Do Roof Bars Reduce Fuel Economy?

Do Roof Bars Reduce Fuel Economy

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Do Roof Bars Reduce Fuel Economy?

Roof bars can significantly impact fuel economy, depending on the type of roof bar and the size of the car. For example, a small roof bar may not significantly impact fuel economy while a large roof bar may.

What Are Roof Bars?

Rhino Rack Backbone 3 Bar System for Jeep
Rhino Rack Backbone 3 Bar System for Jeep

Roof bars are a special type of metal specifically designed and attached to the rooftop using various connecting systems to transport very bulky items such as bikes, tents, bags, and much other equipment. With roof bars fitted on a vehicle, some of these bulky items can be moved from the vehicle boot or the back seat and placed on the roof.

What Are The Different Types Of Roof Bars?

Can A Honda Civic Have A Roof Rack

There are various types of roof bars. We will take you through the different types of roof bars in this article and provide you with a guide on how to check the roof bars that are the best fit for your car and how to install them.

Square Roof Bars

This is a simple type of roof bar. It is made from steel, with a square bar shape. It is usually very cheap.

Aluminum Roof Bars

This is a type of roof bar made from aluminum. It is lighter in weight and has a few aerodynamic properties.

Thule Aero Roof Bars

Thule Aero roof bars are specially designed types of roof bars by Thule which has aerodynamic properties. They are made from aluminum. The aerodynamic properties it possesses enables less noise and reduced fuel consumption of the vehicle.

Effects Of Roof Bars On The Fuel Economy?

The addition of roof bars on a vehicle affects fuel economy. Understanding the single fact that any adaptation that leads to any type of body change of a vehicle, especially with the shape, automatically affects the vehicle’s body economy. But the effect on the fuel economy with roof bars is usually reduced. This is because of the tropical area of the surface, which makes the vehicle take very little notice of any friction. Also, the use of aerodynamic bars tends to have a more reduced effect on fuel economy.

How Do I Know The Best Fit Of Roof Bars For My Car?

Normally, most roof bars are designed specifically for a specific type of car, this is the case with cars that have factory-fitted roof bars installed. However, for plain roof types of cars, it’s always important to check for compatibility with the car before making a purchase. Furthermore, ensure to check for the properties of the roof bar. Some of the properties to check for before purchasing and installing a roof bar include;

The Roof Bars’ Weight Limit

Roof bar manufacturers always have the specific weight limit of the bar boldly specified on the manual. Roof bars have varying weight capacities of 50kg to 100kg. It’s important to note that car roofs, which are usually made from aluminum, also have their weight limits. 

To this effect, ensure to also check the car’s manual to help in your decision-making about the type of roof bar that is the best fit for your car.

Carry Out Aerodynamics

It has been discovered that cars that have the special ability to snip through the air which propels them as being more aerodynamic than some square roof bars that are made of steel. With such abilities, there will be reduced noise from the roof bars. Therefore it is necessary to check out for aerodynamics of the roof bar before making a purchase.

Tips On Roof Bar Installation

Many people usually wonder if they can install these themselves. The answer is simply YES.

Roof bar installation is a simple DIY task that one can easily carry out. Here is a list of tips that can guide you through the process of neat roof bar installation;

1. Ensure to get a helping hand or an assistant. 

This will help you carry out the job easily and quickly while reducing the chance of work incidents and damages during the process.

2. Carefully and thoroughly study the instructional manual 

There is a reason why manufacturers go through the process of printing instruction manuals for their products. These manuals are very significant as they consist of critical and essential information about the product or service. Hence the need to study the instructional manual carefully.

3. Carefully Clean Up The Car Roof

Using a soft piece of cloth, mild soap, and water, thoroughly clean the car door. This is essential, especially for cars whose roof bars are required to be positioned close to the door jamb. Having dirt latched in between the points of contact of the car roof and the roof bar could lead to scratches on the car paint.

4. Apply Lubricants 

The application of lubricant on the bolts of the roof bars helps to keep them away from rusting. Also, it guarantees a smooth removal of the roof bars anytime you desire.

5. Observe The Torque Settings Of Your Roof Bars. 

Ensure to study the instructions while observing the Torque settings carefully. It is always advised not to over-tighten your roof bars as this may lead to the damage done to the rack or the car.

However, it is important to note that roof bars come in three distinct parts, considering the unique nature of cars in shapes and sizes and shapes.

These parts are;

  • The Roof Bars
  • The Foot Packs that are usually attached to the bars
  • And the fitting kits. This kit is used for binding the feet to the roof.

Most cars often require three parts for attaching roof bars to the cars. In addition, vehicles with factory-fitted rails or open rails may only require the roof bars and the foot packs for attaching the roof bars.

In conclusion, with an additional weight on a vehicle, there will be an effect on the fuel economy. However, due to the insignificant weight of roof bars on a vehicle, there tends to be a reduction in fuel economy.

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