The Complete Car Shark Fins Guide

White car shark fin antenna, The Complete Car Shark Fins GuideHave you ever wondered what those shark fins are on top of cars? Are they simply an accessory to look cool, or do they serve some sort of purpose? You certainly don't remember seeing them in older model cars, but nowadays it seems like almost every car has one. What is it?
The shark fin on the rear roof of cars is a way to house the various antennae that cars are equipped with today. Sometimes the ones you see are for looks only, and the antenna is in the rear window. You can also buy shark fin diffusers that help with reducing drag and enhancing performance and speed.
Cars are equipped with many systems now. AM/FM radio, GPS, satellite radio are a few. Each of these systems requires an antenna, which is why car manufacturers came up with the shark fin. Let's take a more in-depth look and look at a few aftermarket fins available for retrofitting your car.

Shark Fin Antennas Information and FAQ

Just like other technologies, vehicle antenna technology is an evolving design issue. We've seen cars go from old fixed ariel antennae to retractable ariel antennae to embedded wire antennae, and now shark fin antennae to house multiple system inputs. Even now, new technology is being developed to accommodate all of the equipment modern vehicles need. But for the moment, the shark fin is the antenna housing of choice.

Do Shark Fins On Cars Help With Stability?

You might think that with the aerodynamic shape of the fin and the placement toward the rear of the car's roof, the shark fin would help with stability. This is not true. BMW was the first car company to introduce this aerodynamic addition, but it was merely to house all of the various antennae cars are equipped with today.

However, there are also things known as mini shark fin diffusers that are simply stick-on pieces that supposedly help to reduce drag on the car and enhance speed.

How Do You Fix A Shark Fin Antenna?

Because this antenna sticks up from the top of your car, it's possible that at some point, they might become damaged. Maybe your garage door hadn't gone all the way up as you're backing out, and you bang the antenna loose. The shark fin itself, even those that come standard with your car, is a separate piece that fits flush against the roof of your vehicle. However, the antenna that connects from your car to the fin is an internal cable.

If your car roof is not bent or hurt in any way, you can simply take off the old shark fin and replace it with a new cover. If your car roof has gotten bent, or your antenna damaged, you'll need to take it to the dealer or a body shop.

Where Is The Antenna On My Car?

Cars of old used to have an aerial antenna, which was a long piece of metal that came out of the vehicle, usually at the hood or the fender. Nowadays, most cars have their antennas in one of two places. They are either in the rearview window in something called metallic traces (separate but similar to the defrosting traces) or on top of the roof in a shark fin type addition. Sometimes there will be a short aerial antenna protruding from the fin depending on the type of input you have come to your vehicle (for instance, subscription radio like Sirius XM often has a slightly larger antenna on the roof).

Shark Fins And Accessories

Let's take a look at some of the shark fins currently on the market.

1. Super Functional AM/FM Sticky Base Antenna

This is an excellent replacement for a small ariel antenna that you want to transform into a shark fin. It comes with an adhesive stick on base (make sure your original antenna is smaller than 148mm*67mm, or it won't fit over it) that is easy to install. Copper wire inside creates the signal amplifier. This is a great solution at a very reasonable price.

Click here to see this one on Amazon.

2. Kia Replacement Shark Fin Antenna

It's easy to find excellent replacement antenna online for all sorts of different makes and models of vehicles. Just type in your specific model and your color, and you're liable to find what you need. This particular fin is made for these models: Carens, Carnival, VQ, Borrego, Cee'd, Forte Koup, Rio, K2 3 4 5, K3S. It's finished with high-quality piano paint for non-chip lasting wear.

Click here to shop for this on Amazon.

3. Universal Shark Fin For Window Antennas

Don't have a shark fin antenna but have window filaments instead? Do you love the look of a shark fin on top of your car? This universal stick-on shark fin accessory gives your car the look you love without interrupting your car's function. Stick on pads are easy to install on top of your car. Please note this is a decorative accessory and has no antenna function.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

4. Replacement Shark Fin For Hyundai Models

Here's a well-made replacement shark fin antenna for the following Hyundai models, IX25, IX35, IX45, Santafe, Creta, Tucson, Veracruz, I30 and I20. This works with FM/AM Radio. Finished with a high-quality piano paint and available in six different finishes.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

5. Red AM/FM Shark Fin Antenna

Here's a candy apple red beauty for your car roof. This one enhances the performance of your AM and FM radio. It is made of durable ABS material that is UV protected and weatherproof coated. The car wash won't harm this piece of equipment. Make your car more fashionable with this streamlined beauty.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

6. Decorative Shark Fin Accessory

This shark fin is for looks only. Glossy silver will look super sleek on the top of your vehicle. The aerodynamic styling screams of sophistication and will have all your buddies noticing. Act as if it came with the car, but you'll know you found a scream of a deal that stuck on to your roof with simple ease.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

7. Shark Fin Diffusers

These rocket-shaped points will turn your car into your rocket. The 10-piece paintable set of flexible PP plastic is universal for any make or model of car. The adhesive is strong and will hold up to interstate travel and hand washing. You'll need an Exacto knife to get the two-sided tape backing off and a ruler to make sure you get the spacing correct.

Click here to see these on Amazon.


These mini shark fin diffusers turn a regular car into a race car. Not only do they look cool, but they will reduce your drag by about 1.6%. They come in a pack of 10 and are made of durable weatherproof ABS plastic. They're easy to install with  2-sided adhesive tape. No drilling or tools required. Users say the adhesive is super strong and gives their cars a fierce look.

Click here to see these on Amazon.

So now you know, those cool sharks you see swimming down the freeway beside you are antennae. Or they're not and just playing the part. If you see multiple shark fins, it's likely that they're there to help with speed and performance.

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  1. This article did not help me find a shark fin that will cover a 5½” x 2″ (L x W) base. Why is it so hard to find an extra-large shark fin? Your recommendations did not help.

  2. Not sure if you are still looking for the above mentioned shark fin cover. If you are, you may have to buy the entire thing but Amazon has a large selection. Also, try to Google the year, make and model of car followed by the above mentioned size. You should have no problems finding one. Being the right color is another thing but they sell color match paint that should help with that if you are a DIYer.
    Good luck!!

  3. I am trying to find a shark fin to cover my 3.25″ X 5″ base.?? Is there such a thing. I cannot find it.

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