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I have a VW Passat with a shark fin antenna. The antenna has a rubber gasket for waterproofing, a plastic case and the antenna circuitry inside.

While washing the car, I hit the antenna case a bit too hard and the top plastic case broke off from the bottom case. Currently, the top case it is held in place only by the gasket. Looks fine, the antenna still works.

The problem is that the gasket will definitely not be able to waterproof anymore. I know that this needs to be fixed at some point, but the question is how urgent should this repair be?

Can there be electrical issues? Can water damage the roof inside? Any advice for a temporary fix?

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    Pictures of the damage would be nice.
    – Moab
    Sep 16, 2019 at 22:59

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Can there be electrical issues?

Yes. As you observe, the antenna case contains electronic circuitry. Electronics and water don't mix well. If water enters the case, the electrical stuff inside is apt to fail.

Can water damage the roof inside?

Yes. Water can find its way past a bad gasket or a cracked plastic case, and will stain the headliner. On my 2001 Passat, the headliner was cardboard. If it's the same material in yours, it can be damaged.

The fast-n-dirty fix is to glue the plastic case back together, using plastic glue or epoxy or some kind of silicone adhesive or sealer. If done properly, and not thereafter physically stressed, this could work as a long-term solution. If the gasket shows wear or stress cracks, replace it with new; they're available in the aftermarket for much less than VW charges.

The conservative fix is to replace the shark fin case; if the case is not available separately, replace the entire shark fin. The entire shark fin is probably available in the aftermarket; I'd guess that the case alone is not. Use a new gasket when you do so.

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