Once you have decided on a roof rack for your car and get it installed, you can use it to help transport your gear from one adventure to the next, but what about the times you’re not travelling around with your outdoor equipment? Do you still need to leave your roof rack on, or should you take it off when not in use?
When it comes to your roof racks, there is no real reason to take them off…except when it comes to maintenance and cleaning. You want to make sure your roof racks stay in good working condition, so this means regular maintenance to ensure it stays sturdy and keeps your equipment in place.
To give your roof racks the best clean possible, they need to be off the car first. First, give them a good visual inspection to check for any corrosion. Any parts that are experiencing wear and tear will need to be replaced before putting the rack back onto the car or there is a risk of parts coming off and causing serious damage. You can find more information on how to clean your roof racks on our blog.
Be sure to lubricate all nuts and bolts before putting the roof rack back onto the car. While keeping the roof rack on the car when not in use is okay, vibrations can loosen fixtures so keeping them lubricated will help.
Taking your roof racks off also means you have the chance to give the roof of your car a good wash too! Dirt can easily hide in the areas covered by the roof racks normally, so be sure to take the opportunity to wash away the dirt and grime that may have accumulated.
While an automotive car wash is a quick and easy way of getting your car to sparkle again, it’s a big mistake to go through one with roof racks. It is necessary to remove the racks and any other accessories before going through a car wash. The large brushes can get tangled in the racks and even pull them off your car.
*Our friends at Yakima have helped provide us with this research and images for this blog post.