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RAV4 at the car wash -- antenna help


I just bought a 2007 RAV4 and was going to bring it to the car wash. I don’t know how to remove the antenna. It’s on the passenger side, and is rather tall. Thanks, Beachcomber

Try reading the owner’s manual. It should be there if it is common practice to remove the antenna when going through a car wash. I generally wash my own car, but if you want a professional car wash get one that will do all the work for you and let them lower/remove it.

small wrench loosen the base - comes right off…at my car wash they do it for me.

The antenna simply screws into the base.
Remove it the same way that you would remove a bolt.

Thank you, all. I felt foolish asking, but I had checked the manual (after looking at it). The manual says, “remove the antenna.” It doesn’t screw in, but I’m going to see if the car wash knows how to do it. I’m guessing this question comes up a lot. Thanks, again. Beachcomber.

“It doesn’t screw in”

Are you absolutely sure about that?
My friend has a 2008 Rav-4, and his antenna definitely screws into the base. I don’t believe that there is much of a difference between 2007 and 2008 Ravs, so I suspect that yours is similar in this respect.

Perhaps you are trying to turn it in the wrong direction or perhaps the previous owner used “Loctite” in order to secure the antenna in the base.

Use a touchless carwash. You won’t have to remove the antenna, and the brushes won’t scrape dirt across your paint and leave scratches. Win-win.

I was about to say this. With all of the touch-free car washes being built these days, it’s kind of silly to go to the old-fashioned type and scratch up your paint over time.

Personally, I don’t like the “touchless” car washes. Last time I used one, my car was still pretty dirty.

In the winter, when it’s too cold to wash the car at home, I generally use the “hand wand” wash places with good results (some places I’ve found are much better than others). I do not, however, use the brushes there, as there’s no way of knowing what’s in those brushes.

I’ve used the touchless systems when absolutely necessary with widely varying results.

I never use the brush type wases. They can do a lot of damage to the finish. I’ve even had them bend the ends of the license plate inward. That tells me that there’s way too much force being applied to my finish.

I’ll double check. I think it was “oval” at the base, not round, but I’ll look again when I go down in the morning. Thanks for mentioning the '08. My neighbor has one and I’ll look at that, too. Beachcomber.

Interesting. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know there was so much so consider. I live in MN, and it gets very cold, so I want to check out the options now while it’s still relatively mild. Thanks, so much. Beachcomber.

Well - one more thing to consider then: Get a good hand wax before winter arrives. Where I live lots of the hand car wash places offer it. Can be pricey (I just spent $30 on it, but of course you can do it yourself) but having a good coat of wax on the paint (every 3-4 months reapplied) can protect your precious new vehicle against the elements. But then I read about your 100 year old neighbor praising the ride you just sold as being “like new”. So I assume you don’t need advice in keeping a car in like new condition. :wink:

You have a good eye. My neighbor made me smile when she said that. Then, too, a couple was walking by and saw the buyer (my Mom’s landlord) hoisting the car on his trailer. The man looked at me, I was looking pretty sad, and he said, “I’ll bet you had some good times with that car.” He was so right – I made many trips in all kinds of weather. Someone else had mentioned “the way they used to make things,” and he was right, too. The finish was a beautiful burgundy that held its color and shine. The interior was a dark burgundy, too, and it held up as well. The RAV is a beautiful blue, and I’ll follow your advice. Thanks, so much. Beachcomber

Boy, I checked, and it doesn’t look like it screws in – it’s very secure. Someone suggested asking the car wash folks, and I’ll see what they say. Thank you. Beachcomber

I notice your tag says beachcomber and you live in Minnesota. Did you just move there from a warmer climate? If you did, let me suggest that you only use the hand wands in the winter, only on warm sunny days, and don’t directly spray the lock hole. If you do, the lock will freeze up and you’ll play havoc trying to get the door open. I was stationed in North Dakota for three years long ago. Some memories last forever.

You’ll also want to lubricate the neoprene door gaskets with silicone lube. That’ll prevent the gaskets from icing up and freezing the doors shut.

You are terrific–thank you. Born in CA, and I think the California blood just stays with me even though I’ve lived in MN a long time. My thoughts have been all over the place, trying to get used to a different car, so I appreciate your reminder about the cold. I hope your memories are good ones. I have one not-so-fun memory: I left a case of Dr. Pepper in my car #2 (the one before my 18-year car #3) over night when it was parked outside . . . and it exploded from the cold. I really needed a car wash then. My good memories far surpass that one, though. So, thank you for the reminder! I had forgotten about the gaskets. Beachcomber (name chosen for my love of being on the water – my most peaceful time ever; and, although I’ve never fished, I bought the fishing license plate because it, too, looks peaceful)