2010 Kia Forte antenna is gone and now the "circuit-board" is exposed..will this cause further damag

A car wash annihilated my 2010 Kia Forte rear-window antenna. It disappeared somewhere on the highway, never to be seen again. Just the little knobby black part though! There is still an awkward and exposed, circuit-board-like base where the antenna originally attached to. (In fact, I still can hear the radio, it’s just fuzzy and scratchy.)

Few questions:

First off, my dealership quoted me 300 bucks for service and parts to have it replaced because apparently they have to pull apart the roof, etc. to get a new base in and antenna, but to me that doesn’t seem necessary since the base is still there.

Also, if they refuse to make it less, are there any options left for me to find cheaper ways to replace my antenna?

Finally, until then, is it okay to drive around with that electrical circuit board exposed on the back of my rear window? Will water getting in it ruin it? Should I try to cover it with electrical tape or something or will that make it worse?

*I have attached a photo of what my “antenna” currently looks like.

Pull the fuse for your radio until you get the antenna repaired. You may be repairing the radio as well if the antenna “circuit board” shorts out in the rain.

Oh wow…thanks for that tip. Where is the radio fuse though?

Does this look like your OEM antenna? http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-STUBBY-CARBON-FIBER-RADIO-ANTENNA-SHORT-JDM-BLACK-SHORTY-SCREW-IN-UNIVERSAL-/330768300044?fits=Make%3AKia|Model%3AForte

The circuit board is passive but there is a seal to prevent ingress of water which could travel up into the cabling so I would cover it. See if a portion of a baggie and a rubber band around the circumference will hold up.

The dealer won’t buy just the “mast” portion. They will buy the entire assembly. They have to gain access to the backside either way as you can see the three screws that originally retained the top part or mast of the antenna in your picture. The labor will be expensive if the headliner has to be partially removed to gain access. Not familiar with the construction behind the antenna…

If you’re interested in cheaper ways to fix, once you have the replacement mast you could modify it slightly to avoid having to screw it in place- assuming it is difficult to gain access to the screws. I would drill out the screw bosses in the replacement mast so it will slide down over the screws. Put a dab of epoxy in each drilled out boss and then snap it in place (see the clip that engages the antenna wire?). Allow epoxy time to cure and Viola!

TT read my mind. A larger concern to me would be water migrating into areas under the sheetmetal where it isn’t supposed to be. I’d find a way to seal it until I got a chance to replace it. To replace it, I’d seek an aftermarket replacement part on the internet.

Unless, of course, you live in southern Cal. They say “it never rains in southern California”. On the other hand, “they never warn ya” that “when it rains, it pours”. Better be on the safe side.

To prevent this in the future look for “audio” in the index of your owners manual.

From the owners manual for my 2009 Kia Rondo: “Be sure to remove the antenna before washing the car in an automatic car wash or it may be damaged.”

I also suggest you use some plastic and electrical tape to make a seal around the exposed area. You might try contacting a local radio installation shop and see what they could do for you if you brought the antenna to them for installation. I’ll bet their shop time prices are a lot lower than the dealer prices. They also know how to remove and replace interior items so no damage is done.

Just took the Kia thru the Costco car wash & the attendant watched as i removed the antenna. He told me if I hadn’t done it he would have. So theres at least one car wash place in the country that knows to do this.

Do you have a “touch free” car wash where you live? That would seem to be the best solution.

With a 2010, you may have difficulty getting radio antenna replacement parts at some point, so I think it is best to bite the bullet and have it fixed while the parts are still available. Spend the $300 in other words. In the meantime what I’d do if it were my car is put a sheet of plastic film over the area, then use a waterproof tape horizontally across the film, starting at the bottom, like shingles, to try to keep the water out.

My 2009 Toyota Rav4 has a similar type antenna. It does not come off or disassemble from the outside. The only fix is probably going to be replacement. Check with some independent body shops and see if they can offer a less expensive solution.