Auto Antenna Problem....

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Well my A/C problem is not fixing itself, so moving on to simpler things....... I need some help tracing a voltage back to the battery, through junction blocks, etc. I have the circuit diagram and stuff, but I'm having some trouble accessing the physical location of each part.

Again, I have a 4 cylinder automatic shift '96 Camry LE. This car has one of those retractable radio antennas, as in when you turn the radio on, the antenna raises itself up, and when you turn it off, it goes all the way down. This system has been broken in my car for a while now, and I can only raise and lower it manually. And even then, it won't lower all the way to the base. It also makes this HORRENDOUS noise everytime I turn off the radio (I suppose that would be it trying to lower itself but not quite working.

So I got to checking the voltages at the antenna motor (@ the plug right above it, anyway). One of the six terminals is supposed to be at 12 V ALL the time, but instead is zero. I believe there's a current flowing through it while the radio is on (2.6 mA or something...).

Okay so I FINALLY get to my question. :hi: Right now, there are at least four points at which I could check the voltage. The easiest seems to be the one in the driver's side instrument panel, but when I open it up, all I see are the fuses. How do I rip the car apart to expose all the additional junk and stuff in that area? And how do I access the other locations sitting underneath where it seems the passenger side SRS would pop out? (I'm not sure I have a passenger side SRS, but if I did, it'd probably be in that area.....) Or maybe just below it or in that general area? Also, there's supposed to be a series of plugs right underneath the engine compartment fuse block. It was beginning to be a hassle taking out an oddly located nut in order to lift up the fuse block and check the voltage at one of the plugs, I guess I need to know if this is safe, or if I risk damaging connections at the more vital fuse and relay terminals for this vehicle.

Anyhoo, I look forward to any input you've got. Thank you!

posted by  JaneiR36

I was wondering why if you hear this horendous noise coming from the antenna when it tries to lower itself you would assume that the problem is realted to power?. It sounds to me as though the electric motor that engages to raise and lower the antenna is working fine if it is making a lot of nosie. I would reason that the problem is a malfunction in the mechanism the motor uses to raise and lower the antenna. I had a similar problem once with an automatic door lock that would not open and it jamed the manual loak and the handle as well amking a terible buzzing noise. It turned out to be this tiny plastic piece that had broken and caused all the trouble I would look for something like that. You can also try removing the mechanism fromthe car and then hooking up the wiring harnes back on the motor and turning on the radio and se if it works properly. Let me know what you find.

posted by  wizzyb82

By remove the mechanism, do you mean the antenna? Because that's what I'm trying to fix, so I'm not sure I'm understanding correctly because I think you're saying I should remove the antenna itself. It catches radio stations alright, it just doesn't come down when the radio is turned off. I will take out the motor, though, to look for any foreign pieces like you've said. But if you could please explain the other statement again I could also go ahead and do that too. Thanks for your help!!! :mrgreen:

posted by  JaneiR36

What I ment was that there has to be some tipe of system of gears that the motor is attatched to in order for it to raise and lowere the anttena. YOu need to look at that mechanism and see where it is jaming up. Also while you have the motor out you should tun the radio on and off and see if that causes the motor to turn on if it does turn on then the problem is not electrical. Look at the mechinism for anything that looks unusual.

posted by  wizzyb82

hey wizzy.

Seeing as the average stay of new people on this site is two days, you're probably not here, but I'll go ahead and update anyway.

You were right about the mechanical problem -- right down to the broken piece of plastic!

The serated plastic rack cable that winds up and down to raise and lower the power antenna had broken, so the top part of it would go all the way to the top, and then on it's way down it would be a hit and miss type thing, where it could either make it into it's proper place (but still not all the way down), or or make this awful sound as it's being smooshed against the entrance but not quite getting pulled in.

Anyway, I may still have to replace the entire antenna (but not the motor, it seems fine, just as you suggested), because this plastic cable seems hard to find. No one seems to sell antenna parts. In fact, I'd be lucky to find a store where they wouldn't have to order the antenna itself for me.

Also the cable seems attached to the top of the antenna. I would have no idea how to yank it out or re-attach a new one.

I think I'll let it sit for a couple more days while I decide what to do. If anyone has any ideas with the plastic cable, please let me know. Thanks!

posted by  JaneiR36

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posted by  JaneiR36

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