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How to Stop Roof Rack Vibration

How to Stop Roof Rack Vibration

Many car owners raise complaints about the annoying vibrations from their roof rack crossbars. If you are one of the distressed owners, there is a new dawn. Learn how to stop roof rack vibration.

Over the years, cars like SUVs have been using roof racks to haul extra cargo. And most car owners who love long-distance traveling will tell you several benefits of carrying a load on the roof.

You create more room inside the car for occupants by securing your luggage on the roof rack. Secondly, you can comfortably transport some bulky items that may never fit inside the trunk.

With that said, it’s encouraging to save hundreds of dollars you would pay for transport services. However, these accessories have both benefits and drawbacks.

Let’s see the benefits;

You haul your luggage with ease on the rooftop. And you give your car an aesthetic look.

On the drawbacks, you know how disturbing a vibrating roof rack can be. Thankfully, below are tips on how to stop roof rack vibration.

Why Do Roof Racks Vibrate?

Why Do Roof Racks Vibrate?
Roof rack

Roof rack vibration noise occurs when wind passes over the cross bar’s surface. The cross bars’ surfaces have a consistent shape which causes the wind to develop a tone when the car is at high speed.

Due to resistance, you hear some vibrating noise in the cabin. At times, you may also hear whistling noise.

Unfortunately, the noise and vibration may be extreme, especially if you drive at a higher speed.

The worst happens if the weather is a bit windy. You will experience the vibration even at a lower speed.

Despite vibrations, car owners have reported reduced vehicle performance. This is as a result of high wind resistance.

Additionally, you will notice poor gas mileage and, on another occasion, poor handling capability.

Read on to learn how to reduce the vibration noise of a car roof rack.

How to Stop Roof Rack Vibration
Roof rack

How to Stop Roof Rack Vibration

1.      Disturb the Airflow

Roof rack fairing will disturb the airflow and reduce the vibration. Fairing is installing a plastic shield known as a wind deflector on the front crossbar to deflect the wind.

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A roof rack deflector is attached to the front bar top section, and the bottom rests on the roof surface.

Most deflectors have protective films to protect the car paint. The method effectively prevents front-runner roof rack vibration, which is more prone to wind.

2.      Check the Contact Points

Loose contact points may cause a vibration when they rub against each other. The contact points are where the roof rack connects to the mounting accessories.

Since the mounting accessories are attached to the roof, the whole roof will vibrate when they shake due to wind resistance.

Ideally, replacing the rubber stripping can help reduce vibrations, especially if you have used the roof rack for an extended period.

Use a pair of scissors to cut the rubber stripping material to exact pieces that will fit your contact points.

Afterward, apply the rubber stripping to all mounting accessories by attaching them to the adhesive sides. Then, set the crossbars and inspect the adjustment knobs to ensure they are tight.

Finally, you can apply RTV sealant on the mounting feet rubber gaskets to permanently stop the vibration. The sealant starts drying immediately it’s exposed to the air.

Read: Soft car top carrier with roof rack

Are All Roof Racks Noisy?
Roof rack

3.      Get Aerofoil Cross Bars

Aerofoil or aerodynamically designed crossbars have a sleek or oval design that offers less wind resistance.

Additionally, these bars have a wind diffuser technology that reduces the vibration. They also reduce drag to enhance fuel economy.

An example of aerofoil crossbars you may use is Rhino-Rack Vortex Aero Cross Bar. It maximizes roof space for large cargo hauling. On the other hand, it’s easy to install because it has legs and a fit kit.

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Another option is Thule Aeroblades. They are designed with a wind diffuser technology and are of low profile.

Read: How to remove Thule roof rack without key

4.      Swap Load Bars for Edge Bars

Load bars are square and strong enough for heavy luggage. The only drawback with load bars is that their design is aerodynamically poor.

On the other hand, edge bars are light and usually round in shape. The round shape makes them less wind resistant compared to the load bars.

If you carry lighter luggage, you may opt for edge bars. Although they may never function as the special aerofoil bars, you may have reduced vibration and comfort in the cabin.

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Thule Wingbar can serve best in your car. It’s stable for hauling medium-weight luggage.

5.      Use a Cord to Diffuse the Wind

A nylon rope or a bungee cord can save you from vibration noise. Take the cord and wrap it around the roof bars in spiral patterns.

Ideally, wrap the cord from one edge of the bar to the other. Then, tie a knot at 45 degrees angle and ensure it’s tight enough.

When the wind comes into contact with the surface, it will cause less vibration and whistling sounds. That’s because wrapping the cords alters the consistent surface to disturb the wind.

When you decide to use a bungee cord, hook it on the bar edges. However, ensure it’s tight enough to disturb the wind on the surface.

At times the hooks may not secure it properly. So, please remove them and tie some quality knots.

One major drawback with this method is that it may not be effective at higher speeds, but you may have a little comfort.

Read: What can you carry on a roof rack?

6.      Pad the Roof Rack Bars

Bar padding is wrapping the bars with rubber-made pads with higher drag coefficiency.

Crossbar pads disturb airflow by covering the smooth surfaces on the roof rack crossbars.

However, they, too,  may not be effective at higher speeds.

FAQs on Roof Rack Vibrations

How Do I Stop My Roof Rack From Whistling?

The most effective way to stop whistling noise from the roof rack is by installing a wind deflector. In other terms, it’s known as wind fairing.

Are All Roof Racks Noisy?

Roof racks with aerofoil crossbars are considered less noisy. However, it’s nearly impossible to stop roof racks from making noise or vibrations. Note that weather, driving speed, and road conditions contribute much to roof rack noise.

Do Roof Rack Wind deflectors Work?

Wind deflectors make a significant difference on the car’s roof. You will drive comfortably at higher speeds without vibrations if you give it a try.

You may also consider other methods on how to stop roof rack vibration. Some of them are as effective as wind deflectors.

Read: Roof rack leaking water

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