Do All Roof Racks Make Noise

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Last Updated on May 8, 2022

A roof rack is a useful add-on to any vehicle. It allows you to carry some extra cargo over the roof of your car. Wind noise is one of the biggest issues that people face with roof racks. That leads us to the questions, “are roof racks noisy?” and “do all roof racks make noise?”. In this article, we will answer these questions.

Are roof racks noisy?

The roof rack itself doesn’t make any noise. You will hear noises that are created by the wind that hits the roof racks. You won’t notice the noise at low speeds, it increases with the speed. Sometimes, at high speed and some roof racks can make a very loud noise. It is better if you understand why roof racks make noise.

Why roof rack makes noise?

When you drive your car, a lot of wind passes over the roof. As the winds flow and hit the crossbars, the winds break down and create vortices. These vortices create different sounds in different scenarios. 

Wind hitting a crossbar and creating vortices behind
Wind hitting a crossbar and creating vortices behind

You will hear humming or whistling noise if the sound is created from wind vortices. You may not notice any noise at low speeds as there isn’t that much wind flowing at low speeds, and the sound is too low to notice.

If the fitting of your roof rack becomes a little loosened, it can also make some sounds. This thing happens because of the vibrations of the screws or the roof rack itself. This sound will be different than the wind noise.

Do all roof racks make noise?

The answer to that question is yes, all roof racks will make some kind of noise. At least at high speeds roof racks will make noise. Depending on the shape and design, roof racks make different noises. Some roof racks can make very low sounds and some can be too loud that you won’t hear another person’s voice inside your car.

You’ll hear less noise with some roof racks. These roof racks offer aerodynamic crossbars. The shape of these crossbars creates very few vortices. That doesn’t necessarily mean that these roof racks will be completely silent. There’ll be some sounds at high speeds. You won’t be bothered with the sound as it’ll be too low and you won’t probably notice that.

do all roof racks make noise

What type of roof rack should I choose?

There are various roof racks available in the market. Most of them have rectangular crossbars and those crossbars are the ones that create the most noise. You should choose a roof rack that has either aero bars or wing bars.

Among all of these crossbars, wing bars create the least amount of vortices. So, they will make the least noise. If you can’t find one, you can always swap the crossbars with aerodynamic crossbars or add some wind deflectors or crossbar pads to reduce the noise.

If you notice any noise from your roof rack, there are multiple ways to reduce them (one or two of them won’t even cost you). Check out our article about how to reduce roof rack noise.

Final Words

Roof racks are one of the most popular accessories people use on their vehicles. It allows you to haul an extra amount of load over the roof of your car. It is hard to say that a particular roof rack will be the best one. Even the same roof rack makes different sounds in different scenario and car.

Author: Charles King

Charles King is an automotive enthusiast with a keen interest in the latest technologies and products. He likes to educate himself and help other car lovers by sharing his knowledge. This website is a place for him to share his thoughts and experiences.

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