How to Reduce the Vibration Noise of a Car Roof Rack

How to Reduce the Vibration Noise of a Car Roof Rack
Your road trip has only just begun and you are already detecting that all too familiar rattle or bump from your roof rack. You know that your bike, kayak, rods or skis are securely attached, you saw to that. However, that noise is still there. Have no fear, with a few simple items and a little time you can eliminate those rattles and bumps, save the finish on your vehicle and continue on your journey in peace.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Rubberized insulation (self-adhesive)
  • Scissors
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Allen wrench
  • Zip ties and duct tape
Step 1
Inspect the rack before making any adjustments. Determine if there are any points where the rack contacts the vehicle surface that are not padded or protected. Apply a strip of rubberized insulation by cutting it to size, removing the adhesive backing and pressing in place on the rack. This will protect the vehicle and reduce the amount of vibration between the rack and vehicle.
Step 2
Check all of the mounts that attach the cross bars to the roof of your vehicle. Depending on the type and manufacturer, this may involve turning an adjustment screw or pulling down on straps. Make sure the connection with the vehicle is secure.
Step 3
Tighten or adjust accessory mounts to the cross bars. Mounts for bikes, kayaks, skis, snowboards and fishing rods can be attached to roof cross bars. Adjust the mounts, following the manufacturer's directions, so that there is no movement and they are securely in place. Typically, this adjustment will involve a small adjustable wrench, or an Allen wrench or key.
Step 4
Check the equipment that is mounted on the rack. Make sure that bike frames, wheel assemblies, skis, poles, fishing rods and other gear are securely attached and cannot move. Adjust mounting points and secure all gear so that it cannot move. A little movement now will be magnified at 60 miles per hour on the highway.
Step 5
Secure all straps or cables so that they do not move in the wind. Use zip ties or duct tape to secure all straps, cables or other accessories that may move while traveling down the highway.

Tips & Warnings

Don't skip steps when installing roof racks, mounts, accessories and gear. Follow the manufacturer's directions to the letter. They will typically have tested the equipment extensively, including the real world. A little time here can save your nerves and gear.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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