A Subaru Outback roof rack problem can be a pain. After all, why should problems arise when you have a rugged design for this all-wheel drive?
The roof rack is sturdy without a doubt. It is capable of carrying bulky and heavy items such as skis, canoes, kayaks, bikes, and any type of big luggage that you cannot normally fit in your trunk.
However, there are also some issues that can arise to the roof rack no matter how sturdy it may seem. Here are some problems you need to take note of, as well as ways to handle each.
Subaru Outback Roof Rack Problem
Avoid a concerning Subaru Outback roof rack problem by taking a look at these common issues and how to avoid and handle them when they do occur.
1. Not enough gap between the roof rack and top roof
Look closely, and you would see that the newer Outback models are different from older ones in terms of the design for the roof rack. To give the newer models a sportier and sleeker appearance, Subaru eliminated a lot of space between the roof rack and top roof. This was designed to reduce drag, as well as airflow resistance.
While you may not easily see the issue with this, if you have a rack system, the closer it is to the roof, the quicker your luggage can cause damage to the car’s roof. If you carry pointy luggage or items such as your bicycle, then you need to come up with ways to hold this on the roof rack while preventing the pedals from scratching the paint of your top roof.
2. Roof rack failure
It is true that Subaru roof racks are sturdy. But it is not uncommon to hear complaints about the racks not being durable enough for heavier luggage.
For example, one can find two 10-inch kayaks carried on the roof rack hard to secure without causing the crossbars to get pulled out by cross-winds at an average driving speed of 55 miles per hour.
With this in mind, you should decide whether factory rails are better for you, or if you need to install another type that is more secure and stronger. Yet, if you are only carrying light luggage, then you should be fine with factory rails since these should be plenty sturdy to handle this much weight.
3. Roof rack fails to clamp on rack system
When you have the roof racks or rack system damaged, then it is impossible to clamp a rack safely and securely right into another. This is one Subaru Outback roof problem with newer models, but at least it is a problem that can be fixed.
You just need to understand that the roof racks do not last long. Over time, they get old and undergo wear and tear. Moreover, as you use it more, it becomes more exposed to damage. This is why you should check the condition of your roof rails before loading up any luggage.
With this practice, you can reduce the possibility of experiencing nasty surprises when you have a heavy load on the roof rack. If the racks are damaged, you should be able to install and use aftermarket roof rails. You can even choose as many styles and designs as possible.
4. Roof rack noise
Another common concern with the Subaru Outback roof rack is the noise. When you drive your car, some noise can be heard, and this is evident in both the old and new roof racks. But older ones are more prone to this since they are not quite as firm unlike when they were still new.
In addition to the noise caused by air resistance, the luggage mounted on the racks may cause a squeaking sound. So, it can be a concern for some people, especially when driving at faster speeds. This is why you may want to divert airflow that passes through your crossbar.
Consider buying and installing wind fairing. These are shields made of plastic attached to the front portion of your roof rails. They reduce noise while eliminating drag, yet you need to do some customization when loading and unloading your luggage on the rails.
Another noise reduction technique is by adding some pads to the crossbars. A good material is rubber, especially textured rubber ones to help minimize airflow and eliminate whistling noises.
You can also consider using a foil bar that eliminates noise, so you can appreciate a silent drive. And there is also the edge bar that you can use and forget about load bars. You can fit objects easily with load bars but edge bars are better for reducing noise.
Read More: Hyundai Santa Fe Panoramic Sunroof Problems
Should You Use A Roof Rack?
Considering these concerns with the Subaru Outback roof rack, you may be wondering if you should invest in one. Well, it is important when you want more storage for your vehicle. For folks who like to carry around heavy luggage and equipment, then a rack should help. It also works when you want to maximize interior storage.
But if you don’t find any need for such, then you can most definitely do away with it. There are also ways to eliminate problems involved with the roof rack of your Subaru Outback as we have mentioned, so it is best to explore these options to prevent these issues and help you to achieve a more pleasant ride.
We hope these tips have been helpful, particularly if these problems have become a growing concern for you. Whether you have an older or newer Subaru Outback model, you can get rid of some problems with your roof rack by doing some customizations while making sure your luggage remains secure – and you can focus on your driving with ease.