For bike lovers all over the world, bike racks are a godsend. You can easily carry your bike around without worrying about it falling over or having to walk with it yourself. But there are some things to consider when using bike racks on cars.
Can a bike rack damage your car? How do you prevent damage? What types of bikes can go on? What kinds of racks and where should you attach them? Should you take them off at night?
This article will answer these questions, thus helping you understand the good, bad, and everything between bike racks and your car.
Are Bike Racks Bad For Your Car
Racks are excellent but sometimes can be bad for your car. They can cause damages which may lead to high repair costs. They can also be an accident hazard if not well fastened.
One primary reason bike racks can be bad for your car is scratches and dents. The bike rack is usually made from metal and can easily cause scratches to the paint on your vehicle. The hitch receiver on the back of your car will also be subject to scratches from the bike rack.
Also see: Can a bike rack rest on the rear glass of your vehicle?
Also, the straps used to secure the bikes can cause dents and dings in your car’s bodywork if they’re not well-adjusted. Always ensure all straps are tightened, so they don’t come loose while driving down the road.
The weight of a bike rack can also be harmful if it’s not installed correctly or if it’s not strong enough for the number of bikes being transported. If a weak or poorly installed bike rack falls off, it could damage your vehicle when it hits it down from the roof rack or trunk lid where it was secured.
Do Bike Racks Cause Damage To Your Car?
Bike racks can cause damage to your car if they are not installed correctly or if they are not designed for the type of vehicle you own.
Bike racks cause damage because they tend to sway back and forth while driving down the road. This causes the rack itself to rub against the side of your car as well as against other objects in the trunk area of your vehicle.
Further, using a rack that does not have the correct fitment for your car can cause damage, especially if you are going over bumps or potholes. Racks that do not fit properly may not be able to distribute weight evenly across the vehicle. This can lead to warping of the roof or bumper and could even cause cracks in your windshield.
The best way to avoid these issues is by choosing a rack that fits your vehicle properly and has high-quality construction.
Types of Damages Caused by Racks
A bike rack on your vehicle is a great way to carry your bikes, but it can also cause some damage. There are several types of damage that these additions can cause to vehicles.
The most common type of damage is paint scratches. The rack will rub against your vehicle’s paint as installed or removed. This can cause light scratches in the colour that are not noticeable to the naked eye. These scratches may not be severe enough to warrant a claim against your insurance or warrant a repair, but they should be repaired nonetheless.
Another common type of damage caused by bike racks is denting. If you place your bike rack too close to the back end of your vehicle, there is a good chance that you will dent the tailgate when attempting to install or remove it from your vehicle. An insurance policy may not cover this denting and may require some body work to fix it properly.
Another damage caused by bike racks is rusting if you live in an area with heavy rain or snowfall during winter. When water gets into metal parts, it can cause corrosion over time and result in rust forming on metal surfaces such as bolts, nuts and screws used to connect the pieces.
Racks can also damage headlights and taillights. If you don’t secure your bike properly, it can fall off while driving, damaging both lights at the back of your vehicle. Using bungee cords or rope is the best way to minimize damage caused by falling off accidentally while driving down the road.
How To Prevent Damage To Your Vehicle
If you’re looking for a solution that won’t damage your vehicle, consider these tips;
- Use a bike rack that is designed for your type of vehicle. For example, if you have an SUV or pickup truck with a cap over the bed area, look for a rack that fits over this cap. If you have a hatchback or sedan with no cap, look for a stand that fits securely into the trunk or rear bumper.
- Put a rubber or cloth between the vehicle and the bike rack. This will reduce any vibration between the two and hopefully prevent any scratching from occurring.
- You should also ensure that the rack is securely attached to your vehicle and that the straps aren’t loose or tangled.
- Further, you should not put too much weight on any car part, especially if it has an open bed area where bikes could slide around when driving down bumpy roads at high speeds.
- Don’t overload it. Don’t put more bikes on a rack than it was designed to hold, even if it just looks like it’ll fit. If you overload your frame, you could damage your car or cause injury to yourself or others when driving off-road or on rough roads.
In conclusion, the risk of your car being damaged by a bike rack is low if you follow the tips given. Even if racks have been associated with various problems, including damage to the car, and accidents, this can be easily prevented. By keeping these potential issues in mind, you should be able to see how the pros of using bike racks outweigh their cons.