Why Do My Roof Bars Whistle?

Why Do My Roof Bars Whistle?

Roof bars are often installed on vehicles to provide additional protection from damage caused by hail or other weather conditions.

They are usually mounted on the top of the vehicle and connected to the frame.

Roof bars are designed to absorb energy during impact and reduce the chance of injury to occupants inside the vehicle.

Roof bars are typically made of steel or aluminum. The bars are attached to the vehicle using bolts, rivets, or welded connections.

When the bars are hit by debris, they vibrate and produce a high-pitched sound. This whistling noise is normal, but it can become annoying over time.

There are several reasons why roof bars might start whistling and in this article, we’ll be going over all the possibilities and helping you solve this annoying problem!

If you can hear your roof bars whistling as you drive down the highway or even when you’re traveling slowly, it means there’s a gap between some of the panels and components that shouldn’t be there.

There are plenty of reasons that this could be the case:

  1. Rusting Bolts: If your roof bar has been sitting for some time without being used, rust may have formed around the bolts that hold them in place. In order to prevent rust from forming, make sure to keep your roof bars clean and free from moisture.
  2. Loose Bolts: If you notice that one or more of your roof bars are loose, check to see if any of the bolts holding them in place are missing. It’s possible that the bolt was damaged during installation and needs to be replaced.
  3. Misaligned Roof Bar Panels: If your roof bars aren’t aligned properly with the rest of your vehicle, they may not fit flush against each other. This could cause gaps where air and water can get trapped between the panels.
  4. Improper Installation: If you’ve had your roof bars installed improperly, they may not be securely fastened to the car. Make sure that the brackets are firmly bolted into place so that they won’t come off while driving.

How To Fix Roof Bars Whistling

How To Fix Roof Bars Whistling

Now that we understand why our roof bars might be whistling while we drive, let’s take a look at the best solutions:

Roof Rack Wind Deflectors

Wind deflectors are designed to help protect your roof bars from wind damage.

These devices are placed along the bottom edge of the roof bars and act like shields that deflect the force of the wind away from the roof bars.

They also help reduce the amount of noise produced by the roof bars.

You can buy these items separately or purchase kits that include both the deflector and the mounting hardware.

Kits are available in different sizes and shapes to accommodate most types of roof bars. You can find these products at auto parts stores, online retailers, and local dealerships.

Aerodynamic Roof Rack Crossbars

Crossbars are another option for protecting your roof bars from the wind.

These pieces attach to the roof rack crossbar and extend out past the roof bars. They are designed to help redirect airflow around the roof bars.

The aerodynamic design helps reduce the amount of noise created by the roof bars. You can choose from different styles depending on how much protection you need.

Some models feature removable covers that allow you to customize their appearance.

These products are available at many auto parts stores, online vendors, and local dealerships nationwide.

Tapered Roof Bars

Some manufacturers offer tapered roof bars that are specifically made to minimize the amount of noise they produce.

The tapers are usually angled inward toward the center of the roof bars. This reduces the amount of sound that is transmitted through the bars.

If you want to install new roof bars, it’s important to know what type of product you should use.

For example, if you’re installing a set of roof bars that were purchased from an auto parts store, you’ll probably be able to reuse the existing holes that were drilled when you first installed the bars.

However, if you’re replacing old roof bars, you’ll need to drill new holes before you can install the new ones.

To make things easier, we recommend using a kit that includes all the necessary tools and materials.

What Are The Best Roof Rack Crossbars?

Choosing the right roof rack crossbars depends on several factors, including the style of your vehicle and your budget.

These are some of the best options available online today:

Yakima JetStream Bar

YAKIMA, JetStream Bar Aerodynamic Crossbars for Roof Rack Systems, Set of 2, Black, Small (50')

This might be quite an expensive option for some people, but there’s no doubt that this is one of the best roof rack crossbars out there when it comes to minimizing whistling wind noises.

Yakima uses a brilliantly aerodynamic design to make sure air travels smoothly and silently over the bars of your roof rack.

Also, each panel and component is secured together with such great craftsmanship that you definitely don’t need to worry about it coming loose over time.

Not only will this crossbar stay quiet during your road trips, but it will also reduce the amount of drag you experience on the road, helping you get to your destination a little faster.

Yakima JetStream Bar
  • Aerodynamic crossbar: The high-performance JetFlow teardrop shape is strong, quiet and minimizes drag for maximum efficiency; The seamless aluminum construction is lightweight and sleek
  • Reinforced design: Features JetTruss internal support engineering that adds serious strength for minimal weight; Carrying capacity is 165 lbs (75 kg) across 2 bars
  • Easy to install: The T-slot rubber infill makes it easy to mount and ensures efficient airflow; Comes with 4 high-gloss polymer end caps for a polished look
  • Compatibility: Works with YAKIMA StreamLine Towers, T-Slot attachments and all YAKIMA gear mounts; Available in 3 sizes: Small (50”), Medium (60”) and Large (70”)
  • We’ve got your back guarantee: Covered by our Limited Lifetime Warranty

Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

StayThere Roof Rack Crossbars, 56'' Aero Aluminum Roof Rack Cross Bars Raised Side Rail Gap Needed - 200 lbs Load Capacity

Another quiet but slightly more budget-friendly option is this roof rack from StayThere.

This option also uses a well-crafted, aerodynamic design to minimize drag and noise pollution as you drive along.

In fact, they’ve even recently added extra rubber strips to block out even more potential wind-related noise.

Not to mention, these rubber strips can easily be cut and installed on any car.

While this crossbar might not look as sleek and sophisticated as the Yakima JetStream, it will still do a great job of getting rid of that annoying whistling sound you’re probably sick of!

StayThere Roof Rack Crossbars
  • 🚙 Roof Rack Crossbar Only Fits Factory Raised Side Rails with a Gap. Two raised rails that run parallel to the doors. There is enough of a gap that you could slide your hand underneath. Don't fit any flush rails and bare roof.
  • 🚙 Aero Aluminum Crossbars--Weighs only 8.25 pounds but has a load capacity of 200 LBS . Elliptic design reduce wind noise, aerodynamic design.
  • 🚙 Fits most vehicles with existing raised side rails with gap, maximum of a 49.5" span between side rails, easy installation and removal.
  • 🚙 Anti-theft locking system to protect your bars, Comes with 2 PCS Unique Keys for every Roof Rack Crossbar, no one have the same. Keep the other spare key in your vehicle's Tool Box or ask someone else save it for missing.
  • 🚙 Less Wind Noise -- Two new anti wind and noise rubber strips are added, You can cut the length of the rubber strips at will and install them on the roof frame suitable for your model.

Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


We hope you’ve found this guide to why roof bars whistle helpful.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this issue and plenty of other people are sick of that high-pitched squeal while they’re driving!

As long as you follow all the steps we’ve outlined in this guide, you won’t have to worry about it anymore.

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