How To Repair CB Radios

Over the last three decades, CB (Citizens' Band) radios have been very popular with all and sundry including housewives, students and bored commuters, and with such wide usage, it becomes essential to know how to repair CB Radios. A Citizens' Band (CB) radio is both a receiver and a transmitter. CB radios have 40 channels on which you can speak and/or listen. CB radios fall under the jurisdiction of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and apart from tasks that impact transmission and require a FCC technician’s license to work on, other minor repairs can very easily be done yourself.

To repair a CB radio, you will need:

  • Owner’s manual
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Noise suppression filter
  • Spark plug wires
  • Ignition coil capacitor
  • Common sense, and the ability to carefully follow illustrated instructions

Depending on the problem with your radio, the steps to repair a CB radio can be summarized as below:

  1. Start the repairing process by ensuring that the switch is functioning properly. Faulty ON/OFF switches often cause CB radios to stop working. 
  2. Fix the noise making a high-pitched whine that gets higher as the engine speeds up by replacing the defective noise-suppression filter. A ticking sound which doesn’t get higher pitched as the engine speeds up but becomes more frequent is probably due to defective spark plug wires or defective ignition coil capacitor which can be fixed by replacing either or both as the case may be. Buy the replacement parts from an auto parts store which can also advise you on installation. 
  3. Oiling the contacts will fix the excess noise that a faulty microphone produces. Oiling the control knobs will also make the CB radio smoother to use. Opening the knob slots slightly by removing the control knobs would bring down static and slippery operation.
  4. Sockets of the microphone and aerial must be properly checked to correct loose connection problems which often cause excess static and might even prevent the CB radio from working at all!
  5. All screws must be properly tightened, just enough and not excessively tight, to eliminate any issues with the transmitter and receiver.
  6. Replace a damaged or broken antenna by following the manufacturer’s instructions to improve the sound quality.
  7. The chassis of the CB radio, too must be properly cleaned. Dirty and dusty regions formed inside the radio often cause excess heating and clogged controls. The chassis fittings must be replaced properly.
  8. Replace the parts that got cracked. Parts that have been damaged may lead to various disturbances for months before they actually stop working. In order to prevent such problems, it’s best to get the cracked parts replaced!



However, during and after repairing, one must be very careful as certain components of the CB radio might have poisonous materials like certain metals and organic compounds. Once the repairing job is done, hands must be cleaned repeatedly with soap to eliminate harmful remnants.

Another very important tip is to always disconnect the battery cables before you do any car repairs.

Also, before any repair work is undertaken, it is very crucial to go through the owner’s instructions manual to know which kind of repairs are illegal to perform without the proper commercial FCC license and which type can be safely performed on your own.

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