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Installing a roof rack on your car will help transport your gear from one adventure to the other. However, a roof rack be it empty or loaded, tends to decrease the fuel consumption by 2% to 35 %.
Even though a roof rack might have a sleek design and lightweight materials, it will add weight and aerodynamic drag to the vehicle, adversely affecting your fuel economy. Hence, if you aren’t using the roof rack, it is advisable to remove it until you need it. Removing it will also reduce the wind resistance.
Here are several reasons why you should remove the roof rack when not in use;
It Will Affect Fuel Consumption
A roof rack will increase vehicle resistance to wind, causing an increase in fuel consumption. Ensure you remove it when not in use. An aerodynamically designed roof box or rack will assist in reducing wind resistance to the lowest level. However, the box or roof rack should still be taken off when it is not in use.
Roof rack means the extra weight on your vehicle; it might be too heavy. But will make the car need more initial acceleration. As a result, the car ends up consuming more fuel. Additionally, the effort applied in hauling the extra weight means that the vehicle requires more energy, resulting in more petrol consumption. To avoid this inconvenience, remove the roof rack when not in use.
Adds More Weight
Always check weight limits; most car manuals indicate the maximum weight you can load on the roof. Ensure you adhere to the instructions. Most often, the roof bars comprise a higher weight rating than the roof of the vehicle. More weight leads to more friction between the road and the wheels, thus higher fuel consumption.
Lower Speed Limit
Most roof rack accessories, including roof boxes, come with the highest speed ratings. Ensure you thoroughly read the instructions. Exceeding the maximum speed limit can damage both the vehicle and the roof rack. Traveling at high speed causes the roof rack to generate lift and can end up ripping it or damage your car.
Strong winds are likely to exert forces beyond the roof rack ratings even if not traveling at speed. The forces might cause damage as well as increase fuel consumption due to extra wind resistance. Finally, having it removed will be a great idea unless you plan to go on an adventure with a roof rack.
Consider taking off the roof rack, especially if you don’t intend to use it as you are likely to forget it. When entering a garage, multi-story car park, or drive-through with a roof rack, you may not remember the extra height on top of the vehicle. More so if you are driving an MPV or SUV.
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It Will Affect Your Braking
A roof rack will alter how your car handles. The higher center of gravity will affect vehicle handling, thus causing the body to roll and extend the stopping distance. Unless you need the roof rack, consider taking it off.
If you are going to use it, avoid putting a heavy load as this could lower the stability of your car. Remember, the load can become unstable when changing direction at speed, causing you to lose control.
With a roof rack on your car, be extra sensitive about how you work the brakes and accelerator peddles. It would help if you were more careful when driving uphill and downhill as more acceleration and braking are needed. If you are not going to use the roof rack, removing it will save you a lot of hassle.
Due to current technological advancements, aerodynamic versions of roof racks are less likely to affect a car’s performance, lower in wind noise and drag. However, if you are planning to take a long trip on motorways without the need to use your equipment, consider removing them to bring the best out of your drive.
For easy removal and installation of roof rack, go for o with fewer bolts. Some systems allow you to disconnect the roof rack feet from the fit kit and leaving discrete components behind on the car. As a result, you can install and remove the system with less hassle; this will be the same as the time and energy consumption.