How to Replace the Antenna on a 1999 VW Jetta

Written by ilana boyum
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How to Replace the Antenna on a 1999 VW Jetta
A mast style antenna. (car image by ana malin from

A 1999 Volkswagen Jetta has a mast-style antenna that protrudes from the back of the roof of the car. Different in style from the antenna used by most American cars, which are found near the front of the vehicle, the mast antenna is more rigid and shorter. Over time, this antenna can break, requiring replacement. Replacing the antenna mast on a 1999 Volkswagen Jetta is a relatively simple process, and can be accomplished by most Jetta owners. Replacing the antenna base is a more complicated process, but can also be done by the car owner.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Replacement antenna
  • 24mm wrench
  • Replacement base
  • Friend/assistant

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  1. 1

    Firmly grasp the base of the mast antenna where it connects to the mounting base, and twist it counter clockwise, until it is free of the base.

  2. 2

    Carefully insert new antenna mast into the mounting base, and turn clockwise until mast is firmly seated in the mounting base.

  3. 3

    Test the radio. If reception is still not clear, it may be necessary to replace the mouting base.

  1. 1

    Remove the rear headrests by depressing the button on the plastic rings along the top edge of the rear seatback. Hold button in and pull headrest firmly up, until the posts pull free of the seat.

  2. 2

    Firmly grasp the seat handle in the centre of the rear seat bottom and pull forward, until the seat swivels up and forward. Fold into position against the back of the front seats. Gently pull up on seat locks in the left and right corners of the top of the seatback, to release the back of the rear seat, and fold down.

  3. 3

    Climb into rear of car, and gently pull the headliner free from the edge of the rear windshield, and fold it carefully back.

  4. 4

    Using your wrench, loosen and remove the bolt from the underside of the mounting base.

  5. 5

    Locate the foam strip that is taped to the roof of the car and gently pull back to expose the wire that connects the base to the stereo. Disconnect the wire by firmly pulling it apart at the connector. Pull the mounting base free of the car.

  1. 1

    Have a friend/assistant place the mounting base into position, from the outside of the car, feeding the wire down through the hole.

  2. 2

    While your friend/assistant holds the base in place, replace the bolt, tightening with your wrench.

  3. 3

    Connect the wire, and replace the foam strip.

  4. 4

    Replace the headliner back into the edge along the windshield.

Tips and warnings

  • Unless you are comfortable doing car repairs, it is advisable to bring your car to the dealership or an automotive audio shop to get the base unit replaced.

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