Nowadays, many newly purchased vehicles come equipped with XM Satellite Radio (XM) and often include a free trial period. This is a clear marketing strategy that aims to get you so used to have access to XM that you can’t imagine what it was like to make your morning commute without it. Some models are even programmed to play satellite radio every time you start your car, serving as a constant reminder of just how great of a benefit it is.
For obvious reasons, your new vehicle doesn’t come with specific instructions as to how to disable this feature. However, for those who have no interest in what XM has to offer and have grown annoyed with its presence, we are here to help. For those who wish to completely forget its existence, we would like to offer you some “out of the box” solutions.
Let’s Review Your Options to Remove an XM Radio From Your Car
SiriusXM has done an almost unbelievable job of becoming the leader in satellite radio and working with both stereo and automobile manufacturers to integrate their systems into a wide range of vehicles. Though this is often seen as a great benefit for those who are loyal consumers of XM radio, there are also a large number of us who dislike it. When making a large purchase like a new vehicle, you don’t want to have features forced on you that you don’t want and didn’t ask for.
Even though it is usually impossible to remove your car’s capacity for XM radio altogether, there are ways to minimize its presence in your life to the point that it no longer bothers you.
The easiest way: In those models where XM has its own button on your radio console, there is nothing you can do besides covering it with black tape or simply trying to ignore it by never pressing the button. This console-style can actually be the best for those who dislike XM because the power is in your hands to turn it on or not.
In many cases, it is more difficult than that because SiriusXM and manufacturers have found more clever ways to integrate their product into your radio console. For instance, sometimes car radios come with XM set as your default station so that it comes on every time you start your vehicle. Also, it is often integrated into the rotation of your “Source” button so that when you want to change from FM to AUX, you must first pass over the XM stations.
Before we address the more creative solutions, we have to address the most basic step in this process.
- The first step to removing the XM radio from your vehicle is to cancel your XM radio subscription. There are several ways to accomplish this whether you are still receiving XM through a free trial or have extended the service and now wish to cancel it.
- As an alternative, give it time. The access to XM will stop automatically when your free trial period ends, but you also have the option of calling SiriusXM customer service and canceling the service at any time during the trial.
- The final solution: Even if you have chosen to extend your subscription but have since changed your mind, you can call SiriusXM at any time and cancel immediately. You can also do so online by logging into your account or chatting with a representative and providing them with your account number or radio ID.
Beyond this step, your options largely depend on the make and model of your vehicle. If the dealer has programmed XM so that it will be the default setting when you start your car.
How to do it?
- First, you should refer to your owner’s manual as to how to change your default to an option you prefer, like AM, FM, AUX, etc. This process varies from vehicle to vehicle but it can ensure that you no longer have to listen to XM radio when you don’t want to.
- Some models also offer the possibility to program the media options that appear as you are cycling through using the “Source” button.
How to program it?
- Find the “Advanced Settings” on your menu.
- You will see a menu that allows you to include or remove the options that appear when cycling with the Source button. Once again, this varies depending on what kind of vehicle you have and the exact process is likely outlined within the owner’s manual.
- Remove the XM option.
What to do if I can’t program my setting? If this is not an available option for your specific vehicle, some people have gone as far as disabling the XM module by removing the slot-in card inside of their radio box. This card is the actual hardware that enables the radio to receive an XM signal. For those who are not so comfortable or familiar with mechanical and technological issues, you may want to consult a local car audio specialist.
Advertising Should Be Your Choice
If you have found this article, you are likely someone who is looking for a way to remove XM from your vehicle for any number of reasons. You may be someone who simply regrets paying for XM and no longer finds it useful so you want to stop wasting your money on a subscription. Perhaps you are still within your trial period and have decided that XM is not for you, yet you have to keep scrolling past it while scanning the radio or want to escape the annoyance of hearing it every time you turn the key in the ignition.
There is also a bit more complex reason why you may be looking to eliminate XM radio entirely:
- Comfort: In the modern world, we as consumers are constantly exposed to advertising that is getting even more invasive and catered to our own habits. It can grow exhausting to have to sit through an ad every time you watch TV, listen to the radio, or watch a Youtube video.
- Your decision: When you are making a large purchase, such as a new vehicle, and spending your hard-earned money, you should not have to feel like you have no choice but to be exposed to advertising every time you get into your car. Radio and Youtube are free services, so we are willing to put up with some ad breaks because we know that it funds the services we are receiving. A new vehicle does not fall into this same category.
- Be ads-free: It would be ridiculous to purchase a new home and the first day that you move in, there are signs on your lawn and all over the walls that you couldn’t remove, advertising products to you. It is your property that you purchased and you should have the consumer right to not have that property invaded by companies looking to sell you something. When you save your money and finally make the difficult decision to buy the right vehicle for you, you should have the right to have it suit your wants and needs.
If you can choose between cloth and leather seats, why shouldn’t you also be able to choose to have an XM satellite radio or not?
Taking the Power Back
As we move more and more rapidly into the future, it is likely that advertisers and large corporations will continue to find more and more ways to try to sell us products that we don’t want or need. It is important that as consumers, we continue to share information on how we can avoid being exposed to advertising that we don’t want, and that serves no purpose for our lives.
We may arrive at a period in time when we all say enough is enough and car companies understand that integrating this sort of advertising into our purchases will actually cause them to sell fewer cars. Hopefully, in the future, XM capacity and free trials will be something we actually have the power to control. Until then, we hope that this article can help you to get rid of the annoyance that XM radio can be for some of us and put some of the power back into your hands.
Any Further Questions?
Q-1. How do I know if the vehicle I am interested in has XM Radio capacity already integrated into the vehicle?
The most simple approach is to call the dealership or seller and ask if the vehicle comes pre-equipped with satellite radio and/or a free trial. If you want, you can also ask more detailed questions about whether it is pre-set as the default station, if you can cancel the trial before purchase, or any one of the concerns mentioned above.
Q-2. What is the difference between Sirius, XM, and SiriusXM radio?
Sirius and XM began as separate companies and were competitors in the satellite radio market until they merged in 2008. However, all three still exist as separate technologies and offer different packages. Radios labeled as Sirius radios can only receive Sirius packages, XM radios can only receive XM packages, and SiriusXM radios can only receive SiriusXM packages.
Q-3. I want to cancel my subscription, but how do I find my Radio ID or account number?
To access your Radio ID, simply go to the “Menu” on your radio and proceed to “Sirius Menu”. There should be an “Advanced Settings” option that displays your radio ID. If you don’t have your account number, you can contact a SiriusXM representative online or by phone and they can assist you. Furthermore, you can read about How to Turn Off SiriusXM Radio in Your Car?