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Antenna Lubrication

i have a 1996 toyota camry with a really annoying power antenna. i’ve replaced it 3 times in the 2 years i have owned the car. it came to me broken and had been broken for years.

during the summer, it works just fine. goes up and down when the car is started and stopped. during the winter, it doesn’t like to move. if the day gets about 40 degrees and is sunny, it will function when i leave work in the afternoon, but in the mornings it will not extend.

so, two questions… is this a normal thing with this year model of a camry? is there anything i can do to lubricate the antenna in hopes that it will function properly in the cold?

You might try either white grease or silicone spray on the antenna mast. When the mast is extended, wipe it off with a rag saturated with rubbing alcohol or some similar cleaning solvent. Then lubricate the mast. Run it up and down a few times and see if this solves the problem.

My other suggestion is that when the mast is extended, disconnect the motor that powers the mast and just leave it up.

I know that antenna. It takes cleaning and lube with an all temperature lube. I have used dry silicone spay with success.

Joe’s right. Clean the antenna mast with brake cleaner/isoprophyl alcohol and let dry. Apply a dry silicone spray to the mast and operate up and down a few times.

The last thing you want to do is a apply wet lubricant that accumulates dirt when exposed and thickens up when it gets cold.


My Mom had a 1964 Cadillac with a power antenna, and she never had this problem. What’s up with Toyota?

I don’t know. I have not heard of any abnormal problem with the newer models, but it seems those older ones had more problems than expected.

Since 1964 EVERYTHING has changed.

Everything from manufacturing quality, installations, materials, to weather climates.

But Toyota’s so much better than they used to be.

And Global Warming should be good for lubricated systems.

Last - yes, I’m just having a little fun. But the comment about my Mom’s Caddie is for real. We owned it for 8 to 10 years and had darn few problems with it.

Back in the '60s, Cadillac was still worthy of their slogan–World Standard of Excellence.

By the late '70s–early '80s, that marque had begun to exemplify poor quality, as well as tasteless wretched excess. In the last few years, their quality has again become good, but I’m not sure that they have yet returned to their excellent quality level of the '40s, '50s, and '60s.

Plus the power antenna motor on the '64 Caddy was probably more powerful (and heavier) than the engine on the Toyota!