roof racks

Why roof racks make noise and how to prevent it

March 26, 2024

Roof racks are invaluable for expanding storage capacity on vehicles of all sizes, from compact city cars to SUVs, utes and vans. However, if you’ve ever experienced the annoying noise emanating from your roof rack while driving, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll delve into why roof racks make noise and explore effective solutions to mitigate this issue.

Why Roof Racks Make Noise

Under normal driving conditions and with proper installation, roof racks shouldn’t produce noise at low speeds. However, when components are loose or the rack isn’t aerodynamically optimised, noise becomes noticeable, particularly at higher speeds due to wind resistance.

The primary reason for roof rack noise is the interaction between the rack and the wind. Unlike the streamlined design of the vehicle, roof racks create additional resistance, causing the wind to collide with the rack and produce noise. Additionally, loose straps securing items on the rack can exacerbate the problem by flapping against the roof.

Finding a Solution

To address roof rack noise effectively, the key is to enhance aerodynamics. There are various approaches to achieve this, ranging from professional installations to DIY solutions.

One option is to invest in aerodynamic crossbars or attach wind deflectors to the front of the rack. Tradesman Roof Racks options a wind deflector with all of our roof racks. These modifications streamline the rack, allowing air to flow more smoothly around it and reducing noise significantly. Not only does this improve driving comfort, but it can also lead to fuel savings by minimising aerodynamic drag.

It’s important to recognise that improper aerodynamics can increase fuel consumption, especially during long trips. By optimising your roof rack for aerodynamic efficiency, you can mitigate this impact and potentially save on fuel costs in the long run.

By proactively addressing aerodynamic inefficiencies through modifications such as wind fairings and aerodynamic crossbars, drivers can enjoy quieter rides and potentially lower fuel bills. When considering a roof rack, investing in aerodynamic enhancements from the outset can ensure a smoother, more cost-effective journey.


If you’d like to know more about our wind deflectors, contact our team today.

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