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Radio Antenna

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Radio Antenna

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What is an auto radio antenna and where is it located?

Auto antennas are an important part of your radio system and allow for the reception of the FM, FM Stereo, AM, Satellite, and now the High Definition (HD) signals sent out into the air by radio transmitters. It is the key to keeping that crystal-clear sound that you can hear pumping through your vehicle’s speakers.

The antenna can be found attached to the fender, quarter panel, trunk lid, hatch, or roof depending on the car or truck. Its size and shape varies depending on the type of vehicle as well. Automotive radio antennas come in many configurations including but not limited to:

  • - Power with a telescoping antenna mast 
  • - Manual with a fixed antenna mast 
  • - Manual with a telescoping antenna mast
  • - Molded into the windshield
  • - Molded into the back glass

How do I know my radio antenna needs to be replaced?

Since a manual radio antenna doesn’t wear out, they are typically replaced on a car or truck due to damage from severe weather, vandalism, accidents, or drive-thru car washes. Much like an electric power window motor, a vehicle’s power radio antenna can wear out from long term use or a damaged whip cable inside of the mast. In this case, the antenna will be unable to extend or retract and will get stuck in some type of position, whether it be up, down, or somewhere in between. For automotive radio antennas that are built into the glass, scratches can break the traces or disconnect the wiring connection from the glass. In these cases, a replacement auto radio antenna assembly will be needed.

Can I replace an automotive radio antenna myself?

Installation difficulty varies on the application. Removing the actual radio antenna should only require basic hand tools and access to both sides of the vehicle’s body panel, which it is mounted to. Since the cord from the antenna to the radio is one piece, interior trim panels may have to be removed to access the entire length of the cable. A broken power radio antenna whip will require partial tear down of the vehicle’s antenna assembly.

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