Roof racks are great for carrying bikes or other items on top of your car.
They come in various styles and sizes, with most being made out of steel or aluminum.
Some are designed specifically for use with cars, while others are intended to be used with trucks as well.
If you’re looking to buy one, it’s important to know what kind of roof rack is suitable for your specific vehicle.
Many drivers question whether a roof rack will cause damage to their vehicle. The answer, in simple terms, is no.
However, improper use and incorrect installation of a roof rack will cause damage.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the different roof racks that are available and how to prevent them from causing damage.
If you want to learn more about using a roof rack and keeping your car dent and scratch-free, read on to discover how!
Table of Contents
What Is A Roof Rack?
A roof rack is an accessory that allows you to attach equipment to the top of your vehicle.
It typically consists of two parts: the frame and the crossbars. The crossbars hold the equipment in place, while the frame holds them up.
There are many kinds of frames available, including those that fit over the entire roof or just partway.
Types Of Roof Racks
Flush Bar Roof Racks
Flush bar roof racks are considered the most stylish as there is no overhanging crossbar.
However, this shorter bar means that there is less load area than other through bar systems.
If you’re planning on using your roof rack to load equipment such as a roof box and kayaks or bikes, this may not be the best choice for you.
Through Bar Racks
Through bar roof racks are generally heavy-duty and feature a long bar that tends to overhang on each side.
Due to the overhang, this type of rack provides you with a maximum load area which is perfect for larger equipment or multiple accessories.
Platform Roof Racks
Instead of your popular rack made from crossbars, this rack has a platform that attaches to the feet of the roof rack.
It allows for versatility when it comes to carrying different types of loads and also allows maximum carrying space.
The only downside to this type of rack is that they often weigh more than the crossbar style roof racks.
What Damage Can A Roof Rack Cause?
Damage from the roof rack can occur when it is not properly installed on your vehicle.
If the rack is not secured properly, any big movements, such as speed bumps or uneven ground, will allow the roof rack to move slightly which can result in your car being scratched or dented.
If you incorrectly load your roof rack you may also run the risk of damaging your car.
Moreover, if the weight is too heavy for the rack, the whole thing may fall off your car and cause damage as it does so.
How Can I Prevent Damage To My Car?
Preventing damage to your car while using your roof rack is fairly easy to do.
Before loading your roof rack, you should always check that it is still in good condition and that the bolts are as tight as can be.
If you notice any signs of rust or corrosion, it may be time to invest in some new racks and avoid any potential accidents.
If you are attaching quite a heavy load to your vehicle, for extra security you can use additional straps to hold down your belongings.
The more secure your equipment is, the less likely it is that something will scratch your paintwork.
How Do I Avoid Roof Rack Damage?
Before installing your roof rack, read the instruction manual thoroughly and check that you have all the parts you need.
You should also check that these parts aren’t damaged before using them on your car.
When loading your roof rack, try to place the heavier items at the front of your vehicle.
This stops excess stress from being placed on the rear end which is typically where a lot of damage can occur.
You should also make sure that the roof rack you purchase is the right one for your car.
If it is ill-fitting, it can seriously damage your car and cause harm to other drivers on the road.
Do’s And Don’ts Of Using A Roof Rack
Having a roof rack is a great way of creating more storage space when traveling.
Whether you’re moving home, taking the bikes for a spin, or heading to the beach with your favorite surfboard, buying a roof rack is an easy way to transport your belongings.
However, there are a few points that you should always remember when using your roof rack:
Do Make Sure The Roof Rack Is A Perfect Match
Your roof rack and your vehicle roof should be equal and should fit perfectly.
Do Read The Instructions Carefully
Your roof rack instructions will inform you how to securely install your roof rack, so there is less chance of you making mistakes and damaging your vehicle.
Do Grease Your Roof Rack Regularly
If you regularly use your roof rack, chances are that it would have been exposed to the elements.
Over a long period, rain and bad weather will start to wear it down.
Applying some grease to your roof rack, particularly the mounting bolt threads, will help to protect it from corrosion and rust.
Do Double-Check The Weight Limit
Before you load your car, you should always double-check the weight limit.
If you overload your car, you can put yourself and other road users in danger as the rack could potentially buckle under the pressure of the load and fall off your vehicle while it’s in motion.
Don’t Ignore Height Warnings
If your vehicle is already higher than most, adding more height to it means that you have to be extra vigilant with restrictions.
Know how tall your vehicle is with the load on it and stay wary of any bridges and low entrances you may come across.
Driving with a roof rack on your vehicle can affect how you handle the car due to the wind resistance it will encounter.
Speeding will only increase this, so making sure you are in complete control of your vehicle is important.
With a roof rack and equipment on top of your car, you should carry out any journey as carefully as possible to protect yourself and fellow drivers from any potential accidents that may occur.
Roof racks are a great addition when transporting heavy or large loads, but they do require careful handling to ensure they don’t cause any damage to your vehicle.
As mentioned in this article, it’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly, so you are aware of how your roof rack should be correctly installed.
Following the rest of our advice will also guarantee that your car stays scratch and dent-free, so you can have a relaxing journey no matter where you are heading.