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#4785835 - 06/13/18 12:16 PM Non-Retractable Radio Antenna
Phishin Offline

Registered: 05/01/12
Posts: 2471
Loc: Indiana
My 2018 Silverado 3500HD W/T has a non-retractable radio antenna mounted near the windshield on the passenger side.

Recently, when I was in a hurry, I took the truck through an automatic car wash. The antenna is approximately 30" long, and it took a decent beating from the automatic washer. It survived just fine. But it definitely took some abuse.

Would you remove the antenna every time you went through the car wash? There are quite a few fine threads holding the securing nut in place. And the nut is finished in a nice flat black finish. I'm sure after removing it 1-2 times, it's going to be marked up pretty good, and missing some of it's finish. Is it worth the hassle or not?
2018 Chevy Silerado 3500HD 6.0L Gas: RLI 10w30
2010 Accord-LX K24: VSP 0w20/MaxLife 10w30 + LG BioTech HD
2014 CR-V LX K24: M1 0w30

#4785848 - 06/13/18 12:31 PM Re: Non-Retractable Radio Antenna [Re: Phishin]
Rat407 Offline

Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 1552
Loc: North Carolina
It is the chance you take using automatic car washes. I would think keeping it on would be fine, otherwise the car wash would make you remove it to keep from having to pay for damaged antenna's
2002 Silverado 5.3 0w-20 AMSOIL®

#4785856 - 06/13/18 12:39 PM Re: Non-Retractable Radio Antenna [Re: Phishin]
Leo99 Offline

Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3166
Loc: NJ
My local car wash removes the antenna on my Rav4 each time it goes through.

These types of antennas are becoming rare.

Edited by Leo99 (06/13/18 12:39 PM)
Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles
2004 Rav4 359,000 miles
2015 Camry 59,000 miles

#4785858 - 06/13/18 12:41 PM Re: Non-Retractable Radio Antenna [Re: Phishin]
maxdustington Online   content

Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 1045
Loc: Toronna
Wrap the fastener/jaws of wrench with hockey tape.
03 Jetta AWP/09A 200k kms
Edge 0W40 + Mann 719/30

#4785878 - 06/13/18 12:59 PM Re: Non-Retractable Radio Antenna [Re: Phishin]
Blkstanger Offline

Registered: 08/13/11
Posts: 1994
Loc: Lakeside, CA
My Jeep is the same. I replaced the long antenna with a short rubber type. I still get good radio reception and it handles a car wash much better.
99 Jeep WJ 4.7 186,000 Maxlife 10w30, Fram Ultra.

#4785895 - 06/13/18 01:15 PM Re: Non-Retractable Radio Antenna [Re: Phishin]
Johnny2Bad Offline

Registered: 05/20/13
Posts: 2031
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Remove it if you go through automated car washes, or better yet, don't go through automated car washes. That doesn't mean don't wash your car.
'57 FL Straight 50 wt
'90 Miata 1.8L w/Rotrex Supercharger [Mobil1 0W-40]
'96 Ram 1500 [3.7L Mobil1 0W-20 / 1L 15W-50]
'01 PT Cruiser [Mobil1 0W-40]

#4785921 - 06/13/18 01:42 PM Re: Non-Retractable Radio Antenna [Re: Phishin]
SeaJay Offline

Registered: 03/05/15
Posts: 1130
Loc: New York City
The majority of antennas handle the car washes with no ill effects.

#4785947 - 06/13/18 02:32 PM Re: Non-Retractable Radio Antenna [Re: Phishin]
Char Baby Offline

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10197
If it's a whip style which it most likely is, leave it on and you shouldn't have any issues.

'06 Mazda 3i 2.0L-FOR SALE NOW!
'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic LX(17K)

#4785965 - 06/13/18 03:02 PM Re: Non-Retractable Radio Antenna [Re: Phishin]
Nick1994 Online   content

Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10464
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
My grandparent's had a 2002 Chevy Trailblazer LTZ, the spare antenna in the trunk had an orange plastic thing you slip down the antenna and you can twist it off without damaging it. I stuck it in the glove box for car wash trips. Might be able to get one from the dealer. Or member 01rangerxl on here might be able to help.

It looked like this, it slipped on from the top. Although this appears you'd have to buy the whole thing
2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 82k Mobil 1 AFE 0w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 229k Valvoline 5w30 & Fram Ultra
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 146k Mobil 1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra

#4786030 - 06/13/18 04:34 PM Re: Non-Retractable Radio Antenna [Re: Phishin]
Virtus_Probi Offline

Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 4199
Loc: New England
One reason I replaced the short rubberized antenna on my car with a sharkfin was because I was worried about running the former through car washes...the number one reason was that it looked really stupid.
2014 Forester XT, 86000 miles
Last Change;
M1 5W30 d1G2
Tokyo Roki 15208AA170 filter

#4786105 - 06/13/18 06:08 PM Re: Non-Retractable Radio Antenna [Re: Phishin]
khittner Offline

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 345
Loc: Michigan
Well, I’ll depart from what seems to be the common wisdom. If you’re going to use an automatic car wash that uses either rotary brushes or those oscillating/flopping sponge strips, remove the whip antenna. My wife’s ‘11 Highlander has a fixed whip antenna, and I used the neighborhood car flopping-strip wash a few times during cold weather. The antenna mast certainly got rough treatment in the process, but didn’t sustain any obvious damage—until I turned on the radio and no longer had any reception of nearby radio stations. The antenna mast survived, but the wire that picks up the radio signal clearly sustained an internal break. I replaced the mast with a new OEM Toyota piece, and the radio was back in business. The new whip came with a handy little wrench that now sits in the glove compartment, ready for car wash duty.

#4786155 - 06/13/18 07:10 PM Re: Non-Retractable Radio Antenna [Re: Johnny2Bad]
Ethan1 Offline

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 1658
Loc: 'murica
Originally Posted By: Johnny2Bad
better yet, don't go through automated car washes

Exactly. Your antenna may survive, but your paint won't frown

#4786172 - 06/13/18 07:33 PM Re: Non-Retractable Radio Antenna [Re: Phishin]
mjoekingz28 Offline

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 3996
Loc: United States of America
Of course man. I think it is 8mm or 5/16 IIRC. Like maxdustington said, tape the wrench if marring the finish ever so slightly is a worry. I never considered that. Mine is a 2003 2500 but I worry pretty good about any car I take thru the wash that I remember to remove the antenna. The workers/attendants are there check for you as well, but I try to do that which I can so as not to overwork others unnecessarily.

The outcome could be bad. No duallies, no antennas, careful with rear wipers, car in neutral.

Did you see the post where the Ford truck got over $5000 in damage from leaving the antenna in?

Edited by mjoekingz28 (06/13/18 07:35 PM)
Edit Reason: SAE