How do you test a car radio antenna?

What steps should I take to test my car radio antenna? The radio’s been all static for the last week. I don’t know what’s wrong with it, but I figure testing the antenna is a good place to start.

Testing antennas is an easy process that sounds a little tricky to the untrained ear. Luckily, you can make sure you’re antenna works by performing three tests with an ohmmeter.
Before you start, you’ll need to remove your antenna. You can do so on most cars by unscrewing it from its slot on your hood.
Test one:
  • Connect one cable from the ohmmeter to the radio pin.
  • Connect the other cable to the tip of the antenna.
  • If the reading is under 5 ohms, those parts are working!
Test two:
  • Touch one lead from the ohmmeter to the antenna base.
  • Touch the other lead to the antenna’s cable.
  • If the reading is under 5 ohms, you have a good ground connection!
Test three:
  • Place one lead against the radio pin.
  • Place the other lead against the cable.
  • If the meter goes to infinite, then it’s grounded and working well!
If you see numbers above five ohms in tests one and two, or under infinite in test three, you should replace your antenna. But if they’re all within the normal range, bring your car to a mechanic and have them give you a professional diagnosis.
While you’re waiting for your mechanic to check out your car, take a minute to save on car insurance with Jerry. A licensed broker, the Jerry app can help you find and compare quotes from over 50 top providers for free. When you find a better plan, Jerry can help you buy your new coverage and even help cancel your old policy.
Joshua Levy
Answered on Nov 18, 2021

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