It can be quite easy to damage or break the radio antenna on a vehicle. If the vehicle is taken through a car wash and the antenna has been left fully extended, it can snap. The antenna can also become damaged due to rust and corrosion; when you go to extend it, it doesn't work and sticks in place. Having no antenna means that the auto will not receive a radio signal. Although it is a little fidgety to replace, it is a fairly straightforward job well within the skill set of novice DIY enthusiasts.
You will need to get a replacement antenna that fits onto the auto. The best way to do this is by taking the vehicle to a garage and have them tell you which antenna will fit. Be sure to get a 'plastic whip' antenna; these will not rust and can be left extended when going through a car wash.
Remove The Old Antenna
There are two stages to this. Most auto antennas are located on the rear panel of the auto – usually next to the trunk. You will notice that there are two small holes in the antenna base, one at either side. Spray a little lubricating fluid into these holes so that it loosens any rust there. Grab a pair of needle nose pliers and insert them into the holes. Twist the pliers to remove the antenna base.
Next, open the trunk and look inside directly under the base of the antenna, as it sits on the exterior of the vehicle. You should see a panel and a plastic plug or clip there. Pop out the plastic clip, this will allow you to see the base of the antenna inside of the trunk. Remove the nut holding the antenna in place and pull out the wiring from the base of the antenna. Then unscrew the metal connector; you may need pliers to do this if the antenna is corroded.
Install The New Antenna
You will be left with the part that connects the antenna to the vehicle. This is the part where you install the new antenna. Screw in (by hand) the new connector and ease the antenna up and through the gap left by the old antenna. Carefully twist the new antenna by hand and then replace the rubber retainer that covers the bottom of the antenna. Go back to the trunk and tighten the small bolt that holds the antenna in place. Replace the panel and plug.
You can now check to see if you have reception for the vehicle's radio.