Originally Posted by Beagleman
Does this mean that if you unscrew the antenna Onstar and GPS won't work? Why are there a wire wrapped around the antenna then?
No...the exact opposite. If you unscrew the antenna (which is quite easy, as I've done it on my old 2010, may fathers 2011, and my new 2012), you still get XM radio and OnStar...and everything else except AM and FM.
The antenna is only for FM and AM radio, and you still can get some AM and FM reception, depending on where you are.
Why is there wire around the antenna? ...I found that out the hard way.
I tried to make my 2010 Equinox antenna shorter by bending it first with a heat gun. I found out after I bent it that it was not really bent...it was cracked. There is a fibreglass core in the middle of the antenna that will crack if you try and bend it. There is a thin copper wire that is wrapped around the fiberglass core...and it that copper wire that is acting as the antenna as it is attached to the screw...which goes into the base. The winding of the wire allows for a greater length of wire, as well as allowing the air to move more smoothly over the antenna.
I ended up buying a second antenna and cut it a few inches short, then I put a black plastic cap on the top.
I routinely take off my antenna as I have a Thule cargo box that I put on the top of the Equinox. The antenna is too long and gets in the way. As well...some underground parking lots where I live are too low (6 foot clearance), so I used to take the longer antenna off before I went out. I bought a second antenna, cut it short, and now I can clear the underground parking lots.
Don't worry, the antenna is easy to unscrew, and has little rubber teeth that keep it from unscrewing once you put it back on.