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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

The radio on my 2005 NBC GLS will not work & is full of static on every station & that goes for both AM/FM. How should I approach this? And would replacing the unit with an aftermarket stereo work as a solution. Very frustrating not being able to listen to the radio, any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

15,947 Posts
You might remove the head unit and see if the antenna is plugged in as it should be. This requires a special removal tool; which can be purchased online or possibly, at a local auto stereo store.

https://www.google.com/webhp?source...2&ie=UTF-8#q=vw new beetle radio removal tool

A common problem with the antenna; on these Mark IV Volkswagens like the New Beetle, is the antenna base will leak, corrode and end up failing from water getting inside the part.
Here is a typical DIY (not new beetle specific); that shows the base, the corrosion issue and how to replace it.


There is a diagnostic test; that you can run with the head unit, this can confirm that it "sees" the antenna. This is from a Volkswagen Technical Service Bulletin.

AM Radio, Poor or No Reception


1999-2000 New Golf, New Jetta, New Beetle, Passat

Supersedes T.B. Group 91 Number 99-07 dated Aug. 2, 1999


AM reception is poor.

May be caused by:

^ Poor ground at the antenna base or radio

^ Poor battery ground to chassis or engine

^ Poor antenna cable connection at Radio

^ Corrosion at the antenna coaxial connectors at radio or antenna

^ An incorrect antenna mast installed for the antenna base equipped with the vehicle


Checking antenna connections, electrically through radio

- Switch radio ON.

- Press and hold balance button for approx. ten seconds.

^ 3CPT7 will appear in display (numbers may vary and are not important)

- Press CD mode button.

^ 020.I will appear in display (software version numbers may vary)

- Press CD mode button again.

^ FERN OFF/ON will appear in display

Note: FERN = amplified antenna.

If FERN ON appears:

Antenna and connections are OK.

If FERN OFF appears:

Radio may not be coded correctly for amplified antenna.

- Check for proper coding of radio, see coding table in Technical Bulletin Group 91 Number 99-09 dated Oct. 25, 1999.

^ When radio is coded according to this table, FERN is operational.

If radio is coded correctly and FERN OFF appears, then antenna and connections are not OK.

- Check antenna and connections page 3

Radio antenna, matching base to mast

Vehicles are equipped with either a Bosch or a Clarion antenna base mounted on the roof and (for shipping purposes) the appropriate matching mast is located in the luggage compartment.

If radio antenna masts are removed from vehicles and stored until vehicles are sold, there is a chance that an incorrect mast can be installed at the time of delivery.

Note: Mismatched antenna mast and base will cause poor AM radio reception.

The antenna base and mast can be identified visually as follows:

Bosch antenna

^ Base (although oval) is more circular in shape (approx. 57 mm x 49 mm).

^ Made in Germany stamped on underside of base.

^ Two screws on underside of base are unpainted.

^ Requires gloss finish antenna mast. antenna^ Base is more oval in shape than Bosch (approx. 61 mm x 41 mm).

^ Two screws on underside of base are painted.

^ Requires matte finish antenna mast.

If antenna mast matches the antenna base correctly:

- Check antenna and connections

Antenna cable and connections, checking- Check antenna coaxial cable connections -arrows- for corrosion and clean if necessary (DO NOT apply stabilant). Passat coaxial cable connection for radio is under the carpet on right side of tunnel near shifter.

Note: DO NOT Check the antenna system by using an ohmmeter from the antenna lead to the threads where the mast -1- attaches to the base of the antenna. This will not work because the antenna system uses an amplified signal.

- Ensure that coaxial cable is firmly seated in radio (Passat cable connection, see previous step).

- Check ground at the antenna below roof Nut -4- (torque = 7+1 Nm) must firmly secure antenna to roof).

- Check ground for radio behind radio on cross member (On Passat models as of Nov. 1998 beginning VIN: XE285000 ground for radio is on right side of center tunnel).

- Check engine compartment ground, left side, below battery tray; from battery GND to body.

- Check engine/transmission ground on transmission, near engine block.

- If all grounds and antenna mast are OK.

- Replace antenna and coaxial cable assembly.


3,690 Posts
The key here is NBC!!!

If the windshield was every replaced, this is likely the problem.

The NBC has the radio antenna in the windshield. Either a non convertible windshield was installed or the antenna connection was not make correctly.

Go the passenger side of the car and look closely along the vertical passenger side of the windshield and across the top and look for a small line about 1 inch from the edge, this is the antenna.

I will need to check my NBC in the daylight to recall exactly where the line is, but it is obvious if you look for it.

3,690 Posts
I generated a reply, but it appears it was never posted!

So for the NBC, the antenna is a wire embedded in the windshield.

The problem is many shops do not understand the differences between the convertible and non convertibles for any make or model. Most people think the convertibles are the same as coupes and often they have small differences that are not very obvious. The New Beetle Convertible windshield being one of the small differences.

From outside the car, looking at the windshield from the passenger side of the car. Look closely about 4" down from the top of the windshield you should see a small horizontal wire that should be very obvious passing through the middle of the rain sensor above the rear view mirror. This wire should be located near the center of the rain sensor.

Then looking at the passenger side "A" pillar, about 4" from the edge you should see a wire running vertical/parallel to the "A" pillar. It stops about 6" from the bottom edge of the windshield. You may need to look a different angles depending on the lighting conditions to see the wire, but it is very obvious once you focus in and look for it.

So either the windshield was from a standard model without the integral radio antenna.

The correct windshield was installed, but the wiring connection to the antenna cable was not properly made. Not exactly sure how this interface works as I have never seen the windshield out of a convertible.

If you use an aftermarket antenna, you will need an adapter cable - Amazon.com: Metra 40-VW20 VW/Audi/European Vehicle: Car Electronics

So your options may be a "hidden" inside antenna like one of these?





Similar installation in a VW Beetle, just slightly older!
Windscreen mount antenna
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