Strangeness With the Radio - 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI Long-Term Road Test
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2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI Long-Term Road Test

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2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI: Strangeness With the Radio

February 13, 2014

2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI

After a fine weekend with our 2014 Volkswagen Passat 1.8 TSI (the one that takes gasoline), I encountered a curious problem with the audio system on my way to work one morning.

When I got into our silver family sedan, the radio was still on 101.1 FM (L.A.'s oldies station has become a compromise radio station for my husband and me). After a few seconds, the sound cut out. I then switched to my more usual 89.3 (yes, public radio), started listening to the news, and after a few seconds, the sound cut out again.

Eventually, I determined that when switching between stations, or from the FM to AM band (or vice versa), I'd get 5 Mississippis worth of sound and then, total radio silence.

Meanwhile, there were no issues whatsoever with the satellite radio, though our Passat apparently has an abbreviated trial subscription so we don't get all the stations. (Tragically, for example, we don't get Channel 122, which plays NPR programming.)

After the Passat was turned off for a few minutes while I was refueling, I switched from Sirius back to 89.3 FM and was heartened to get about 60 seconds worth of news. Then, the sound cut out again, and subsequently, we were back to the 5 seconds of news/music on any given station.

Maybe this was an anomaly. Or, maybe I've gone totally nutso and the VW senses that. We'll let you know if it happens again, in which case we'll make a service appointment.

Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 3,704 miles

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