Toyota Avalon XM and Sirius Radio

cms1528cms1528 Member Posts: 45
edited September 2014 in Toyota
I have an 06 Limited and have been thinking of installing satellite radio. I have noticed that the CD quality in my car is just great. However, the FM sounds just ok.

I want to know if you hear an absolute improvement over basic FM. I have heard satellite in other cars I was just curious about the Avalon.


  • zekeman1zekeman1 Member Posts: 422
    Vast improvement over FM; I have it in my LTD and my wife's Highlander; great thing is you can listen to one station on a long trip and don't have to channel surf. Big variety of programming - excellent sound quality. I prefer XM and others like Sirius - your choice. Not sure if Sirius can be integrated into your JBL like the XM. I would not own a car without it.
  • daltongcdaltongc Member Posts: 1
    Toyota does offer a Sirius kit for the Avalon. I just had it installed in my '06 XLS. The tuner mounts on the passenger side of the trunk and a wiring harness runs to the JBL unit in the dash. One cool thing about the Sirius kit is that it ships with the new Sigma glass mount antenna. This is a triangle shaped black unit that mounts high and to the right of the rear view mirror. The antenna mounts to the inside of the winshield in the black dot area by the mirror. You can barely see it from the driver's seat. Once you've had satellite radio, you'll be spoiled. I've had both, and Sirius is my preference, but they are both light years ahead of FM and CDs.
  • joe369joe369 Member Posts: 61
    How good does it sound compared to a CD? I don't know the compression rate SIRIUS uses....
  • fmayberryfmayberry Member Posts: 33
    datlongc - I recently purchased an '06 Limited but it didn't come with satellite radio. Therefore I was considering getting it installed after the fact. My dealer offers both the Toyota kit as well as an after market version. How integrated is the Sirius kit with the JBL system? And if you don't mind, what was the cost for the Sirius kit and installation?
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Member Posts: 422
    I have no clue about compression rate or any other's digital and it sounds great to me and can't hear any difference between it or CD's. I'm sure there may be, but I'm not a purist when it comes to sound. I happen to like Bose systems (have 3 of them in my home) but many prefer other systems. I say if it sounds good to you, go for it.
  • grafoxgrafox Member Posts: 2
    Do you know if the Toyota Sirrius Satellite kit can be installed with the base radio? I have an 06 XLS and did not get it with JBL. I am trying to figure out my options if I want to receive satellite programming.

    The description I have found for the Toyota XM kit states it requires JBL. THe description for the Toyota Sirrius Kit (Product ID PTS31-00052) is silent on the issue.

    If it can be used with the non-JBL radio, my next question will be whether anyone has installed it themselves? It mentions that drilling is required, but I don't know what is involved.
  • rsblaskirsblaski Member Posts: 68
    :confuse: Hi, I have just returned to the world of Toyota ownership. (Previously had an '01 Solara Convertible.) On Saturday, we went to our local Toyota dealer to pick up a coupon for a free turkey. When we got there, the salesman asked if we were there just for the promotion or were we interested in a car. I told him that as long as we were there, I'd like to see a fully loaded Avalon Limited after having read (very little) about them. Needless to say, after seeing one, I got really interested. We were told that their Avalons are usually sold before they get to the dealer, and he showed us a print out of one coming in next week. While we were looking at that, the salesman was told by his manager that a deal had just fallen through and they had one available.
    After a bit of dickering, we finally bought it and drove it home.
    Now my question. The only thing the car doesn't have is XM radio, which I really got used to in the '05 Honda Odyssey that we traded in.
    No where do I find any info re how to add XM to the system.
    I will be checking with the dealer, but having seen references here, I would like to know how much it costs to add this, and does it have to be done at a dealer or can a car stero shop do it for less. The radio installed is the high end radio that has the AM/SAT button.
  • mstemmstem Member Posts: 113
    Congrats on your recent purchase, you will luv the vehicle... Here is some info from a recent post of mine that answered a similiar question:

    "...Congratulations on the purchase of your new Avalon Limited! I have had mine now for a little over a month and absolutely luv the car. BTW, mine has factory installed XM radio, and you can have it also. Try browsing the regular Toyota Avalon 2005+ forum, and searching on XM Radio. If you can't find what you need, post back here and we will help you. The short version: you can purchase the exact same factory XM radio module and have a friendly radio shop install it for you if you wish. It ties into the JBL system already in your Limited. Way cool! Advise if you need a reference for purchasing, etc... Mike
  • dcboaterdcboater Member Posts: 16
    Again, welcome to the board and I am certain that you will enjoy your new Avy as well ! I have had my 2006 Blizzard Pearl Avy Limited for a tad over 2 months now, loaded with everything BUT Sat Radio and am finding that it would be a welcome addition as I find myself traveling from DC to Philly (actually King of Prussia) every other week right now.

    I have been doing some searching, reading the reviews of both XM and Sirius and am leaning towards XM. I have also found this dealer : and am wondering if anyone else on this board has used this site.

    They are offering the factory XM kit for $250.00 with free activation and 3 months free. I have emailed the service department asking about the "deal specifics" and they promptly replied saying that the free activation and free 3 months require a 1 year contact (no biggie).

    Can anyone recommend a sound install shop in the DC/NOVA area for the install -or- should I use my dealer (Koons - Arlington)? Also, has anyone used the XM traffic networks in the Mid Atlantic region ?

    One more thing, I just waxed my Avy this weekend, along with full RainX on all glass surfaces and WOWOWOW !!! What a beauty ! Then tonight, I looked at her under the lights and she almost had a Silvery/platinumish/greenish hue. Awesome ! Reminds me of my old '77 911S in the platinum (gold) Glasurit paint, turned nearly green at night.

    I continue to be impressed with this vehicle - btw, my factory remote start works fine from my hotel room on cold Philly mornings - and I'm on the fourth floor and my car is at least 60 ground feet away (not counting the height). Never thought I would use the remote start as I live in a condo with private underground parking - but it certainly has turned out to be a VERY nice convenience.

    Please let me know if you have used this metrotpn site, I have used for my mud guards but they don't offer XM at near the price or with a free activation or the free 3 months.

    rslaski, hopefully a little of my info above can help you, if not, stay tuned to this board --- it is LOADED with a WEALTH of information to make your AVY everything you could ever hope for.

    Cheers !
  • cms1528cms1528 Member Posts: 45
    Check with Darcars Toyota in Silver Spring, I got a price quote on Sirius system at $200 complete for 06 Avalon, not the installed price. XM may be the same. Plus Sirius has a pay once $499 for lifetime. That deal expires on Jan 31, 2007. Even if you only keep the car 3.5 years you will be ahead of the 12.95 price per month.

    You can transfer the Sirius off to at least three radios in your life time but you have to pay the $75 activation fee.

    Here is a link to install instruction I got off this board once.
  • mstemmstem Member Posts: 113

    Anyone can get the "free activation, first three months free deal..." for XM radio and their Toyota. You do not have to commit for a year or any time period either! My new Avy came with the factory install of XM. I called the XM folks, gave them the code printed at the end of this message. They activated my radio for free and gave me the three free months. They won't even ask for a credit card or anything up front; they will tell you that just before the 90 days expire XM will mail you a sign-up form if you wish to continue. No pressure, no hassle... All you need is the Radio ID from your radio which you obtain by turning the station selector to station 000.

    Then, call 800 XM-RADIO

    Here is the magic promotional code: XMTOY2003

    Advise if you need more info...

  • prime timeprime time Member Posts: 40
    Timely message Mike, I'm getting XM installed this week by a sound guy for $495. Does that sound reasonable? Thanks for the info on activation. Is there a better deal out there on free service beyond the 3 months?
  • mstemmstem Member Posts: 113

    I think you can beat that deal... go the Web site of, search on XM Radio; they have the whole package on sale now for $299.00. Once you have that in hand, any decent local radio shop should be able to do it for ya. I think a ballpark install fee should be around $100.00 or so, depending on area. The Toyota package that you buy from them will be the exact same stuff used at the factory. I have not been able to find a better deal than the "3 months free, no activation charge..." deal I mentioned above. Good luck, after only a couple of months I feel XM Radio is worth almost any price!!!

  • zekeman1zekeman1 Member Posts: 422
    Hopefully the $495 includes the cost of the hardware!!!
  • fmayberryfmayberry Member Posts: 33
    cms1528 - In your email about a Sirius system for $200 from Darcars, was that for the Toyota unit that integrats into the JBL radio system? Or was it some other external system?
  • cms1528cms1528 Member Posts: 45
    That was the kit you buy with the transformer,antenna and bracket thats installed in the trunk and connected to your SAT cable on your radio head unit. It is the unit that installs with the JBL system from toyot. They were about 50-75 dollars less than other dealers.

    I have the printout of the part numbers and price from them at home in a file....
  • zachputerzachputer Member Posts: 3
    Have the JBL Radio with Navigation and Sirius Sat. Radio for 2 months. Had no problems listening to satellite for free for 2 month complimentary period. Now when I push the AM/SAT button, I only get AM radio. I cant get any satellite reception. I need the numbers off channel 255 to activate radio. Do I have a hardware problem?
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Member Posts: 422
    Sounds like your 2 months of "free" listening is you have to start "paying". Sirius will probably send you a signal to activate after you send them the magic numbers off your credit card.
  • retired7retired7 Member Posts: 133
    I am interested in having a XM radion installed in my 05 Limited w/JBL system. I've done the word search and am looking for the latest recommendation for a good yet not too pricy system to buy and have installed. Also cost/month and any specials out there. Thanks in advance for your advice..

  • master1master1 Member Posts: 340
    Search their web-site:
  • cms1528cms1528 Member Posts: 45
    I installed the factory satellite radio in my 06 avalon myself. The parts guy gave me a print out of the installation instructions and you can do it yourself, just take your time and you'll be ok.

    I went with Sirius, they offer a pay once, $500, for a lifetime service. You can change out your radio at least three times under that aggrement without penalty. The Sirius ant. attaches to the windshield and is basically out of sight. I love it, it integrates into the JBL system easily. The sound quality is great too.
  • niteoneniteone Member Posts: 41
    " installed the factory satellite radio in my 06 avalon myself. The parts guy gave me a print out of the installation instructions and you can do it yourself, just take your time and you'll be ok.

    I went with Sirius, they offer a pay once, $500, for a lifetime service. You can change out your radio at least three times under that aggrement without penalty. The Sirius ant. attaches to the windshield and is basically out of sight. I love it, it integrates into the JBL system easily. The sound quality is great too. "

    how much was the unit? how long did it take you to install? Did you get the unit from a toyota dealer?
  • niteoneniteone Member Posts: 41
    for anyone thinking of installing XM from's a link someone found that could save you money.
  • cms1528cms1528 Member Posts: 45
    sorry to take so long to reply, if i remember correctly the system was between 3 and 4 hundred, it comes in two parts. the antenna and the receiving unit. it took me about two hours to do the install. yea the instructions are intimidating to look at but once your into it you will see that is is not too difficult. one thing however, toyota will say you need a panel removal tool from them. i bet it cost a bundle, i bought one from a local car parts retailer for about $4.00.
  • mark_hmark_h Member Posts: 3
    Has anyone had experience with installing a satellite radio in a 2002 Avalon XLS with the JBL option? I would prefer Sirius. Is there any satellite connectors on the head unit? Can I use the window antenna? Thanks much!
  • cms1528cms1528 Member Posts: 45
    I know you cant use the window antenna for sure
  • usf89usf89 Member Posts: 1
    I just purchased the Sirius Sportster and want to hardwire it to my 2005 Avalon XL. I have no idea how to hardwire it and don't even know if my stereo has a hookup for it since it is not the JBL system. I want to take it out and have a look, but don't know how to get it out. Do you know where I could find the installation instructions online or did you by chance scan them onto your computer?? Thanks for any help you can offer.

  • vicmvicm Member Posts: 18
    Have my 05 Limited 18 months, did not have XM radio. Now planing to have it installed. I have read almost all the messages pertaining to XM on this forum. Would like an update. Does the 06 have the antennae on the trunk? Does the 06 XM kit fit the 05 Limited. Or are they the same add on kits? The Toyota dealer quotes 499 plus tax. Asked the same questions as above and they didn't know what the kit had.
  • cms1528cms1528 Member Posts: 45
    The kit for the 05 and 06 are the same, but know this the antenna can be interchanged with any type of satellite antenna. You can buy one at circuit city, best buy and plug it into the black box in the trunk and then put it most anywhere in you car or on it you like. Good luck
  • vicmvicm Member Posts: 18
    Thanks for the info. I'll be checking out Circuit City this weekend.
  • retiredretired Member Posts: 11
    Would appreciate suggestions to incorporate either XM or Sirius reception inot or add on my 04 XLS with JBL premium system- 6 CD changer, audio tape.
  • goateegoatee Member Posts: 51
    Purchased my 06 Avy XLS IN 11/05 with factory installed Sirius (it's actually on the factory sticker). Had trouble from day 1 - Only the left side speakers would work. The dealer blamed the Sirius and who blamed Toyota. It went back and forth a few times until Toyota installed a new "chip" in the trunk. All was well until today and I noticed the same problem over again. Can only hear the satellite on the left speakers. FM/AM, CD are all ok. Any suggestions here?? By the way - I love the Sirius lineup.
  • cms1528cms1528 Member Posts: 45
    I installed the sirius in my limited myself. I was losing the signal all the time for extended periods. dealer gave me a new black box and no problems since.

    The way its hooked up should have no effect on your speakers, I mean that the wire harness plugs into the rear of the radio. That harness comes from the black box, so it has no bearing on the speakers (at least you would think).

    Seems to me that there is a bad connection inside the radio. Any way if you are getting a sirius signal and its coming out of a speaker than its not the black box. has to be in the radio. Nevertheless the dealer should give you a new radio if your under warranty. Good Luck
  • kjarobkjarob Member Posts: 5
    I installed a Sirius tuner in my 2007 Subaru Impreza last weekend and have the same problem where only the left side speakers produce sound (for the most part). Occasionally left and right will work, but it is off and on. My Sirus tuner is connected to a JVC head unit and eveything (CD, FM, Line In) else works perfectly with all speakers. This leads me to believe that it is most likely the Sirius tuner and not the JVC unit. It could be the cable as well ... all of the connections have been checked and are fine. I am getting a replacement Sirius unit.

    Just wondering how you made out on your problem and if you replaced the Sirius tuner or if it was something else?

  • goateegoatee Member Posts: 51
    Brought it into the dealer last Saturday. The Toyota technician said that it was definitely the Sirius receiver and ordered a new unit. This will be the third Sirius unit to be installed. I tried to argue to have both the head unit and satellite units replaced since this is the exact same problem I had when the car was delivered, but he would not go for it. I will keep you updated.

    Happy Holidays
  • retiredretired Member Posts: 11
    A local Eugene, OR shop, Soundsational Car Audio, just installed a Sirius Starbase SFM1 system in my 04 XLS. I had the cigarette lighter/ashtray assembly cut out and removed, placing the head unit there in a way that allowed me to retain the little cover assembly- outasite when I park at the local mall! Since I don't smoke and the car has a 115 AC outlet, I haven't lost anything. The antenna, a very small item, is magnet mounted forward on the trunk- very unobtrusive.
  • avalondougavalondoug Member Posts: 2
    Would it be possible if you still have the information and instructions for installing the system, that you could send them to me ? I've got a 2005 Avalon and would like to install one myself. If you don't, maybe you could give me a number to call for the installation instructions.
    [email protected]
  • kjarobkjarob Member Posts: 5
    I finally got a replacement Sirius receiver myself and swapped it out ... works perfectly now. I also noticed that the new unit was made by "Eriksen" and the first unit was made by "Directed" ... both look identical. Makes me wonder if Sirius had a bunch of problems with one manufacturer and made a change themselves? Pure speculation, but it sounds like the units have a very high failure rate out of the box considering you are on your third unit.

    Merry Christmas.
  • guestguest Member Posts: 770
    Here's my update regarding the Sirius Radio problem. The new Sirius receiver was installed today (receiver #3). I still have the same problem - only with sound from the left side speakers. All other modes work just fine in all speakers except the satellite. The technician spend more than 2 hours trying to figuire this out including a very long call to some tech center in California for Toyota dealers. He traced all the wiring to each speaker and said they are all fine. Now they are ordering me a new "head unit." Just like I tried to tell them in the first place. And the beat goes on. I don't know what I will do if this doesnt work. The car is 13 months old now. Keep everyone updated after the new head unit is installed which I am sure will require quite a bit of dash dismantling.
    Thanks all...
  • kjarobkjarob Member Posts: 5
    Wow, that really sucks. Sounds like it must be the head unit... assuming they replaced the cable between the Sirus receiver and the head unit somewhere along the way. Sorry to hear you had to go through such a painful experience with a new car, and a Toyota to boot.

    Good luck & Happy New Year.
  • lagartijalagartija Member Posts: 3
    I have a similar problem with the '06 Avalon Ltd. I purchased in August. This model comes with the 300W, 12 speaker system which sounds excellent. One week after purchase the dealer installed a Sirius tuner. I began having problems immediately with an intermittent loss of all sound with all functions, AM, FM,Disc or SAT. The volume control failed to register at all on the monitor. The first trip to the dealer they could not reproduce the problem. The second trip they decided to replace the in-dash receiver. The problem surfaced again. It worked fine for about a month, then progressed to get worse until after playing for about 30 min. it would go dead with no sound control, no volume. The dealer consulted with Toyota who told them to replace the amplifier. I picked the car up last night after installation of the amp and first thing the stereo does not work. The local dealer is frustrated. Obviously Toyota can not diagnose the problem. I'm wondering if there is some incompatability issue between the Sirius tuner and the system. This is bad news on a vehicle that costs $30K +
  • avalon7avalon7 Member Posts: 4
    I have a a 2006 Toyota Avalon w/factory installed sirius radio and internal antennae on front window. The reception is generally poor always fading in and out. Do other people have this problem with Sirius? or is there a problem with my antennae or Sirius modualtor in my trunk? Any help would be appreciated.
  • lagartijalagartija Member Posts: 3
    I have the interior mounted windshield antenna also. I believe it is not the best choice for an antenna, mounted under the black ceramic dots. If you are getting the "no signal" message something is blocking the reception as you drive. I don't have much of a problem in the flat valley of CA except when driving under an underpass. Sometimes a big truck or tree will also block the signal. A roof mounted Terk antenna will get better reception.
  • lagartijalagartija Member Posts: 3
    Update on my 2006 Avalong problem with loss of sound on stereo on all modes: After the dealer attempting to idagnose my loss of sound on my stereo three times, replacing the head unit and lastly the amplifier, I diagnosed the problem myself by unplugging the wiring to the head unit on the Sirius receiver mounted in the trunk. There has been something wrong with the Sirius receiver. Now if the dealer will only belive me without having to take an entire day to "diagnose" the problem themselves.
  • netwonnetwon Member Posts: 53
    The Sirius Radio system may be factory but the standard location for the antenna (from install manual) is on the right hand side of the trunk lid. The factory antennas aren't designed for location inside the window, as factory metallic tints (even light ones) and glass it self can reflect the signal you are trying to receive.

  • cms1528cms1528 Member Posts: 45
    I have an 06 Avalon with the Sirius antenna mounted on the windshield. I had problems with the signal dropping out for extended periods of time. Dealer replaced the Sirius black box and it has worked perfectly since then.

    If you go under an overpass sometimes the signal will drop out for a few seconds, roads surrounded by leafy trees can do the same. But this is normal, you can easily mount an after market antenna to the trunk if you want or any other place. But a satellite signal can be blocked for a few seconds by any number of things. As long as your vehicle is moving the signal should come back.

    Sirius did have a quality control problem with a number of black boxes that were made for Toyota but they have switch manufactures.
  • slt2005slt2005 Member Posts: 1
    I'd like to know if anyone knows about a possible connection between a Sirius S50 installation in a Toyota Avalon and the sudden malfunction of the 6 CD JBL changer. My children gave me a S50 Sirius portable satellite radio kit for a Christmas gift. Since I know little to nothing about electronics of this type,I took it to a local Car Toys for installation into my 2003 Avalon XLS last week. I was charged over $200.00, but Car Toys mounted the satellite radio base, installed an on-off switch under the dash, mounted the antennae on the passenger-side window, and hard wired the base into the JBL deck. I was, and remain very happy with my satellite radio. However, later that day, I noticed that when I switched to CD mode, the CD in the changer would skip. Then, by the next day, the CD changer was in complete malfunction: would not eject and would not play. I never had trouble with the CD changer prior to the Sirius installation. When I took the car back to Car Toys with my concern, the installer looked over the radio-CD-tape system and told me that the malfunction of the CD changer following the Sirius installation was coincidental and that the installation had nothing to do with the CD malfunction. The best way to fix the problem, I was told, was to replace the entire radio-tape-CD deck with a brand new one which would also be "Sirius ready". I have a hard time believing that a JBL system in a 2003 Avalon XLS would just deteriorate like it did coincidentally. If anyone can help me sort this one out, it would be greatly appreciated.
  • avalon7avalon7 Member Posts: 4
    The signal always come back in 1 to 5 seconds usually. Is satellite radio just not perfected yet....because this is very annoying.
  • kjarobkjarob Member Posts: 5
    Hmmm, unless the Car Toys installer physically did something to your CD player I would have to agree that this is coincidental. The addition of Sirius could never cause a CD player to skip or to quit working. However, if the installer had your car deck out of the car (which shouldn't be necessary for your install) and it was dropped or something it could have knocked the CD "eye" out of alignment.
  • goateegoatee Member Posts: 51
    Here's the latest regarding my left sided speaker only problem. Dealer has now replaced the Sirius receiver in the trunk, and has now also replaced the "head unit". Still no correction. Got a call from the service advisor today regarding their inability to fix the problem. Now they want to replace the "wiring harness" and have already ordered the part. They say that this is the only thing left that it can be. I hope the third part will be a charm. Will keep everyone updated.
This discussion has been closed.