The Incredible Shrinking Car Antenna

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Chuck, Jan 27, 2008.


What Kind of Antenna is on Your Car?

  1. Traditional full mast

    11 vote(s)
  2. Smaller 1.5ft mast, like on Honda Insights

    11 vote(s)
  3. Less than six inches

    4 vote(s)
  4. Shark fin

    5 vote(s)
  5. Retractable full mast

    1 vote(s)
  6. Big mast for CBs

    0 vote(s)
  7. The taped inside window antenna of the 70's

    2 vote(s)
  8. Don't have an antenna at all

    4 vote(s)
  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    No more than half of today's vehicles have the traditional big stick antenna.

    [xfloat=left][/xfloat]AP - Jan. 25, 2008

    DETROIT - An automotive appendage that often goes unnoticed — unless it loses a battle with the automatic car wash — is disappearing in the face of changing technology, tastes and economics.

    The stalwart stick, pole or fixed-mast antenna, mounted on the body of nearly every vehicle two decades ago, is now on about half of all new models and its ranks are dwindling. When trucks are removed from the equation, it's around 25 percent.

    Its vanishing act is notable on many new vehicles, some of which are on display at the North American International Auto Show, open through Sunday. The 2008 Ford Taurus, for example, has a hidden, in-glass antenna and optional small, roof-mounted satellite radio antenna… [rm][/rm]
  2. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    i seem to remember my 85 accord having the antenna imbedded in the glass of the windshield. does that sound right?
  3. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    I thought Accords of that time had a full mast, but parallell to the roof column beside the windshield - not sure.
  4. pumaman

    pumaman Well-Known Member

    Strangely, the Mazda 6 prior to 06 did not have an outside antenna, but in 06 they put a backward swept short antenna in the middle of the roof near the back.

    My wife's 03 Protege 5 has a similar design. Doesn't look bad, but we do remove them before going through the car wash.
  5. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    Mine unscrews and I rarely use the radio so it's off now, but under the seat if I want it.
  6. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    My 85 Volvo had a retractable full mast. It was kinda cool because there was a little switch on the dash to retract it on demand for the car wash and such. The only problem was that the long plastic "rack" thing was flimsy and wore out every few years.

    Now the only antenna I actually use is the little XM patch on the roof.
  7. lightfoot

    lightfoot Reformed speeder

    One of the reasons I bought the Subaru Outback over a VW Jetta Wagon was that the Subaru has an on-glass antenna in the left rear side window. The Jetta has a short whip antenna mounted at the center of the rear of the roof, which gets in the way if you have stuff (boats) on a roof rack. I thought VW, being a sporty company, would have a solution, perhaps relocating the antenna elsewhere? When I asked the salesman he just looked at me like I was from another galaxy (maybe I am, that would explain a lot).

    The Subaru antenna gets OK reception and doesn't seem to be too affected by turns.

    Seems like satellite radio will eventually take over and will probably make small antennas completely adequate.
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___The Accord has the in-window antennae and it works just as well as any externally mounted unit I have ever heard/used. I do not know why anyone would mount anything external other than maybe a sat receiver for GPS. The Accord includes a small covered module on the rear of the roof for that.

    ___Good Luck

  9. Lugnuts001

    Lugnuts001 Well-Known Member

    I've ditched the conventional mast antenna and installed those windshield mounted interior antennas available at Pep Boys on a couple of cars. They work well. The thing I don't like about OEM antennas built into the glass is how much it would probably cost to replace the glass. The Pep Boys antenna is only $20.
  10. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    My car has a small whip antenna on the roof.

    I don't like retractable antennas. After around 7 years, they seem to get sticky and don't deploy or retract correctly. It could be related to extreme weather here or lots of salt on the roads.
  11. koreberg

    koreberg Junior Member

    I've pushed my antennas on my cars in as far as I could get them to go. Neither one will retract all the way :( I haven't used the stereo in years so I really don't need an antenna.
  12. Elixer

    Elixer Well-Known Member

    My Toyota Camry has its antenna sticking out from the top front of the front window, facing towards the rear of the car. The cool part is that I can open my window and pull it out or push it back in depending on if I need it. Most of the time it stays in, for that minor decrease in Cd.
  13. dixonge

    dixonge Newb

    I've got two antennas. One is traditional, the other is a 1/4 wave 2-meter Ham antenna, right in the middle of the roof. It would probably be nice to replace the traditional mast. What do you guys recommend? And what is this add-on in-the-glass antenna? Does it actually get the same signal as a mast?
  14. pumaman

    pumaman Well-Known Member

    My 2000 Subaru has a retractible antenna which comes out of the drivers side A pillar. Like someone else mentioned, those you can manually stow/retract from the drivers seat by reaching out the window. I do have to lower it when putting things on the roof, but once they are up there I can put the antenna back up.
  15. Skwyre7

    Skwyre7 Well-Known Member

    I answered the poll with a sharkfin (Prius). It was losing, so I thought I'd help it out. ;) The 'rolla has a full mast growing out of the A pillar.
  16. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Traditional full mast on my civic. At the driver's side, top corner of the windshield/roof/door joint. It's swept back, and can be manually retracted. I did that.
  17. Lugnuts001

    Lugnuts001 Well-Known Member

    dixonge - I did a quick search and this is what the antenna looks like: They have it for $40, but you can get it at Pep Boys for $20. IIRC it gets comparable reception to a mast antenna. I remember it working inside a garage with no problem. I put it on the windshield just above the rear view mirror.

  18. dixonge

    dixonge Newb

    cool - thanks!
  19. friedlbug

    friedlbug Well-Known Member

    Painted-on the glass, like my rear defroster.
  20. Blake

    Blake Well-Known Member

    My old STi had the antenna in the windshield. I switched my Insights short mast antenna over to a sharkfin several weeks ago and I love the looks, although the reception is slightly lower.

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