How to choose a replacement antenna
I've been with Crutchfield since 1999, where I began as one our advisors, helping our customers choose new gear. After a couple of years, I moved to the writing team where I spent a decade researching new products and getting hands on with car stereos, amplifiers, speakers, and subs. Yeah, I've been doing this for a while.
For the past few years, I've been the managing editor of Crutchfield's Car A/V web article content. I couldn't ask for a better job — we get to play with car audio gear every day! I'm a Virginia native from the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Outside of work, I love listening to music, playing board games, and installing new audio systems for my friends.
More from Robert Ferency-Viars
If you can tune in a station, gently take hold of the antenna near its base and jiggle it lightly back and forth. If the signal pops in and out, your antenna is not making firm contact with the body of the car. It may just need tightening, or it may be partially corroded and need replacing.
Stock antennas may need to be replaced after only four to six years. They wear out faster if you live near the ocean, where the salty sea breezes can accelerate corrosion. We recommend replacing the antenna only when the mast is obviously rusted or broken. However, if you have an antenna that's embedded in the windshield, you'll get better reception if you upgrade to a fender-mounted antenna.
If you want the convenience and security of a motorized antenna, which automatically raises and lowers the mast, we have models to fit most vehicles. However, a motorized model won't improve reception unless the original antenna has gone bad.
You might need a cable adapter
Some GM, VW, and Nissan vehicles require an antenna cable adapter to accommodate an aftermarket antenna. Crutchfield stocks these adapters and our expert Advisors will be sure to let you know if you need one when you place your order.
In most cases, you need to remove your radio to reach the antenna plug. If you buy your antenna from Crutchfield, you'll get the receiver removal instructions for your vehicle for free. As with anything else you buy from us, we'll be here if you need any help when you install your new antenna. Our Technical Support staff is just a phone call away.