How to Wire a New Car Antenna

Written by patrick nelson
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Often your car will out live your antenna, particularly the telescopic kind of antenna prone to suffering car wash brushes, vandals and tree limbs. Sometimes you'll want to replace the antenna, and although manual telescoping antennas are cheap and simple to replace and you can simply use the existing coax cable, you may want to replace the antenna with a fully automatic, powered antenna which rises whenever you turn on the radio and lowers when you turn it off. Doing so will involve some extra wiring.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Drill and bit
  • Sheet metal screw

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  1. 1

    Determine if you are going to simply replace your antenna with a like antenna. If you are, then you can use the existing wiring. The fat black cable that runs from your antenna to your radio is called a coax cable and carries the signal from the antenna to the radio. A motorised antenna with have a blue wire for the radio switch, red for the power and a thin black for the ground. A manual antenna will only have the coax cable.

  2. 2

    Unplug the existing antenna and plug in the new antenna using the existing coax cable.

  3. 3

    Run new wiring if you are replacing your manual telescoping antenna with a new automatic antenna. Run the blue wire from the antenna to the radio's switch circuit. That's the switch raises and lowers the antenna when the radio is turned on and off.

  4. 4

    Run the black wire to the vehicle's body. It's the ground. Screw the cable to a part of the metal. Use a sheet metal screw.

  5. 5

    Run the red cable from the new antenna to the fuse block. Refer to the antenna instruction sheet for fuse amperage requirements. Choose the un-switched side of the fuse block to allow the antenna to raise and lower when the ignition switch is off. Use the switched side if you'd like the antenna to require the ignition to be on. The fuse block is then wired to the positive of the battery.

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