumstance. There is also the free trial period which allows you to experience what it is you’ll be paying for free of charge. 

You are getting more than what you pay for…

If your car is Sirius XM ready, you simply need to purchase your subscription and activate your radio to start enjoying hundreds of channels of commercial-free content. However, if your car isn’t Sirius ready, you need to install a satellite radio that has the needed functionality. Or, buy a Sirius XM Tuner to receive and amplify the satellite signal.

There may be extra costs if you decide to have a professional do your installation. But, in most cases, the installation is simple enough to do yourself. Once your hardware is set up, you just pay your subscription, and you’ll have more channels than your ears could ever listen to.

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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