Should You Leave Your Bike Rack on Your Car? Find Out

Attaching your bike rack on your vehicle and removing it is a nerve-wracking experience that you don’t want to be doing.

If you have experienced the agony, you may have asked, should you leave your bike rack on your car?

You can leave your back rack on your car, but some drivers prefer removing them out on their vehicle for different reasons.

The following article should help you understand everything you need to know about leaving your bike in your car. So keep reading to learn more.

Should You Leave Your Bike Rack on Your Car?

There is no problem with leaving your bike rack on your vehicle after taking out your bike. Bike racks are less valuable than bike hence less likely to be stolen.

However, if you are worried, you could take it out, but do you want to go through the hassle of taking out and putting it back every time?

Some drivers remove them because of the possibility of damage. Others feel that manoeuvring or parking can be cumbersome.

The only advantage of leaving your rack on is you eliminate the agony of removing it every time you remove your bike.

With all things said, removing your rack or leaving it on boils down to your preferences.

Is It Okay to Leave Bike Rack on Car?

Yes, it is perfectly okay to leave your bike rack on your car.

Sure, you may worry about someone stealing your bike, but this is not a big deal as there aren’t many bike rack thieves.

Some drivers remove their racks because of the belief that it affects the gas mileage. However, the difference is not that much compared to a vehicle without the rack.

Another concern is that a vehicle with a bike rack on is not pleasant to look at. But if this is not a big deal to you, then it’s perfectly okay to leave it there.

Can You Go Through a Carwash with a Hitch Bike Rack?

It is not advisable to go through an automated carwash with a hitch bike rack or any other rack for that matter as this could result in damages to your car, bike and the bike rack itself. 

Car washes even have a warning sign stating they are not responsible for any damages that might occur to your vehicle.

You need to consider alternate ways of washing your car, such as hand washing or through a touchless car wash. The risks of damages are much lower with these other methods.

An automatic carwash can damage your vehicle in ways you cannot fathom. The fibres can get caught up and be pulled in the nooks and crannies. Besides damaging your vehicle, these brushes can also damage the washing equipment.

Some car washes will advise you to remove the rack before entering the washing area.

Can You Go Through Touchless Car Wash with bike Roof Rack?

Yes. A touchless car wash is the most recommended means of washing a vehicle with a roof rack.

A touchless car wash is ideal because it is less likely to cause damages to your vehicle or the roof rack.

Keep in mind that some touchless car washes offer hand drying.  Hand drying involves wiping the vehicle manually using a hand towel. Make sure you ask for a non-abrasive towel to avoid any abrasive.

Can I Leave My Bike Rack on My Car in the Rain?

Yes. It’s perfectly okay to leave your bike rack on your car while it’s raining. However, you need to check it regularly to ensure that it is not suffering the adverse effect of rain.

Rain can have long term effects on the lock on your rack. However, this doesn’t have to worry you. You can use a silicon type lube on the surface of the lock, then insert a key and make a few cycles. This will prevent the lock from becoming sticky.

You don’t want anyone stealing your bike because the rack couldn’t lock now, do you?

However, if you will not be using your bike rack for a long time, you could remove it and store it in a dry place. Before storing it, ensure you dry it first and keep it away from dirt.

Can you transport bikes in the rain?

Yes. You can transport your bike in the rain as occasional water contact with the bike is not bad.

But, if it gets rained on regularly, it could rust the bare metals. You may resort to covering them to minimize the amount of water reaching the bikes.

If you are worried about the rain damaging your bikes, you should know that most modern bikes can endure rains. However, the rain can damage bikes with steel frames or non-stainless cables.

You could also wipe it dry once it stops raining. You can also oil the cables, chains and bearings as they are prone to rust.

But, the best thing is not to leave it out in the rain regularly.

A modern bike is more durable and can withstand rain for long periods. This is because they are made of stainless steel and aluminium.  Remember, stainless steel can also rust if exposed to adverse elements for long periods of time.

However, if you live in areas with saltwater, the likelihood that your bike could get damaged is high.

With all things said, bikes are made to be used and not as museum pieces. If a part gets damaged, you can easily replace it. Don’t let your fear of minor expenses prevent you from enjoying cycling.

Final Word

“Should you leave your bike rack on your car?” is a question that many cyclists go through every time they unload their bicycles.  One of the biggest worries includes the racks getting stolen. But this doesn’t have to worry you as the concerns are perfectly normal.

Keep in mind that it is okay to leave your bike rack in your car. So go ahead and have some fun.