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How to Remove a Thule Roof Rack

How to Remove a Thule Roof Rack

Thule roof racks are simple to install and remove. But many people face trouble when dealing with them. If you have ever experienced difficulty unlocking, this article will guide you on how to remove a Thule roof rack.

Unfortunately, various Thule dealers receive several calls from their customers requesting guidance on removing these accessories.

As that’s the case, the locking mechanisms seem to confuse many people despite being made in the simplest form.

Thule roof bars come with integrated locks. These locks feature removable cylinders from each side.

In addition, crossbars are secured using a strap that is locked with a bolt and usually covered. That’s why you will have to ply out the end cap to access the strap’s bolt lock after unlocking with Thule key.

However, most troubles are experienced when plying out the end caps and loosening the bolt to disconnect the rubber strap.

Thankfully, this article will leave everything clear. Read on to learn how to remove a Thule roof rack.

How to Remove a Thule Roof Rack

Thule roof rack

You don’t have to be an expert. Rather, you need simple instructions on how to use these unique bars. Read on;

Step 1: Open the Car Doors or Get a Strong Crate to Step on

You already know most SUVs and minivans are raised. So, find something to step on to avoid trouble hurting your hands or spending more time on this simple task.

Ideally, open the car doors and stand on the doorsteps or find a solid crate to step on while removing the bars.

Another option is finding a ladder. You’d be lucky if you have a small ladder for your gardening activities.

Step 2: Unlock the Bar Using Thule Key

How to unlock Thule roof rack is simple. Proceed by inserting your Thule key into the removable cylinder and turn it counterclockwise.

Once you turn counterclockwise, the key will attach to the cylinder. All right, remove and place the cylinder on a secure plate.

Read: How much does it cost to install roof rails?

Step 3: Remove the End Cap

Place your finger underneath the cap and feel a small lever. Then pull the lever outward, and the cap will move out of the bar.

Most Thule bars have a small tool attached to the end cap to unscrew the bolts securing the rubber straps.

As such, you don’t have to keep the cap far because you will need to use it in the next step.

However, if the cap has no screwdriver, worry less; a separate flat end screwdriver can get the job done.

Step 4: Loosen the Bolt

After exposing the inner part, you will see a small black bolt above the rubber strap end. This bolt secures the strap.

Using your screwdriver, loosen the bolt to release the clamp. If the strap remains stuck inside the clamp, you will have to unscrew the whole nut. At times, it may fail due to a long period of use without removing or servicing.

Read: Luggage rack how to use

Step 5: Disconnect the Rubber Strap

Manually disconnect the rubber strap from the clamp after loosening the bolt.

Ideally, push the strap with one hand from the back and use the other hand to detach it from the clamp. Once it disconnects, proceed to the next.

Step 6: Repeat the Process on All Feet

Repeat the process on all feet before attempting to lift the roof rack. Take note that some lock cylinders may get stuck due to exposure to rain and grime.

Always turn the keys carefully to avoid damaging the lock systems in case they are stuck.

However, getting stuck is rare because Thule metallic parts are usually made of rust-proof materials.

Read: How to seal roof rack holes

Step 7: Peel the Stuck Rubber Straps

Exposure to weather and road grime can cause the rubber straps may get stuck. But they only need a little peeking from the side rails.

To peel, hold the end of the stuck strap and move your hand towards the center of the roof surface. Once they all detach, you are good to lift the bars.

Step 8: Lift the Bars Straight Up

How to remove Thule roof bars from the rails is simple.

First, ensure the ladder or the crate you stand on is stable to support your body because you will be using both hands.

Once everything is all right, hold the bar at the center and lift it straight up. Then, place it on the roof and proceed to the second bar.

Afterward, lock the end caps and secure the bars in a bag for storage.

Step 9: Clean the Residue Build Up

The areas of the side rail that the straps are attached usually remain with residue after unlocking. Use mild detergent and a soft clean cloth to clean.

Afterward, rinse the rail and dry it using a microfiber towel. You can do waxing with hybrid wax to keep the vehicle neat if the paint seems dull.

FAQs on Removing a Thule Roof Rack

How Do You Remove a Thule End Cap?

Some Thule end caps have a small lever underneath that you pull outward using one finger to remove. For others, you will have to insert a screwdriver on their edges and ply them out.

How Do You Remove a Thule Hullavator?

First, retract your arms on top crossbars. Then, unlock the swing arm, tip it up, and pull out. Finally, yank out the pin to detach it and lift the bar with your free hand.

How Do I Remove Thule SnowPack?

Unlock the carrier feet first and then turn the tensioning knob counterclockwise. After that, loosen the straps and pull the free ends from each foot.

How Do You Unlock a Thule Ski Rack?

Insert the locking key (one of the keys with teeth) into the key slot and turn it counterclockwise. The mechanism should unlock the bars, and you will easily remove the skis.

Are Ski Racks Removable?

Ski carriers are 100% removable from the roof racks.

If you have other types of roof racks, you can learn their locking and unlocking mechanisms. But how to remove a Thule roof rack remains one of the most straightforward procedures.  

Read: Hard shell roof top cargo carrier

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