How to Remove Car Antenna for Car Wash? [The Easy Way]

Imagine running your car through the car wash and noticing the antenna sticking out. The front row will sit to see that antenna twisting and bending. And sometimes it just ends up broken, just like my life.

But we should be able to find a way to keep that from happening. Removing the antenna could certainly help with that.

So, now you’re wondering how to remove car antenna for car wash?

Firstly, you would need to locate certain parts of the antenna. Next, you would need to prevent any damage to the car’s surface. After that, some simple unscrewing before you can finally remove the antenna itself.

Well, we have the exact way explained in detail in this article. And if you can spare a few minutes, I can show you the way! 

Why You Should Remove Car Antenna Before Wash 

Do you need to remove antenna for car wash? Depends on whether you enjoy listening to the radio. Because a broken car antenna would take that away from you. Welcome to the silence.

Car antennas are generally thin and flimsy. They aren’t designed to withstand the machinery used in an automatic car wash

Not removing the antennas before the wash could make your grand jeep cherokee radio to malfunction. Well, if not permanently damaged. That would for sure take away from the appearance of the car overall. 

Imagine a broken or bent car antenna protruding from your car. No, I think I’d rather not. 

And since we can’t allow that to happen, let’s look at the basics first!

Identifying the Type of Antenna

Are you wondering how to remove antenna from car roof? Or perhaps how to remove antenna from fender? Well, first, you need to know what kind of antenna your car has. 

There are two notable ones. One is the pillar-mount antenna and the other is the fixed-mast antenna. 

So, let’s learn more about the antenna types first.

Pillar-mount antennas 

These are usually found on top of door pillars. They are retractable antennas which can slide in and out. You won’t have to remove these. 

While some of these can be manually retracted, others operate in an automatic manner.

For the automatic ones, a simple downward movement about an inch towards the mast should suffice. 

For the manual ones, just push the antenna downward into the mast until it is completely retracted. And you should be good to go. 

Fixed-mast antennas 

These are non-retractable antennas, so they should be removed. And next is a 5-step guide to help you with the process. So let’s get into that real quick!

How to Remove the Car Antenna?

Now, time for the main platter. And so, the real question lies here. “Can I take my car antenna off myself?” 

Well, we’ve added everything you’ll need to complete the work. And the following 5 steps should prove to be helpful.

Tools You’ll Need

Car antenna removal tools are as simple as these three. You might just find them all lying around at home.

  • Clean polyester cloth : The Microfiber Waffle Weave Towel would be good, since it’s thicker and could allow more protection. However, a simple clean cloth should do the trick if you can’t find anything like it.
  • Screwdriver : The Klein Tools Screwdriver works great. It is a multi-bit screwdriver, flexible, and has a good grip. And it’s easy to work with.
  • Antenna wrench : The Powerbuilt Antenna Wrench should be handy in this case. You can use this for loosening and tightening the antenna retaining nuts without worrying about causing damage. However, a normal crescent wrench would work too. 

If you’re ready with the tools, let’s get started!

Step 1: Locating the Coaxial Cable

First, look behind the radio at the back of the dashboard for a single cable running along it.  That’s the coaxial cable. Once you find it, simply unplug it from behind the radio. 

However, there might also be an extension cable in the same location. In this case, all you need to do is unplug the cable at the coupling point. You’ll know when you see it!!

Step 2: Protecting the Car Surface

While working around the antenna, you have to be careful not to scratch the car surface. Also make sure you have a complete idea on car antennas. 

First, wrap the piece of cloth around the antenna. This will act as protection for the colour and the finishing of the car.

Next, there should be a rubber grommet at the lip of the antenna. Using a screwdriver, gently lift the rubber part upwards and loosen it in by prying. Now you should pull the rubber part off of the antenna. 

Step 3: Unscrewing the Antenna Mount

Grab your screwdriver again. This time it will work as your antenna base removal tool. So go ahead and gently unscrew the screws on the antenna mount. Now, you can remove the car antenna mount by lifting it off the surface. 

Then, first you need to go inside the car. Next, take a look beneath the dashboard. It should be situated at the front passenger panel of the car. 

And finally, there you should find where the antenna mount is installed to the car.

Step 4: Undoing the Antenna Socket

You should see a socket which is holding the antenna to your car. Using your car antenna wrench, you have to carefully undo that socket.

If there’s someone around you, have them hold the antenna while you do this. If not, the piece of cloth around the antenna should be sufficient. This is just to prevent the antenna from springing back against the car surface. 

Step 5: Remove the Antenna 

We’re done with most of the critical work, but there are just a few more things.

Remember the coaxial cable you located earlier? First, slide the socket out of that cable. Second, pull the coaxial cable through the hole in the car frame.

And that’s it! You can finally detach the antenna from the car.

How to Reassemble the Antenna After Washing?

Since you know how to take the car antenna off now, you must be wondering how to reinstall it. Don’t worry, this won’t be half as taxing. 

All you need to do now is reverse all the steps. And you should be good to go!

Important Safety Precautions

By now you’re aware that the antenna is pretty sensitive to bending. 

Excessive bending might damage the metal shield of the core of the antenna. And that will cause it to start picking up external interference or not get any reception. 

Therefore, you must handle it very carefully. Especially during both removal and reinstallment.

Note :  In case you need to replace car antenna which got damaged, you can follow the same 5 steps mentioned above to remove it. 


What will happen if my car antenna gets broken?

If your car antenna gets broken, your radio will stop working properly. This is because it will no longer receive any radio signals. And you will have to get it replaced first. That should let you listen to the radio just fine. 

Will my car stereo work even if I don’t have a working antenna?

Yes, your car stereo will work without an antenna. It’s because the car antenna isn’t usually required for the stereo. 

How much would I need to pay to fix my car antenna?

It should usually cost around $100 to $150 to replace your antenna. However, buying a used antenna from a junkyard will cost you much less. 


Now, I hope I could answer your question on how to remove car antenna for car wash

I know the procedure comes off as a little challenging at first. However, once you get the hang of it, it should be easy to follow through!

Until next time!

Robert Lozano

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