Do Roof Racks Look Cool

Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by Will Sabel

Roof racks do give an aesthetic look to many car roofs. So, do roof racks look cool and lavishing on your car? 

It depends on car owners’ choice of taste. For instance, not all car owners prefer it as the monotonous designs and colors tend to make the overall car appear dull. 

However, if you keep the looks aside, roof racks also have got some drawbacks. It can significantly affect the overall performance of your vehicle. Roof racks can increase the fuel consumption rate, increase wind noise, and may even leave serious dents on your car. So, even if you find roof racks cool, they may not be an ideal attachment for your car.  

cool roof racks

How Do Roof Racks Affect Your Vehicle Performance Apart from Looks? 

The visual appearance of a roof rack completely depends on your taste and choice. As most of the roof racks have monotonous colors, they might not appeal to everyone. However, apart from the looks, roof racks also affect the overall vehicle performance in certain ways. 

Here are some of the ways roof racks can seriously affect your car’s performance. 

Reduces the Fuel Economy

Roof racks can reduce fuel economy by as much as 25%. According to a study in 2015, 0.8% of light fuel consumption on vehicles was because of roof racks. The total for low fuel consumption was almost equivalent to roughly 100 million gallons. To efficiently reduce fuel consumption, the easier way to do is by reducing air resistance. 

When a roof rack is overly packed, it can cause the air resistance to increase due to the aerodynamic shape of the racks. This will subsequently increase fuel consumption due to forced acceleration. However, if the rail racks are being used within the limited weight range or even left empty, it would not cause any change in air resistance or fuel consumption. 

Increases the Overall Wind Noise

Driving down a highway with rail racks on top of your car would seemingly cause a piercing whistling sound at high speeds. The constant flow of the wind over any object at high speeds will create a form of blockage or resistance that causes the sound. Although, this sound does tend to vary depending on factors such as the speed of the vehicle and the number of items on the roof rack. 

Since most roof racks are not made to be very aerodynamic, the noise may be persistent and loud depending on the car’s speed. This may also cause you to feel vibrating or rattling effects, which are normal and nothing to fear unless the racks are overweight. 

Increase the Drag Force

Roof racks may be rather helpful at carrying your transport, however, it can cause quite the inevitable drag force. Thus, increasing fuel consumption. There is no way around the drag force since the aerodynamics are already worse due to the air resistance and making the engine work much harder and faster than needed. 

Not packing too large of an item or carrying too much luggage on the roof racks will increase air resistance, which will also increase drag force and fuel consumption. The amount of drag force and vibrations you feel when carrying load in your car completely depends on the weight you are pulling at the top of the vehicle. Therefore, less weight means less drag force. 

Leave Significant Markings and Dents on Your Car

It is obvious to leave marks and dents at the top of your car if you are putting too much pressure on the roof racks.

Moreover, even if you place the racks safely and bolted them perfectly, overpressuring the racks can cause the bolts to loosen over time. All these can leave significant marks and dents all over the top of the car roof. So, make sure that you don’t put too much pressure on the roof racks in any way possible. 

Bottom Line 

So, do roof racks look cool? Well, it entirely varies among car owners; however, it’s for sure that these roof racks come with some serious drawbacks to the overall performance of your car. Whether it be the fuel consumption rate or the car dents, roof racks may sometimes upset you. Therefore, even if roof racks may seem cool to some, they may adversely affect your car’s performance. 

Author: Will Sabel

Will Sabel is an avid car enthusiast. When he's not writing for RidersWant, you'll find him cruising the country in a new car. People are always wondering how many cars he has!

Leave a Comment