How to Change a Car Antenna

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Before deciding to change a car antenna entirely, it's best to first remove the mask to see if it's a simple matter of threading a new unit. Discover why a radio may need to be removed to change a car antenna with help from an ASE-certified master automobile technician in this free video on car antennas.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Repair & Maintenance
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Video Transcript

One day you might come out to discover that the antenna on your car has been damaged; either through an act of vandalism or an unfortunate mishap of the tree limp perhaps and we're going to look at the procedure that might be typical for changing out the antenna. The first thing that we're going to do in this case is we're going to remove the mask and many of your masks today are removable separate from the rest of the antenna unit and it's just a matter of taking a wrench and unthreading the unit. And if this was all that was damaged, it's possible that you could simply thread another one in there. But in many cases the threads could be damaged as well. This one, the base of it has female threads but in many cases the, the basis have male threads and they can become broken off if the antenna is damage. So if you need to replace the lower of it, we need to do a little more work. In this case the antenna is man at the back of the car and we'll start on the inside by removing first off the ground screw and then the knot that supports the lower part of the bracket. Then we will remove the antenna weed by pulling it out and removing that from the bracket as well. Then back at the top, we'll remove the knot that holds it to the fender; unthreading it. We'll remove the, the, the Escutcheon and and gaskets out of the way and then the antenna base will come out. Antenna that sit around the front of an automobile are typically not as easy. The lead that we have here is fairly short. Typically on the front of an automobile, the lead actually goes from the from the front fender all the way inside the car to the back of the stereo and that can complicate things. First off you have to fish the cable through and in many cases you will have to remove the radio and actually remove the cable end from the back of the stereo itself. And so that can be somewhat more involve. To reinstall a new one, it is the opposite of the removal procedure, just reverse the process. So in this case we will install the base through the fender and reinstall the Escutcheon and we'll start the knot but we won't actually tighten it all the way as of yet. Then we'll reinstall the stud through the support; we'll install the knot and tighten the knot; reinstall the grounding screw; tighten the grounding screw; reinstall the antenna lead and plug it back in; then tighten the knot that holds the Escutcheon to the antenna base and then finally, reinsert the mask and finally tighten the mask itself. And there you have it.

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