What To Do If Your FM Transmitter Is Causing Static

If you are experiencing problems with FM transmitter static, it is probably a problem of interference from a nearby radio station. If you have a manual dial on your transmitter, you can adjust the frequency until you find one that is free from any static interference.

It can be hard to find a clear frequency, so you might have to go through these steps to find one that works for you.

Handsfree Call Car Charger, Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio Receiver, Mp3 Music Stereo Adapter, Dual USB Port Charger on white background

What Does an FM Transmitter Do?

The invention of MP3 players revolutionized the way that people listen to music. Instead of having to lug around hundreds of CDs in your car, you could keep all of your music on an electronic device.

Things are even easier now that smartphones have mostly replaced MP3 players. The problem though is that older cars cannot directly play MP3 music, because they were designed to play CDs and cassettes. This is why you need an FM Transmitter to listen to your tunes.

FM Transmitters are not the only way that you can listen to MP3 music in your car, but they are the cheapest and easiest. Rather than creating a physical wire connection between your phone and the car, the FM Transmitter creates a personal radio station for yourself that connects the music on your phone to your car’s radio.

If you are using an FM Transmitter and are frustrated by the static you hear when listening to music, there are a few things that you can do to troubleshoot the problem.

Make Sure You Have the Right Frequency

When you first bought your FM transmitter, you had to tune the FM transmitter and the head unit to the same frequency. It is possible that over time you have accidentally knocked your FM transmitter to a different frequency and now it is causing you static.

If you need to reset it to a different frequency, you should start by looking for a frequency at the extreme end of the FM dial. This is where you are most likely going to find free space for your FM transmitter.

You can set your FM transmitter to a frequency anywhere on the dial, but you are most likely going to find available space below 90 MHz and above 107 MHz.  There are some local radio stations that will broadcast in these frequency ranges, but they tend to be rare.

Make Sure You Are Not Getting Any Interference

If there is a powerful radio station that broadcasts on a frequency close to you, this can cause severe interference with the music you are listening to. Sometimes very powerful or very close local radio stations will bleed over into other frequencies.

The best way to avoid this problem is to find a frequency on the FM dial that is at least .02 MHz apart from any other radio broadcasts.

If you are in a densely populated urban area you might not be able to find any frequencies that fit this criterion. If this is the case, mess around with the dial until you find the frequency that has the least amount of interference from radio stations.

Try To Find an Empty Bandwidth

Even though the airwaves are crowded with radio broadcasts and other FM transmitter users, the companies that manufacture these gadgets want you to be able to enjoy using their products.

This is why some companies keep lists of FM stations according to the specific geographic area that you are located. Some even have tools that you can use to help you find the least crowded frequency in your area.

This is also something that you can do yourself by trial and error. However, it is quicker and easier to take advantage of the tools that are offered. Services like SiriusXM FM Channel Finder are a great tool to take advantage of.

However, these tools are also not always accurate. These tools depend on FCC databases and the information that they list can be outdated, or it can change depending on real-life circumstances.

These tools are a great aid in helping you find a frequency that works for you, but there is still a good chance that you will have to do some trial and error work yourself to figure out exactly where you need to be.

When Nothing Else Works

Maybe you have diligently searched for every possible frequency on the dial, and you are still getting unbearable static. This is most likely to be the case if you are living in a large city where there are a lot of different transmitters competing for limited dial space.

There are a few options that you can try at this point. One is to see if your car’s antenna is removable. If it is, removing this will eliminate interference from nearby radio stations. But if the problem continues, this is a sign that you might have to replace some of your equipment.

At this point, it is possible that either your FM transmitter, your head unit, or both are broken. You might have to replace these, but you can also choose to invest in an FM modulator.

If these still do not work, you might have to think about upgrading your technology. It is an expensive upgrade but installing a car radio that is BluTooth compatible might be the only solution to your interference problems if nothing else works.

Getting a New Transmitter

If you decide to get a new transmitter, you need to make sure that you are purchasing the right one. Most FM transmitters are affordable, but if you make a point of skimping on features to save money, you are setting yourself up for a lot of static.

Whatever transmitter you choose, make sure it has a manual dial. This lets you navigate to find the least busy frequency. Some transmitters only have a few pre-set frequencies that you can choose from and some do not let you change frequency at all.

EDITOR’S RECOMMENDATION – My top 3 favorite FM Transmitters. I considered features, sound quality, and price. Enjoy!

Small & Mighty
Bluetooth FM Transmitter for Car, 5.0 Wireless Bluetooth FM Radio Adapter Music Player /Car Kit and 2 USB Ports Charger Support USB Drive
Excellent Call Control
LENCENT FM Transmitter, Upgraded (2021 Version) 2022 Bluetooth FM Transmitter Wireless Radio Adapter Car Kit with Dual USB Charging Car Charger MP3 Player Support TF Card & USB Disk
Best All Around
Nulaxy Wireless in-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio Adapter Car Kit W 1.44 Inch Display Supports TF/SD Card and USB Car Charger for All Smartphones Audio Players-KM18
Music Input Options
Bluetooth, USB Drive
Bluetooth, USB Drive, TF Card
Bluetooth, USB Drive, TF Card
Built-in Microphone
Hands-free Call Support
# of USB Ports
2
2
1
Rapid Charge USB
Price
$17.99
$14.99
$18.99
Prime Status
Shop or Learn More
Small & Mighty
Bluetooth FM Transmitter for Car, 5.0 Wireless Bluetooth FM Radio Adapter Music Player /Car Kit and 2 USB Ports Charger Support USB Drive
Music Input Options
Bluetooth, USB Drive
Built-in Microphone
Hands-free Call Support
# of USB Ports
2
Rapid Charge USB
Price
$17.99
Prime Status
Shop or Learn More
Excellent Call Control
LENCENT FM Transmitter, Upgraded (2021 Version) 2022 Bluetooth FM Transmitter Wireless Radio Adapter Car Kit with Dual USB Charging Car Charger MP3 Player Support TF Card & USB Disk
Music Input Options
Bluetooth, USB Drive, TF Card
Built-in Microphone
Hands-free Call Support
# of USB Ports
2
Rapid Charge USB
Price
$14.99
Prime Status
Shop or Learn More
Best All Around
Nulaxy Wireless in-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio Adapter Car Kit W 1.44 Inch Display Supports TF/SD Card and USB Car Charger for All Smartphones Audio Players-KM18
Music Input Options
Bluetooth, USB Drive, TF Card
Built-in Microphone
Hands-free Call Support
# of USB Ports
1
Rapid Charge USB
Price
$18.99
Prime Status
Shop or Learn More

Final Thoughts

If you are experiencing FM transmitter static, you are probably getting interference from one of your local radio stations. Powerful broadcasts can bleed into your frequency. You can fix this by adjusting the dial until you find a frequency clear of feedback.