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I have a '16 Mazda CX-5 and the dealer told me that the antenna needed to be replaced. A genuine Mazda antenna is almost $110 (with shipping) while my local pepboys has a universal antenna for less than $20.

Is there a significant difference between a genuine antenna and a universal antenna?

  • I guess my question would be, why do you need a new antenna? Is it broken? Do you still get a good AM/FM signal? – Tedwin Nov 15 '19 at 19:33
  • I posted a question about this some time ago. The issue is that hitting the brakes would interrupt the FM signal. I took it to the dealer and they said that it was the antenna. – rbhat Nov 15 '19 at 19:38
  • You could spend $20 to find out if the dealer was right, perhaps without removing the original antenna. If the dealer was right but the quality is poor, spend the $110. If wrong, you only lost $20. – Weather Vane Nov 15 '19 at 19:40
  • @rbhat Oh interesting. I think the genuine Mazda part is probably better quality than the cheapo model but for FM radio reception I'm all about cheap. Spend the good money on oil and filters! – Tedwin Nov 15 '19 at 19:48
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I went through a similar predicament with my Vauxhall, and this is what happened. A universal antenna stem broke off a few months after installing it (the original one was basically degraded by weather in the course of the years, normal occurrence for very old cars). Don't know if it hit something or it was just a matter of aerodynamic resistance and poor quality materials. And besides that, it looked awfully short compared to the original. Something comparable to a TETRA (a UHF-based digital two-way radio system used by police and emergency services in Europe) vehicle radio set aerial, rather than the definitely longer bee-sting aerial usually used for FM broadcast. And reception got poorer as a result.

The OEM aerial costed something like 5 times what i paid for the universal stem, but it's longer and sturdier looking, it hasn't broken yet and it's as functional as the original one in terms of reception.

So i recommend you go with OEM. It pays off later.

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