In today’s society, most new cars are fitted with a manufacturer standard radio antenna. These devices are usually basic, external models, though some cars are fitted with an internal antenna There are several types of aftermarket antennas available, however. For example, retractable antennas are beneficial because they are less exposed to adverse weather conditions and accidental damage. However, those made from multiple shafts (e.g. the telescoping antenna) are at risk of snapping if placed under too much stress.
Whip antennas are thin and flexible, but do not retract, so are exposed to adverse weather, and are more likely to corrode than other types. Satellite antennas are comparatively expensive, and to receive radio signals a monthly subscription is required. On the other hand, the sound quality of satellite radio is much better and the signal is more stable than the traditional type.
Internal antennas are usually located in the dashboard of the car. Because of the location, and the lack of a protruding stalk, the signal is usually weaker and the sound quality is poorer than other types.
Unless the antenna has been snapped off, it is not always immediately obvious that a new antenna is required, because the loss of signal and poor sound quality often occurs gradually. Users do not always notice, and simply adjust to the inferior sound. Also, it is common to still receive a signal on the FM band, even when no antenna is present. However, switching to the AM band should make it immediately apparent if a new antenna is required. If there is a problem with the antenna, the radio will not be able to pick up a signal on the AM band. Before rushing out to buy a new antenna, however, first check to see if the current one just needs tightening, as it is common for antenna connectors to slowly loosen over time.
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