Roof racks are one of the best car accessories that improve your everyday journey and road trips. With that extra cargo space on the roof of your car, you can rest assured about seating space and safety. Whether you want to carry a kayak, surfboard, or bicycle for your camping adventure, various roof racks are available for all purposes.
All you have to do is find a roof rack that fits your requirement and is compatible with your car. Once you have done that, you may need some help installing the roof rack. You can always get help from a professional to install it. However, if you plan to do it yourself, here are the five tips to follow for the successful installation of roof racks.
5 Things You Should Know To Safely Install Roof Racks
1. The Measuring Tape Is Your Best Friend
Grabbing a measuring tape before installing your roof rack is the best thing to do. Measure all the roof rack parts and accessories. However, most roof racks don’t come as a kit but as individual parts. Measuring your roof rack will give you an idea of how much load you can carry and its positioning. For instance, if your roof racks are 50 inches long, you can accommodate 1-4 bikes, depending on their strength.
Whether you install a roof rack basket or a bike rack, it’s better to measure the sizes of the various parts first. The rest of the installation part becomes smooth and hassle-free once you measure and note down the size of the roof racks.
2. Positioning Is key
Here’s another crucial step in installing roof racks for your car. Place the roof racks on your vehicle and determine its position. You can position the roof racks in the center of the roof or towards one side for easy access. Open the car doors before setting the roof racks, and then place the roof racks away from the beginning point of the windshield in the front.
In case of confusion, refer to the manufacturer’s safety guidelines that come with the product to judge a safe distance between the top of the windshield and the roof rack.
3. Crossbars Adjustment
Cross bars are the base for roof racks. Installing the cross bars along the side roof rails of the car is a crucial step. Place all four-foot mount openings on the car’s roof, then slide in the crossbars in the open foot mounts. Grab a ruler to check the length and width of the crossbars and measure the width between the foot mounts to ensure accurate positioning.
By doing so, you can ensure that both sides of the crossbars are parallel and straight. Once you have measured and adjusted accordingly, tighten the foot mounts and crossbars in place.
4. Have The Manufacturer Guide By Your Side
You would receive a manufacturer’s guide while buying roof racks and other accessories. Now would be the right time to use it. Once you have placed and adjusted everything, go through the user guide to cross-check whether you have correctly done everything.
The guide would have crucial information, including placing the racks, caps, and pads along with roof racks. In addition, you can also find information about the various screws and their position in the user manual. So, check thoroughly before tightening everything.
5. Tighten Everything Only When You Are Sure
Remember how we advised you to place everything on the car’s roof first and check the alignments? Most people commit the mistake of tightening everything as they proceed. Doing so will only create confusion if you arrange even one thing incorrectly. You would have to disassemble everything and then begin again, which could also hamper the pain of your car.
So, the best way is to align everything first, cross-check the alignment and then tighten everything. You can begin by tightening the pads that hold the foot mounts on the roof, preventing it from damage. Then tighten the seals onto the crossbars and any other screws. These prevent water from settling inside the bars.
- How To Choose Roof Racks
Sometimes, it’s not the installation process, but choosing the best roof racks is crucial. So here are some tips on choosing the right roof rack for your car:
- Compatibility – Always ensure that the roof rack you choose is compatible with your car’s make and model. That way, you can rest assured about the installation and alignment.
- Metal Roof Racks – Most roof racks available in the market are metal ones. However, some manufacturers may use plastic for parts of the roof racks like seals, etc. It’s better to avoid such plastic roof racks as metal ones are sturdy and can withstand weather conditions better than plastic.
Those were tips for choosing and installing a roof rack safely in your car. Hopefully, the article helps you install your roof racks safely and without hassle. However, roof rack installation may seem like a straightforward task at first, but if you feel overwhelmed doing it yourself, it’s always better to seek help and get it done professionally.