Roof Rack Bars, All You Need To Know:

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What Are Roof Racks For?

Pretty much, anything!  Fitting a roof rack to your car adds immeasurable versatility and practicality. They’re a perfect, economical solution for thousands of people including families on holidays, outdoor adventurists, business owners, DIY-ers, cyclists and much more. Basically, a roof rack allows you to carry more stuff. Whether it’s more luggage, baby equipment in a roof box, bikes, surf boards or ladders, a roof rack can handle it. But it doesn’t end there, what about that chest of drawers you’ve been eyeing up on DoneDeal? or that old mattress in the shed that you need to bring to the tip? There are hundreds of everyday scenarios where a roof rack can come in handy and may negate the need to hire a van or bother your mate who owns that very large estate car!

Roof Rack Buying Guide:

How much £?
Roof Racks start at around £50 and can go all the way up to £150.

Why such a price difference?
A number of factors can affect cost such as construction material, i.e. steel or aluminium, the type or style of roof rack and of course, the brand. Aluminium roof racks are usually more expensive than steel, bars with an aerodynamic profile will be more expensive and well known brands such as THULE or Whispbar will cost more also.
Aerodynamic aluminium roof bars from THULE
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Aerodynamic aluminium roof bars from THULE
Basic roof bar constructed from square section steel
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Basic roof bar constructed from square section steel

Can I Choose Any Roof Rack?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Buying the first or cheapest roof rack you see could be a major mistake, there are different types for different cars but thankfully it’s not rocket science! Read on and it shall be explained!

How Do I Know The Type I Need?

There are 4 main types of roof rack, and they differ in how they attach to the car. Different cars use different methods of attachment.
Raised roof rails fitted as standard equipment to this SUV
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Raised roof rails fitted as standard equipment to this SUV

Roof Racks For Vehicles With Raised Roof Rails:

  • Mostly found on estate cars & SUV’s. Raised roof rails run from the front to the back of the roof and look like the picture here. These raised rails are fitted by the car manufacturer and are often supplied as an option or come as standard equipment on some models. They are known as ‘raised’ roof rails as they are raised up from the car roof with a clear gap between the roof and the rail, unlike ‘solid’ roof rails, which are covered next.
Solid roof rails fitted as standard to this estate car
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Solid roof rails fitted as standard to this estate car

Roof Racks For Vehicles With Solid Roof Rails:

Again, most commonly found on estate cars the ‘solid’ roof rail pictured below is a more modern version of the raised roof rail. These tend to be found on cars from roughly 2006 onwards and are flush with the car roof, i.e. there’s no gap between the roof and rail.
Illustration showing just a few of the different types of ‘fix point’ mounting system on the market
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Illustration showing just a few of the different types of ‘fix point’ mounting system on the market

Roof Racks For Vehicles With Fix Points:

Fix points can be found on all car body styles, be it saloon, hatch, estate or MPV. A ‘Fix Point’ is a designated point on a car roof or inside the door jamb, specifically designed for mounting a roof rack to. There will usually be 4 and they’re usually hidden away under a small plastic cover or cap on the roof. There are a number of different designs of ‘fix point’ and in some cases the actual mounting point can be difficult to find.
E.g. of a ‘Door Jamb’ type of roof rack
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E.g. of a ‘Door Jamb’ type of roof rack

Roof Racks For Vehicles Without Rails Or Fix Points:

If your car has none of the features mentioned above, then it will need a ‘Door Jamb’ type of roof rack. As the name suggests this type of roof rack clamps to the car door jambs (the door jamb is the part of the roof you can see when you open the door – see image)

Can I Assemble The Roof Rack Myself?

Yes for sure! Fitting roof racks is a simple DIY job. Here are our top 5 tips to help the job go smoothly:
  • Get a second pair of hands to make your life so much easier and it will also limit the chance of scratching or damaging anything during the installation process.
  • Read all instructions – Men, we’re talking to you! All roof rack instructions contain essential information about torque settings and fitting positions so it’s vital to read the instructions carefully.
  • Keep it clean. Make sure the roof of your car is clean, especially if fitting a door jamb style roof rack. Grit or dirt trapped between the mounting points/support could scratch your paintwork so ensure your roof is clean before fitting.
  • Lube it up! A tiny amount of copper grease on all of the bolts will ensure that removing the roof rack in future will be trouble free.
  • Torque settings. Over-tightening your roof rack can cause damage to the rack or the car so again, pay attention to all instructions, observe the torque settings and do not over-tighten.
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Take Cover!

Our list of  Top 10 Do’s & Don’ts When Using a Roof Rack goes into extra detail and covers some of the issues customers have experienced over the years, so you can avoid the same pitfalls!
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Why Choose MicksGarage?

MicksGarage offers some of the best online prices, with over one million car parts and accessories available through  our eBay shop.  

Our 99.4% customer satisfaction rating and "Top-Rated Seller" rating from eBay (which guarantees a track record of excellence to all our customers), and our amazing 30 day return policy money back guarantee ensures you you are in good hands.  
Should you have any queries, our customer care team are here to help.  

MicksGarage; car parts & accessories on time, as described and all guaranteed. Enjoy shopping with us on   eBay!
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