A roof rack is an excellent addition to your car because it offers you lots of extra space for things that you want to carry to wherever you go, such as luggage, work tools, or sports equipment, keeping the inside of your car clean and uncluttered.
However, it's essential to find the right roof rack for your vehicle. Depending on the type of roof your car has, you will be able to install one or another kind of roof rack. If you want to know how to install a roof rack, you came to the right place.
Getting Started – Know Your Roof
The first thing you need to consider about roof rack installation is the type of roof you have. There are different roof racks for different types of roofs on vehicles. Roofs can be classified as bare, raised side rails, those with sunroofs, those without – the list goes on.
Depending on the style of roof you have, the installation will vary based on the model of the rack and the roof. Most of them are pretty similar. You should check out the included instructions that come with your roof rack package for details.
There are four basic types of roofs: ones that have flush side rails, flat tracks, nothing, or fixed mounting points. However, all require three elements ‒ crossbars, feet, and a fit kit. Whether you're interested in learning about a Thule roof rack installation or how to install a Yakima roof rack, these components will be part of the process.
If you are unsure of the roof rack you need for your vehicle, you can never go wrong with BajaRack's Mule or Megamule universal roof racks.
Fit Clips and Crossbars Make the Difference
The first step is to set up the fit kit clips, which are installed in the feet of the rack. These "feet" also go under the name of towers. Once these have been fitted onto your roof, there will be a space for the crossbars to be attached.
The next step is to install the crossbars, which are fitted onto the feet by using the bottom grooves of the bar. The placement of the crossbars depends on the type of vehicle and the model of the rack. Roof rack companies determine the placement of the bars according to the strongest area of the roof.
Use a fit guide to find a foot pack and crossbars for your particular vehicle. Check the instructions you have when it comes to measuring for the placement of the crossbars, and make sure they are mounted front to back. Be sure to mount the crossbars in the right direction.
Cars or vans with raised side rails are the easiest for installing a roof rack. All you need is to buy a foot pack and crossbars; you won't need a fit kit.
Once you do this, the third step is to put the rack on the vehicle's roof and tighten it. The installation process again depends on the type of roof. Bare or naked roofs have fit kits that clamp onto the doorframe or that are installed in drilled holes.
If you want to know how to remove a Thule roof rack, or even a Yakima rack, just follow the instructions in reverse.
No Rails, No Problem
For car roofs with flush rails that are factory-made or flat tracks, the fit kits are installed in the flat tracks. If your car has fixed mounting points, these will usually come with covers that you can remove to attach the roof rack.
What happens if your car has a panoramic roof or sunroof? These types of roofs are special, but yes, you can install a roof rack on them. The first thing you need to know is that not any roof rack will do. Make sure to buy the right kind of roof rack and verify that you are installing it correctly.
Check the maximum weight supported by the panoramic roof and be careful when installing because of the glass.It is important to check the manual and not install a roof rack on a panoramic roof because you might damage the rack or, worse, damage the glass roof of your car.
Once you determine the right type of rack for your needs, you need to check out the maximum weight of the panoramic roof. To do this, you have to be careful not to install a rack that is more than the maximum weight limit because it will damage the panoramic roof of the car.
You will need to consider the glass used in your vehicle. Panoramic glass roofs are fragile in some cases and will not bear much weight. Strong panoramic roofs are mostly found on SUVs. If you don't have a large luxury SUV, you have to be extra careful with the glass because it can be very thin and easily fracture.
There are special roof racks for cars that have panoramic glass roofs. Ensuring that the roof rack you are going to install is designed for these vehicles will save you a lot of heartache, time, and money.
Silencing a Humming Roof Rack
Once you install the roof rack, depending on the model of your car and the type of roof rack you purchased, you might have to deal with noise from the roof rack when the car is moving. This noise, or whistling, is unpleasant, but it is also very easy to deal with.
You can try several things to eliminate this noise.
First, make sure the rubber strip on the top of the crossbars is tightly sealed and positioned correctly. In most crossbars, there is a series of slots underneath them at either end.
If the part that is not used in these slots is not covered, you will have noise. However, you can cover that part with a strip of rubber. Any other gaps in the grooves can also be covered.
You can also add a windscreen or fairing to your roof rack. This is also known as a wind deflector, which will reduce the noise created by the roof rack.
The Roof Rack's Ready
Roof racks come in a variety of types suitable for a series of different vehicles. However, it is necessary to consider the different types of roofs that cars have to be able to buy the best kind of roof rack for your vehicle model.
Once you have it installed on your car, make sure you respect the maximum load that the rack can carry. Otherwise, you could have a serious accident or the rack might cave in and damage the roof of your vehicle.