How Do You Install a Roof Rack?

Installing a roof rack on an automobile depends on the type of rack and whether the automobile has a "naked" roof or one with pre-installed racks or rack mounts. Most racks must have mounts installed before installing the actual rack.

A surfboard rack can be installed following these simple steps:

  1. Open the doors
  2. Open the car doors to provide access to all areas of the roof.

  3. Position the racks
  4. Position one rack over the windshield and one above the rear door.

  5. Allow the straps to hang off the roof
  6. Allow the long straps to fall and hang off the roof. Wrap the straps around the inside of the car and tighten them.

  7. Tighten any hardware
  8. Fasten and tighten any hardware that came with the rack.

  9. Place the surfboard
  10. Place the surfboard, fin side up, on the rack. Use the short straps to tighten it in place.

Attaching a bike rack may be more challenging. Once the bike roof rack is installed, users must also install a separate rack for each bike. Cars with a curved roof require the installation of a short-roof adapter before installing a rack.

Before purchasing a bike rack, look at the roof of the car and check for a factory-installed rack mount location. If one is present, buy a rack that fits in the holes and install it based on the manufacturer's instructions.