How to Make Roof Racks More Aerodynamic

Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Will Sabel

It is no wonder that your car runs through the air, and this airflow affects its speed. That’s why every vehicle is designed, keeping aerodynamics in mind. In such a way, the effects of the air can be minimal, and it can perform at its maximum capacity without hampering its parts. 

Adding any extra equipment to your car changes its shape, dimensions, and weight. And when these factors change, the aerodynamics change automatically. In this article, we will show you how to make roof racks more aerodynamic. So, let’s follow the article and find the answer. 

How Does Roof Rack Affect Speed?

Before getting into the answer, you need to know what air drag is. Air drag is simply air resistance, or you can call it aerodynamic friction. Here, less air drag means better speed. 

So, when your car or vehicle generates more air drag, it slows down. That’s when the study of aerodynamics helps. In the competitive automotive industry, making faster cars is the ultimate goal. 

If you buy a car with an advanced design but add a non-aerodynamic roof rack, it won’t provide you with the best speed as promised. Roof racks resist the air and create more friction. So, when putting an additional element on the vehicle, make sure that it doesn’t hamper the aerodynamic effects.

Does Roof Racks Affect Fuel Economy? 

Now let’s discuss the fuel economy. The science behind increased fuel economy is similar to that behind the decreased speed.

Roof racks add more weight to the car, and when you put your belongings on the roof racks, it adds even more weight and increases air drag. While accelerating, your vehicle needs more power because of this extra weight, which leads to more fuel consumption.

Studies have shown that if you are driving at a lower speed, fuel consumption increases by 7% to 15%. Speeds above 60mph, on the other hand, can increase fuel consumption by up to 30%.

That’s why you should remove your roof racks when you don’t need them. It will reduce fuel consumption a lot more.

How to Make Roof Racks More Aerodynamic

As you know, how a roof rack can decrease speed and increase fuel consumption, you need to learn how you can prevent your car from causing these issues. 

Making your roof racks more aerodynamic is the best way to maintain speed and decrease fuel economy. There are a few ways that can help you do that. Here, we will share how.

Wind Fairing

roof rack wind fairing

Wind fairings are a great way to make your roof rack aerodynamic. The aerodynamic design of the wind fairing reduces air drag and creates less friction with the wind. 

You should attach this material to the front of your roof rack so that it can cut through the air and increase your car’s efficiency. While attaching a wind fairing, don’t put it straight against the roof rack. 

We recommend you put it at a 38-degree to 74-degree angle, depending on the roof rack design. However, it can cause a whistling noise while driving at a high speed. And to reduce this noise, make sure to install the bolts and nuts securely.

Aerodynamic Roof Bars

The best thing you can do to make your roof rack aerodynamic is to buy an aerodynamic one. That way, you don’t need to put extra wind fairing on it; only the roof bar itself will do the work.

An aerodynamic roof bar is designed in the sleekest form, which is also lightweight. They are usually made of aluminum, and the shape is different from the typical ones. 

The way this design cuts through the wind and lessens the effect of air drag is amazing. And as it is lightweight, it won’t be a burden on your car. 

However, it has some downsides as well. The aerodynamic roof bar usually provides fewer accessories. 

So, if you are planning to carry a cargo box, this won’t be a good option. As far as the price is concerned, it is no surprise that aerodynamic roof bars are pricier than regular roof bars. 

Although, if you think about the mileage and speed, it is worth spending this much on an aerodynamic roof bar.

Can Roof Racks Damage Your Car?

Before planning to put roof bars on your vehicle, you need to take care of a certain thing. First, check the compatibility. If you attach a roof bar that crosses the maximum capacity of your vehicle, it will eventually damage the roof of your car. 

Buying a cheap roof rack can cost you even more by damaging the roof. That’s why you should purchase a durable one that will not only serve you for a long time but also protect the roof as well. 

And while installing it, get professional help if you are an amateur. Securing the bolt in the right place is necessary, and securing them too tight or too loose will also cause a problem later on. 

So, if you choose the right product and install it properly, it shouldn’t damage your car.

Final Words

It was not long before people paid attention to the aerodynamic factors of a roof rack. Although, the design of a vehicle entirely depends on aerodynamic studies. Now that you know how to make roof racks more aerodynamic, you can make the best out of them.

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!

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