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Video: How to install a satellite radio antenna

Tips & tricks for installing an antenna on the outside of your car

This video shows you how to install an antenna on the outside of your vehicle for a satellite radio. The task isn't usually that difficult, but it can take a a little time to route the antenna cable. Watch this short video for some tips and tricks.

Read video transcript

If you add satellite radio to your car, you'll need to install a special antenna to receive a satellite signal. Fortunately, mounting this antenna requires only simple tools, and we'll give you some helpful tips.

Satellite Radio antennas are mounted outside your car. When choosing a mounting location, high and clear is best. There are two steps to install the antenna. First, get the antenna cable inside the car, and second, route it to the front under carpet or trim panels.

With most sedans, it makes sense to mount the antenna on the roof in front of the rear window. Stick the antenna a few inches from the window, then run the cable along the outside edge of the window seal and bring it into the trunk. Look for a good location to enter the trunk.

If necessary, notch the trunk's edge with a round file to create an entry point. If you end up doing that, wrap the wire with some tape where it will contact the metal and replace the seal. You could add a dab of silicone where you filed down the metal if you wish.

Pickup trucks have a brake light above the cab's rear window, which offers a convenient entry point. Simply remove the brake light and route the antenna wire through the opening. Feed it in through the bottom, and if necessary you can file a small notch in the plastic to allow for flush mounting of the brake light cover. A dab of silicone will keep water out at the entry point. Inside the cab, peel back the trim panel using a panel tool and feed the cable down to the floor. Then you can run it along the floor trim or under the carpet to the back of your radio.

Hatchbacks and SUVs make this a little easier. Mount the antenna on the back portion of the roof, then feed the cable through the hatch and underneath the weather seal. From there, you can slip the cable underneath the carpet and route it to the front of the car.

All vehicles are different, but I hope this helps you plan your antenna installation. Remember, if you buy your gear from Crutchfield, you'll get our free tech support that can answer any questions that come up during your installation. Good luck!

  • Rich Meleca from Rochester

    Posted on 4/16/2020

    Can I put the antenna next to the shark antenna on my SUV, or will that cause interference?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 4/16/2020

    Rich, For best performance, you'll probably want to space them out a bit more.
  • Cathy Foster from Yreka

    Posted on 9/14/2019

    I have a 2013 Jeep Patriot, I have the antenna, but don't see where to actually plug it in....the radio is satellite, but can't find any where to plug it in.

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 9/16/2019

    Cathy, The radio will plug into the back of the factory radio or satellite radio tuner. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. If you purchased it elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.
  • Demetri from Sacramento

    Posted on 11/6/2018

    Do you sell an antenna shark fin version of the sirius xm antenna? My Toyota does not have weather stripping so the magnetic one cannot be ran to the roof of my car without the wires being exposed

    Commenter image

    Jon P. from Crutchfield

    on 11/7/2018

    Demetri, We don't have that antenna, but we can probably help you find a solution. When you buy your gear at Crutchfeld, you can call Tech Support for free help with things like this. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.
  • Drew Perry from Upper Arlington

    Posted on 8/17/2018

    I have a 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder. I bought the SXV300 to install with my aftermarket radio, but looking for a good place to install it. I was hoping inside the housing of the original satellite radio housing, but not sure if the signal would be able to go through both the plastic housing of the SXV and the OEM housing

    Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    on 8/21/2018

    Drew, If you bought your SXV300 from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free installation advice. If you purchased it elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.
  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/18/2018

    Patrick, If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.

  • Patrick Teague from Taylor TX

    Posted on 5/17/2018

    So I purchased the DDX6704S by Kenwood from you company, and I'm considering purchasing the SXV300v1 satellite radio tuner. If I do, could I mount it to a metal plate on the dash board and have it work or must it be on top of the car? I had considered running it from the top of my car in front down the weather stripping on the windshield and into the car and from the A panel down into the dash and over to the radio, however there is no rubber grommet or weatherstripping that would protect the cable from getting cripped by the front driver side door. So that is a no go. If you could advise on how to run it from the rear I'd consider it, but if putting it on a small 4 inch square metal plate that is stuck to the front dash would work I could then run it down the front of the windshield, tuck it into the A panel on the driver side, down the weather stripping and then tuck it under the top of the carpet past the breaks and accelerator and up into the dash there. Let me know if that would work or if you have a better suggestion? Thank you.

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/2/2018

    Ken, Since you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. For anyone else who's reading this, you;ll be happy to know that even if you purchase your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.

  • Ken from South Hadley

    Posted on 4/2/2018

    I received my Jensen VX7023 from Crutchfield and the install went great except for the placement of the GPS antenna. Does it have to be mounted outside or can it be mounted under the dash or hood of my 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac?

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/21/2018

    TJ, You'll need to use the one included with the kit. If you buy the tuner from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help setting everything up. You'll find that number in your emailed receipt. If you can't find it, just give us a call at the number above.

  • TJ from Lewisville TX

    Posted on 2/20/2018

    I have a 2015 Nissan Altima the car came with the non Bose Navigation radio with 6 speakers. The factory radio had XM Satellite and has a shark fin antenna. I replaced my factory radio with the Pioneer 2330 NEX if I buy the XM Satellite Tuner can I still use my antenna for Satellite radio or would I have to use the SXV300V1 antenna.

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