We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Power Antenna?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A power antenna is an antenna that automatically goes up or down with a flip of a switch located in the driver's compartment. Some methods of operating a power antenna come via the stereo unit. By simply turning the stereo unit on, the antenna will rise into position. The antenna will retract back into the vehicle's body panel when the stereo unit is switched off.

The power antenna became popular on high-end American automobiles in the late 1950s. Many of the Cadillac and Lincoln flagship models, for example, offered a power antenna. As time passed, the option became available on lower-end vehicles. However, the prestige of the option was continuously used to point out a vehicle's fine quality. The option became a popular selling point, especially when used on a potential buyer who had previously had an antenna broken by a car wash.

A downside of the option was that once broken, the radio did not receive a proper signal, to then the radio failed to operate. The antennas were often mounted in a difficult location, which made the repair dependent upon a dealer or qualified mechanic. When a replacement was required, the cost was typically much greater than a manually operated antenna.

In the lower-end vehicles, a broken antenna was often left unfixed due to the expense of repair. Many power antenna repair plans called for a non-power antenna to be installed in its place. By the end of the 1960s, the power antenna was a favorable option that was now a detriment to a salesman. Many people did not wish to have a breakage-prone antenna on a new vehicle.

The power antenna found new life in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s with the custom car craze in the West Coast beach cities of the United States. Car customizing experts fell for the power option and installed it in many creations. Many custom cars had not only had one but two of the self-operating antennas in a single body panel. Twin antennas gave a certain hint of class to the customized vehicle.

The power antenna has found its way into automobiles manufactured around the globe. Japanese and European automobile manufacturers have included this option in many of their high-end automobiles and it has even made its way into vehicles intended to fit lower-income buyers as well. The ability for an automobile component to operate itself continues to point out a vehicle's quality to new buyers.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Kambiz — On May 23, 2014

I am in need of designing a very light antenna that is between 2.5 to 3 feet in length and can rise up and down by a small battery. Is this possible? This antenna is not intended to deliver signals. It is just a telescopic device capable of expanding and extracting via a battery.

By RussellS — On Jun 21, 2011

Well, I don't know about you guys, but I'll take the power antenna any day. As far as it getting broken, I recommend putting it down before entering a car wash, as well as putting it down at night. Yes, antenna replacement can be expensive, but breakage can be prevented the majority of the time.

Power antennas are my preference for another reason: They seem to be put in more securely than regular antennas. I found that the manual antenna on my truck has a propensity to come loose from wobbling in the wind and bumps in the road. That causes the signal to break up. However, my girlfriend's Toyota power antenna doesn't work itself loose like that. I like a girlfriend that doesn't have an antenna loose somewhere.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.