Why Roof Racks Make Noise and How to Fix the Issue

Roof racks on your vehicle solve so many storage problems. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a small city car, an SUV, or a Utility Vehicle, there’s always a need for more storage space. Roof racks significantly improve your storage and allow all kinds of items to be placed and transported.

If you have ever been driving a vehicle with a roof rack installed on top, you might have noticed that strange noise coming from it. At first, you had no idea what was happening. You might have thought it was coming from someone or something else on the road, but then you realized it was your vehicle.

Some people instantly panic thinking there’s something wrong with the vehicle, while others stop and start looking for solutions. However, when you’re on the road, you may only find momentary solutions that are not the best, and you’ll need to focus on the issue when you get home.

In this blog post, we’re talking more about roof racks and why they make strange noises. Keep reading to find out more about this and, of course, how to fix the issue.

Why do roof racks make noise?

First things first - your roof rack won’t make noise if you’re driving slow, and if it is installed properly. We can install an enormous roof rack canopy that will not make any sound.

If you’ve been installing the roof rack on your own, you might have missed something, and now the loose parts squeak as the wheels drive over the uneven road. If the installation was proper, and there’s no issue there, your roof rack will make noise as you speed up, and due to wind resistance.

Just like anything else that moves at great speeds, so does your car make noises. Your wheels make noise as they move fast over the asphalt, and your engine roars at high speeds too. However, we’re used to these sounds, as we hear them every time we get inside the car, but we’re not used to the noise the roof rack makes.

Many people are not comfortable listening to this as they are driving, so they want a solution. The reason your roof rack makes noises is simple - the wind hits the roof rack, which is an additional part of your vehicle and is not perfectly aligned with the rest of the vehicle’s aerodynamics, so the resistance pushes the wind on the sides making the noise.

Aside from these things, the items strapped on the roof rack might also make noise if the straps are loose. The wind will make the straps dance over your roof, hitting occasionally. Every impact will feel like someone threw a rock at you.

What is the solution to the problem?

As we described the main issue is the wind and the resistance of the non-aerodynamic roof rack, the solution is clear - make this item more aerodynamic.

There are several ways to do this - some are highly professional, and others can be done as a simple DIY project. What you must do is avoid the wind effect, by installing either aerodynamic crossbars or adding wind fairings at the front of the rack.

These two solutions will make the roof rack more aerodynamic and make the colliding air easily get around the rack and the items transported. This will instantly lower or entirely take out the noise, but more importantly, it will also reduce your gas bills.

Improper aerodynamics can significantly increase your vehicle’s gas consumption. It may seem like not a big deal, but if you often drive with the roof rack on, expect to stop at the gas station much more often than before. The roof racks, no matter how lightweight they are, will also add weight to your vehicle, making the engine try harder to reach the desired speeds, thus, consuming more fuel.

When you’re traveling long distances, and you need the roof rack for transporting items, you’ll calculate how much you’ll spend additionally, but if you want to save on your bills, don’t forget to remove the roof racks when you do not need them anymore.



Through the years, car manufacturers invested a lot of time and resources in building vehicles that will have flawless aerodynamics. This is why most city cars look alike, while the design hasn’t changed significantly in decades.

When it comes to UTEs, caravans, and trucks, aerodynamics is not the main priority, but these vehicles also have certain improvements in the design that allows their drivers to enjoy the ride better and save some money on fuel.

If you’re thinking about a roof rack, you want to eliminate this problem right from the start. Installing wind fairings in the front and aerodynamic crossbars will solve the problem and provide a carefree trip.

Author: Dean Peechiari Date Posted: 9 May 2023