SiriusXM Tuner Unavailable

How to Fix SiriusXM Tuner Unavailable

The “SiriusXM tuner unavailable” error message in your audio app and driver display indicates issues with the SiriusXM tuner or that your car stereo does not recognize the satellite radio tuner. You can fix this by restarting or rebooting SiriusXM, purchasing a new subscription, updating software, and many more.

Recently, I took my car out for a long drive while grooving to my favorite tracks on SiriusXM. But when I parked my car for a bit, switched it off, and then returned to it, I encountered the error message “SiriusXM tuner unavailable”. This was the first time I encountered such an error, and it was one of the most frustrating to deal with. It took a series of steps before I realized that my subscription was up and I needed to purchase a new package. Since then, I’ve encountered the error a few times and have discovered it can happen for several reasons.

In this guide, I will delve into the common reasons or situations when you encounter this error and the steps you need to take to fix the problem immediately.

Troubleshooting Guide to Refresh and Reset SiriusXM

  • Purchase your subscription.

Double-check to confirm that your subscription hasn’t expired before trying any other troubleshooting steps. To subscribe to the SiriusXM service:

  • Turn on your vehicle’s head unit.
  • Take note of your 8-digit radio ID, which you can find on the packaging, on the back of the XM radio, or by tuning the radio to Channel 0 or Channel 225.
  • Go online to
  • You may be required to enter your credit card information.
  • Activation usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes but might reach an hour. I recommend that you leave the head unit turned on until you see the message “Subscription Updated; press Enter to continue”.
  • You can also quickly refresh SiriusXM online by visiting
  • Turn off Sirius Radio.

The simplest way to reset and refresh the Sirius radio is by turning it off and then turning it back on within seconds. If the radio is portable (a dock-and-play model), then pull the radio out of its slot and then install it again.

  • Check Connections

Because your hookup includes a separate satellite radio tuner, you must ensure that all connections are secure and accurate between the car stereo and satellite radio tuner. Also, ensure that the SOURCE selector is at the correct setting for the satellite radio service.

  • Always install a compatible SiriusXM tuner.

Check the specifications of your car stereo to ensure that it is compatible with your satellite radio tuner. To make this assessment, go to the Sirius website and navigate to find your specific XM tuner model. Next, visit the specifications or compatibility tab of your SiriusXM model and view the compatibility chart or information. Here you will see the applicable vehicles and other specifications you must meet.

  • Check signal or acquisition signal

The error message may also happen if obstructions are blocking the view of your SiriusXM antenna. So check that the antenna is firmly mounted outside the vehicle and free of such obstacles. Also, check the SiriusXM antenna cable to make sure it is firmly and securely plugged in. If this doesn’t work, you can also initiate a signal refresh by calling SiriusXM customer care or using their online services at

  • Verify the radio software version.

Go to the SiriusXM website to determine if you are currently on the most recent software version. If not, then you need to update your software via USB.

  • Reset/Reboot SiriusXM Tuner

Rebooting the tuner might be the perfect way to restore all systems to their default settings. To do this, first turn your car on, and then turn on the radio. Then push and hold the radio power button for about 5 seconds (or until the radio reboots).

  • Replace Cable

If all else does not work, then you should consider that the cable between the car stereo and the satellite radio tuner is bad. Replace it with a new one, and reset the car stereo again afterward. Alternatively, you can reach out to SiriusXM customer support for help.

Common Reasons Why You Have the Error Message “SiriusXM Tuner Unavailable”

No Subscription 

Generally, SiriusXM offers the first 3 months for free before asking that you purchase a subscription. If you don’t purchase a subscription on time, then you might get the error message “tuner not available” once the 3-month free trial is over. This is the first and most common reason for the error message. Once you purchase that subscription and then refresh, the error should be gone.

Incompatible stereo equipment

Every SiriusXM tuner has a suitable car brand, year, and model type that is compatible with it. Trying to install the wrong SiriusXM tuner on the wrong vehicle will result in an error message. Check the manual that came with your SiriusXM to see if your vehicle is compatible. Alternatively, you can use the Sirius website,, to confirm compatibility.

Problems with Connections Between Stereo and Radio Tuner

If your SiriusXM antenna is plugged into the wrong equipment, it might become available. Check through the manual specific to your vehicle and make sure you are plugging the antenna and other attributes into the correct port.

Service Updates

Occasionally, receiving the error message “SiriusXM unavailable” might happen when the tuner is updating. SiriusXM’s updating of their systems will cause service to fail for some time. But this clears up shortly after (about 30 minutes). That said, if, after two hours, you are still trying to reconnect, then consider resetting the system.

Antenna Connection Problems

Loose or damaged antenna connections and wiring can also disrupt signals. Check that the antenna is connected perfectly and that there are no signs of wear and tear on the antenna cable.


The “SiriusXM Tuner Unavailable” error message can be tricky to deal with. Now that you know all the possible issues that can lead to this message, you can quickly identify and rectify them whenever they happen. Always begin by checking the basics, including your subscription package, signal strength, and antenna options. If all of these fail, then move on to the advanced troubleshooting steps such as refreshing the signal, updating software, and rebooting the device. If all else fails, you may be dealing with damaged components. Replace them and consider contacting SiriusXM customer service for further help.

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