Do Roof Racks Damage Your Car?

If you’re thinking of installing a roof rack on your car, you may be worried about whether or not it will damage your vehicle. Roof racking is becoming increasingly popular as more people begin to understand its benefits. But is there any truth to the rumors that roof racks can damage your car?

Generally, roof racks do not damage your vehicle. But this is just a shallow point of view, and if you want to know more details continue reading. This article will also enlighten you on if roof racks affect the handling and give you tips on protecting your vehicle and why it is crucial to remove the rack when not in use.

Do Roof Racks Damage Your Car?

If not, well-installed roof racks can damage your vehicle. It’s important to remember that improper installation is the most common cause of damage from roof racks. If the rack is not properly secured to your vehicle, it could cause severe damage over time. This includes cracks in the paintwork and even broken windows.

But if everything is done correctly, from installation to maintenance, roof racks don’t have to be a problem for your car. In fact, some people argue that having one installed actually protects your vehicle against damage caused by hauling things on top of your car without a roof rack.

The damage comes from several areas, such as protruding edges. These parts may seem harmless, but the protrusions are pushed down when you load something on the rack. This means the distance between the edge and the rooftop lessens, and if you drive on rough and bumpy rods, the protrusions come into contact with the car.

Over time, the little scratches will grow and become a big mark that can cause holes on the car roof if left unchecked. The result is reduced vehicle value and more costs due to the repair needs. Overall, improper installation can cause damage, but the remedy is straightforward.

Will Roof Rack Scratch My Car?

Roof racks can scratch your vehicle if you install them wrongly or get the wrong pair of racks for your vehicle. There are many different types of roof racks and accessories on the market, and not all of them are created equal.

For example, some roof rack systems come with a cover that protects your vehicle from scratches and other potential damage (such as dents). Others don’t have covers at all. This means that if something falls off the top of your car while you’re driving and hits the roof rack, it could potentially cause damage to both the roof rack and your vehicle.

On the other hand, many people who own cars with roof racks say they’ve never experienced any problems with their vehicles after adding a roof rack system to their cars. However, many people have had issues with their cars after installing new accessories like these onto their vehicles.

In fact, many insurance companies will require you to get additional coverage if you install a new accessory onto your car that wasn’t there before, including things like a bike rack or ski rack.

Additionally, you can easily scratch the car’s paint if an unprofessional individual does it during installation.

Does Roof Rack Affect Handling?

Roof Racks affect the handling of your vehicle in several ways. For example, they can reduce the amount of weight distribution to each wheel, affecting the amount of grip available to keep you on the road. They can also cause wind resistance that affects how well your vehicle performs at high speeds, and they may make it harder for your car to turn at low speeds.

Also see: Are Rooftop Bike Racks Safe?

But still, your vehicle’s suspension system is designed to handle the weight of whatever is on top of it. So even if you’re carrying heavy objects on your roof, the vehicle should still be able to handle them well.

If you drive a small vehicle, the added weight can cause an impact and affect your car’s handling ability. However, if you have a large SUV or truck, the increased suspension is meant to handle more weight, and you may probably not realize any change with a bit of weight on the top. But if you exceed the limit, the load will affect the handling.

Generally, consider these points when carrying weights on your vehicle’s roof rack

  • A loaded vehicle may be heavier than usual, which can affect its behavior in turns or hills.
  • The center of gravity is higher than usual; this makes it harder for drivers to control the vehicle. It also puts more stress on the suspension components due to their increased angle from ground level (now higher).

How Do I Protect My Car From A Roof Rack?

If you’ve decided to go ahead with the roof rack, here are a few tips to keep your car safe.

When installing a roof rack, make sure it fits snugly in place. Any movement or gaps between the rack and your car could cause vibrations during driving, eventually leading to damage.

Next, make sure there are no sharp edges or protruding parts from the rack. If there are, you should apply some protective tape such as duct tape over these areas.

You should also ensure you use some padding between your car and the cargo that will be placed on top of it so as not to damage paintwork or other parts underneath where heavy items might rub against them during travel.

You should also consider the age and condition of your vehicle. If it’s older than five years, chances are its suspension system is past its prime. If you’re driving an older car with bad suspension, any extra weight on the roof could cause problems with handling and braking.

In this case, consider getting a roof rack made from aluminum instead of steel, as it’ll be lighter and less likely to cause damage.

Why Should A Roof Rack Be Removed When Not In Use?

Although roof racks are an added asset to your vehicle, removing them when not in use is advisable for several reasons.

One of the biggest reasons for removing your roof rack when not in use is so that you don’t damage your vehicle. When you leave your roof rack attached to your car, there’s always a chance something will hit it while driving or parking and cause damage that could have been prevented with proper maintenance.

Another reason why you should remove your roof rack when not in use is so that it doesn’t rust or corrode over time. Rusting or corrosion on any part of a vehicle can lead to serious problems down the road when that part needs replacing. This is because it won’t fit correctly anymore due to deterioration caused by regularly neglecting essential maintenance such as cleaning and oiling.

Additionally,  roof racks can be dangerous if they slide around while driving and hit other cars or other parts of your vehicle. A good rule of thumb is to remove it whenever possible. Removing them also saves space that you can use to carry other necessary items.


Well, that’s it for roof racks and if they can damage and scratch your car. The article has also provided insightful tips on preventing the damage and how to stay safe when you decide to install a roof rack.

Despite being helpful, getting it wrong can lead to severe problems, which could have been avoided with proper installation. But now you know, and you can make an informed decision.