How to Make A Car Radio Antenna: DIY Guide 2024

how to make a car radio antenna

When you accessorize your car using a premium antenna, this confirms an easy radio signal transmission. Car antennas are important automotive equipment because they contribute to transmitting wireless radio signals and waves.

In case your car radio antenna isn’t working anymore, instead of rushing to buy it, you must know that there is a simple procedure for making a car radio antenna yourself.

The top benefit is that you will be able to do this with a low budget and still get that amazing experience. Here you will find the basic steps to go about this yourself.

How Can I Make A Car Radio Antenna Myself?

You can easily find materials at home to make this possible without much stress; all you need to do is follow some protocols to ensure safety and avoid hurting yourself as you try to adjust and cut antenna cables.

You have to be familiar with your car, so it will be easy to make any changes and adjustments to the length and find the best spot for reception and regular maintenance.

Making your car’s radio antenna will be almost free, being that you might have all the necessary things in your home to make something as good as the Herdio Waterproof Antenna.

You will also gain access to very strong radio stations, and you can easily make any adjustments when necessary.

What are the Benefits of a Good Car Radio Antenna?

Before we get into the steps for making your antenna at home, we should consider the importance of a good car radio antenna.

Antennas come in different ranges and transmit strong radio waves; some of the highest-ranked are slot, loop, and dipole antennas.

This type of antenna provides the following features, which is why they are preferable to others.

  • Good antennas make a good gain.
  • It achieve good performance, and they are usually smaller in size.
  • Wideband applications are made easy with this technology.
  • The construction of the antenna is mainly thin and directional.
  • Environmental effects are not easily detected.
  • They are hardy even in the wild.

What tools do I need to make my Car Radio Antenna?

The following items will be needed when making a car antenna

Why Should I Make A Radio Antenna?

As earlier stated, making a car antenna yourself will cost you next to nothing.

Suppose you want to buy a Windcamp Antenna from a store; it will cost you about $120, then the labor price is $50 to $80; this is to show you how cheap it is to do this yourself.

If you have everything you need prepared, you should spend less than 30 minutes on this, even as a beginner.

You will need to be conscious of how much time you spend on this because that will be your radio’s frequency spot hunt.

Take your time to find what spots your antenna catches enough signals for your radio.

Also, it is very important to place the antenna where it will be least affected by weather conditions, especially in heavy rainfall, so the wind does not blow it away.

A Simple Guide on How to Make Your Car Radio Antenna

Since you are working with wires and scissors, it is important to work slowly and carefully.

Step 1: Get a tape pack

Use strong adhesive tapes like the Scotch Mountain tapes because they are highly recommended and attached to any surface.

Cut tapes into long strips 3-4 inches long, and place them on one side because you will use them later on for the next step.

Step 2: Cut the wires

This is one of the most crucial steps, and you must also trust the process. Cut the wires with a Hakko cutter into lengths compatible with the stereo system but not the same size.

Cut them a little longer, keeping one or two feet extra from the normal length to be used later.

Step 3: Strip the rubber insulation off

When you are done with the cutting, strip off the insulations, the wires are usually covered with black rubber insulations; this prevents the metal part from exposure.

We are working with these metal parts. Strip off the parts of the insulators from both ends of the wires. Avoid doing it by just removing at least an inch or inch and a half from these ends. 

Step 4: Time for twisting

Twist the exposed metal on the pole that is the extra wire at the end of one pole, oscillate it, twirl it, and tighten it around as much as possible.

Step 5: Wrap the pole

You will have to cover the whole pole surface with that exact wire when you are done twisting.

Here not too much pressure is needed to get much done, unlike in the previous step, you’ll wrap or cover up almost all areas.

In the end, your result will resemble a single DNA strand. Place a tape around the wire, sticking it tightly to the pole close to the end when you get down.

Do not exhaust all the wires on this.

Step 6: Repeat

Twist the exposed metal (using the same method as we did for the other one), and tighten it.

Take note that if you are having issues when working with this exposed metal while trying to stick it to the pole ends, you can use tape.

There should be some spare wire after this, just like we did with the opposite side; wrap this around the pole, sticking it with the tape.

This is the purpose of keeping the extra wire to use for the pole. It is time to install!

Step 7: Insert

Look for the FM inputs/wire slots. They are usually found behind your car’s radio. Plug the wire.

Step 8: Tacking

Place some Phituoda tacks on your wall, spreading them ten inches or less vertically, then weave the wire around your tacks.

Step 9: Check

This is the less stressful part; you can now appraise your work by checking if your antenna will work perfectly. When trying this, try changing the channels or stations.

If it does not work, try doing these;

  • Check if the tapes around them are tight
  • Note if that is the right place to get a good reception
  • If this still does not work, try again by stripping off the insulations but not all.

Common Problems with Radio Antennas

Broken Tuner

Here the CD player works perfectly, but your antenna does not. Maybe your antenna or tuner is broken. A damaged car antenna is common, or perhaps the radio rope is broken.

To solve this, clean and re-signal your antenna.

Malfunction of Amplifiers

These are common for those who want to amp up their radio system and CD player.

They will need a continuous voltage to function well, which means that any problem with the alternator or battery of their car will cause a malfunction with their car radio and the antenna.

Improper Mounting 

Almost all the problems faced with antennas are improper mounting or installation.

The trunk lip mount is a good example of this problem because it usually puts lots of strain on the support and the antenna when your trunk is closed or opened.


How Can I Play My Car Radio Without an Antenna?

You can choose to provide a signal using your Android phone or via Bluetooth. You can get an FM modulator to help you transmit radio signals from your phone to the car radio. Talk works auxiliary cord can also help you play your radio without an antenna.

Can I Use A TV Antenna for FM Radio?

Yes, you can use a TV antenna for your FM radio. Although TV antennas are designed for high VHF and low UHF, you can still broadcast FM frequencies efficiently.

Does Bluetooth Use Car Antenna?

The Bluetooth technology functions as a medium of connection to your i-Drive. It cannot give you any antenna amplifications. So planning to boost your signal, you have to go for Bingfu Radio Booster to get the needed results.

What Do I Do If My Stereo Has AM/FM Inputs Separate?

Take the end of your antenna wire, which connects the stereo, twist both negative and positive while the insulator is stripped off, and stick them with tapes. After doing this, you will have extra wires to connect these inputs with one antenna.

Does an FM Antenna Need to Be Grounded?

You need to properly mount your antenna for it to have high functionality. If you do not place your antenna correctly, you will experience poor signal strengths and high SWR levels.

Final Thoughts

The antenna for your car radio is highly recommended to get a good signal/reception and protect your transmitters.

This will help you avoid fluctuations of radio signals, giving you a smooth play while you drive.

In simple steps, making your car antenna can be simplified to preparing the tapes, cutting the wires, stripping off all rubber insulations, twisting, wrapping the pole, inserting, tacking, and positioning your antenna.