How To Fix the Power Antenna On Your Car

Updated: Feb. 29, 2024

Complete this simple DIY repair in about two hours. Here's how.

Next Project

1 - 2 hours




$20 - $80


Fix a stuck power antenna by replacing a burned out motor or bad cable/mast. You can do both in about two hours, and you'll avoid the $50 to $100 dealer service fee. You need only one special tool, an antenna wrench.

Tools Required

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Nut driver
  • Side cutter
  • Socket/ratchet set

Materials Required

  • Degreaser
  • Lithium grease spray
  • Plastic gloves
  • Replacement mast kit

Fix a stuck power antenna

If your power radio antenna won’t go up and down anymore, the problem is either a burned-out motor or the geared cable inside the mast. Both are easy DIY fixes.

First, make sure the motor works. Have a friend turn on the radio and listen for motor noise coming from the antenna area. If you hear the motor, it’s a candidate for repair. If not, you’ll have to replace it using the steps we show.

Next, order a replacement mast kit from The kit includes a new geared nylon cable connected to new antenna sections.

You’ll also need a special wrench to remove the bezel nut. Don’t use pliers; you’ll scratch the bezel and the paint. Check an auto parts store for one, or order the Steck No. STC21600 from

Close-up of antenna wrench

Use the special wrench to remove the bezel that holds the antenna in place.

Close-up of Antenna wrenchTMB Studio

Project step-by-step (3)

Step 1

Unbolt the power antenna and pull it free

Remove the cover screws from the antenna. Then lift the cover and note the location of the gears, cable spool, washers and idler roller before you remove them. Take a photo to help you remember how to put them back together. Next, remove the old mast.

Unscrew the bezel and remove the antenna retaining bolts. If your power antenna is mounted inside the front fender, remove the wheel-well liner by pulling out the plastic rivets and push-in retainers.

Tilt the bottom of the antenna away from the fender and pull the unit down and out. That will loosen the rubber gasket and break the unit free.

Unbolt the power antennaTMB Studio

Step 2

Out with the old

Next, disconnect the power and coaxial cable connectors and remove the entire unit from the vehicle. Clean all the parts with degreaser.

If your antenna doesn’t have a removable coaxial connector, disconnect the power connectors and perform the mast replacement while the unit is still connected to the coaxial cable.

Disconnect the old coaxial cableTMB Studio

Step 3

Reinstall the mast and regrease

Thread the nylon cable and mast into the spool and reinsert the gears and rollers. Spray all the moving parts with lithium grease. Reinstall the cover, tighten the screws, then plug in the power antenna and reinstall it in the fender or trunk. While you’re at, here’s what you need to know about electrical service mast.

Reinstall the mast and regreaseTMB Studio