The roof rack is one of the most important parts of a vehicle if you are using your vehicle for traveling. Especially if you are going to be using a roof bag.
While you are traveling you will definitely take your luggage with you, and you will need some extra space so that you can comfortably carry your luggage.
In order to not discomfort the passengers, there is a need to make use of a roof bag, and for you to install it comfortably on the roof of your vehicle, you will need a roof rack.
Even though some roof bags can work without the roof rack, it is still advisable that you install a roof rack on your vehicle, that is if your vehicle does not come with the roof rack.
Do roof racks truly damage your car?
People usually ask the question if roof racks can damage your car, well, roof racks can damage your car.
When a roof rack is not properly and firmly installed on your car, it could create a series of tensions between the racks and the bolts, nuts fitted on the roof of your car. The resulting effect of this is a twisting force of the racks that may affect the loading, stability of your roof bags, and loads on the car.
This can consequently lead to damage and accident when you are on a journey.
These are the things that could cause your roof rack to damage your car. However, if you pay attention to fixing the roof rack properly you will not have any problem with the roof rack and it will not damage your car.
You may be asking the question of how do we properly fix a roof rack, not to worry, we will talk about that next.
Before we go in too deep to answer the questions on proper installation of the roof rack, let us talk more about the functionalities of a roof rack and how it serves it purpose.
What is a roof rack?
A roof rack is a framework that is usually installed on the top of your vehicle, that is, your roof, for the purpose of carrying luggage, in order to not discomfort the passengers in the vehicle.
Some vehicles come with the roof rack, while some do not. If you want to make use of a roof bag and your vehicle does not come with a roof rack.
You can either go-ahead to install the roof rack, or you could make use of the roof bag without the roof rack, take note that there are some roof bags that can be used without the use of a roof rack.
How to properly install a roof rack
How you install your roof rack plays an important role in how strong it will be and if it will damage your car or not.
A good or bad roof rack is determined by how well you install your roof rack. There is a mounting system for your roof rack that will make it even easier for you.
There are different mounting systems, the one you need depends on the mounting system of your car or 4WD. About the mounting system, if you have an old 4WD or car, you should make use of a gutter mount system.
It usually has a metal lip that is down the side of the vehicle majorly for clamping roof racks. For newer vehicles, they usually have roof channels with a cap that can be removed to reveal the mounting point.
For every other car, the roof rails can provide a place for roof racks, you do not have to search too much, you will easily find it.
Step 1: Figure out your mounting system
What actually determines if you need any extra equipment is when you have figured out what your mounting system is. Some roof racks can be attached to just ordinary roofs by making use of crossbars, fit kit, etc.
For the cars that have curved roofs, it is usually best to make use of a short roof adapter before your roof racks can be mounted. The adapters will help with weight distribution on both doors.
Step 2: Put the frame of the roof rack together
The next thing that you should do is that you should screw the crossbar and the side rails, and then place the frame on the vehicle.
You also need to center the roof rack on the car, how you do that is by measuring the distances from the roof rails to the back and front of the roof.
Step 3: Expose the mount holes
At this point, you need to drill holes or uncover the mount holes. The cars with naked roofs will require you to drill holes into the roof to fit the roof rack. If your vehicle has a factory issued mount holes, you will not need any drilling.
Step 4: Tighten the screws to fix the roof base
What you need to do next is to tighten the screws by inserting it through the roof rail, what this will do is to help you fix the base of the roof rack to the car.
If your vehicle has roof rails, you should look out for thumb screws which will help you loosen the rails for their location to be altered when it is needed.
Step 5: Clamp the mounts down where necessary
The next thing you need to do is to clamp the mounts down on the crossbars, you need to start from the back of the car and then move forward, where you put the mounting clamps will depend on what kinds of things the roof rack will carry.
When you are done with all these steps, you need to check the capacity of your roof rack to see what exactly it can carry so that you do not overload it.
Overloading your roof rack can damage it if you use it for so long while it is overload. You can check this affordable roof rack system.
Do’s and Don’ts of making use of a roof rack
Despite the fact that you have a roof rack on top of your vehicle does not mean anything can go with it or that you can carry anything you want on it, if you do it that way you are shortening the life span of your roof rack.
Do make sure the roof rack is the exact dimension
This is one of the most important things that you need to look out for when using your roof rack, you need to ensure that the dimension of the roof rack and that of your roof are equal and fit so well.
This will enable you to have your things secure when you place it on the roof rack. If you are having trouble installing your roof rack, you should check the steps we have listed above, they will help you get the dimension right.
Do make sure you read the setting manual
When you buy something new, it is best that you check the manual to see how everything works, this will help you make sure you do not go against the guidelines.
The manual is also there to guide you on the maximum weight the roof rack can carry. The manual is also like a list of instructions that you need to follow, especially when you are installing the roof rack for the first time.
It will help you to prevent possible mistakes to ensure you do not make mistakes while installing the roof rack.
Do Grease it regularly
When you have been using your roof rack for a long time, especially when you have exposed it to rain and the bad weather, it will begin to wear down.
To prevent it from getting worn out quickly, what you need to do is to apply some grease to it, especially on the mounting bolt threads.
By doing this, you will shield your roof rack from corrosion and rust, rust could make the roof rack very weak and will not be able to carry some heavy load like it used to. This will help it to last longer.
Do check the weight limit
This is one of the first things you need to do while installing your roof rack, it will help you know the exact limit that you can load.
That is why you have the manual; your vehicle manual will have the information on the weight restriction that can be loaded on the roof of the vehicle.
If you do not check the limit and you overload, you are likely to put not only yourself in danger, but also other road users will be in danger as the roof rack could get damaged and the load on your roof could fall off while your vehicle is in motion.
Do remove the roof rack when not in use
The roof rack could affect the consumption of fuel in your vehicle. Even though the materials of the roof rack were made from lightweight materials, it is best that when it is not in use you should remove it because it also adds weight and aerodynamic pull which could also affect fuel consumption.
When you remove the roof rack when not in use, another thing it does is that it helps to reduce the noise of the wind.
Don’t ignore height
This occurs especially to those who have SUVs or MPVs, these vehicles are large vehicles that are usually raised high above the ground.
Imagine driving with the roof rack on a very high SUV, when you measure the height, you will see that the roof rack has also added to the height and it has made the SUV taller than before.
There are some places you mat be passing where your SUV may be too high to pass probably because the roof rack has added to the height and made it taller than the usual.
When the roof rack is not in use the best thing to do is that you should remove it.
Do not speed
Aside from driving with the roof rack on your vehicle, it is generally safe for you to drive within the speed limit that is required of you.
This reason is only for your safety and the safety of the other road users. When you are driving at a high speed, you need to be extra careful.
This is because if there is an immediate change in the nature of the road while you are driving with speed, then you need to either be fast enough to turn the steering to avoid what is ahead of you.
Roof racks are usually built with a different speed limit. When you are driving at a high speed and you have a roof rack, you are likely putting yourself and other road users in danger.
Whether there is a roof rack on your vehicle or not, you should not over speed as is could even damage your car.
If you keep to the speed limit, you will enjoy your vehicle and you will not be at the risk o flossing your vehicle due to collision.
A roof rack is a frame, that is usually installed on the top of your vehicle, usually for the purpose of carrying some extra luggage with you while you embark on your journey.
The roof rack gives room for the roof bag to stay when you are traveling, this will help you to not discomfort other passengers.
We have already given an answer to the question if roof racks can damage your cars.
We gave an answer that roof racks can damage your car. What usually causes the roof rack to damage your car is when there is either an over-torqued, under-torqued, overloaded, or badly fitted roof rack.
If you have made up your mind to fix the roof rack well with no errors, you are likely to face little or no damage at all.
Roof racks can damage your car, but you need to be extra careful when you are installing the roof rack, you should make sure that you make use of the manual and at least follow some instructions there.
You should also protect your roof rack from being stolen when you leave it with no proper security.
This is very important.