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Radio Antenna Mast Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a Radio Antenna Mast Replacement is between $45 and $288. Labor costs are estimated between $17 and $89 while parts are priced between $28 and $199. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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What is a Radio Antenna Mast?

The radio mast antenna is more commonly referred to as simply the antenna. While most manufacturers have gotten away from placing long antennas on the hood or trunk, power antennas that telescope upwards and downwards, and windshield integrated antennas, they still use antennas, and these are more often becoming the 'shark fin' type. No matter what type of antenna, they have the same basic function - increase reception capabilities to the vehicle for a variety of functions. This may be for AM or FM radio, two-way communication devices, or navigation and satellite radio.

How does the Radio Antenna Mast work?

The antenna works by creating a larger striking point for signal interception. To understand this it is necessary to understand how radio waves move. Simply put, without an antenna, radio waves will bounce over a vehicle without being fully interpreted. The radio antenna will better intercept these waves since it is putting something metallic or magnetic in the path of the waves. This principle works for every type of reception needed by today's automobiles, and antenna masts commonly have several types of antennas integrated, or the receptor for navigation and satellite systems are located in a separate area of the vehicle. In either case, once the signal has been intercepted by the antenna, it will travel through a set of signal wires to be delivered to the receiver, processed, and presented as sound, video, or text.

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What are the symptoms of a bad Radio Antenna Mast?

A faulty antenna mast will likely receive the information it is designed to capture, but the likelihood of transmitting that signal to the receiver is slim. The receiving device will either alert the user that the device has lost signal, or intermittent display of data will alert the user that the antenna or receiving unit is failing. Lastly, static for AM or FM signals is the result of a failing antenna, but if the antenna has completely failed, most stations will not work unless the vehicle is within very close proximity to the transmission tower for that station.

Can I drive with a bad Radio Antenna Mast?

A vehicle with a bad antenna of any kind can be driven indefinitely. These devices to not harm the vehicle at all, and are only a matter of convenience. Those who are most likely to seek immediate repair are those who spend extended periods in their vehicles, pay for subscription services like satellite radio, or live in rural areas where reception is already an issue.

How often do Radio Antenna Masts need replacement?

Depending on the orientation of the engine compared the the vehicle, a transmission mount will either be located near one of the front wheels, between the transmission and front floorboard, or underneath the vehicle somewhere between where the front seats would be. These mounts provide not only a mounting point for the transmission, but they provide a barrier to vibration from the engine and transmission. This vibration damper allows the vehicle to stay quiet and feel smooth, especially when the transmission is being shifted to driver or reverse and under heavy acceleration. Transmission mounts will typically have a metal casing which surrounds a tough rubberized material, which surrounds another metal component. Let's examine the functionality of this form.

How are Radio Antenna Mast issues diagnosed?

Testing a fixed mount antenna for proper operation is as simple as testing that the circuit is fully operational. If the coax cable (like a TV cable) shows any shorting between the different integrated circuits, or the ground or power wires for the antenna have low continuity or high resistance, the harness will be suspected of failure, and further diagnostics will be conducted on the wiring harness. However, if the wiring harness and signal wire (coax) are working properly, the antenna will be replaced as a diagnostic step. If the antenna does not solve the problem, the radio will likely be replaced.

How are Radio Antenna Masts replaced?

Replacing an antenna is as simple as removing a fastener to separate it from the vehicle, and disconnecting the coaxial connection, power wires, and grounding wire. Once the new antenna is connected electronically and coaxially, the antenna can be remounted on the vehicle. For shark fin antennas, those on the roof of the vehicle, the headliner may need to be removed unless there is access to the antenna underneath the rear overhead lighting.

RepairPal Recommendations for Radio Antenna Mast issues

For those who live in rural areas, but still wish to receive AM or FM signals from neighboring cities or towns, aftermarket antennas are available for this purpose, and adapters can be used to transition from the factory connections to the aftermarket connections. Also, radio antenna amplifiers are available, and these are very commonly used for tractor-trailer vehicles two-way communication devices.

What to look out for when dealing with Radio Antenna Mast issues

The battery must be connected in order to test an antenna, so great care should be taken to avoid grounding the antenna to the chassis. This is especially likely in the case of radio antennas because they are always mounted to the body of the vehicle, and the wiring harness will often be left dangling near the body panel from which the antenna protrudes.

Can I replace the Radio Antenna Mast myself?

Replacing an antenna is simple, and often a necessary step in diagnosing static over the radio or lost signal to a digital receiver. It can be done at home for the types of antennas discussed, however, there are some satellite antennas that are mounted underneath the dashboard, above the front seats, or in the trunk of the vehicle. Identifying which antenna is liable to have failed, the location of that antenna, and accessing that antenna requires significant deconstruction of interior components, a professional may be advised.

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