HomeHome & FamilyInstalling Roof Racks without Damaging Your Paintwork

Installing Roof Racks without Damaging Your Paintwork


When you buy a brand new vehicle, it’s natural to want to do everything within your power to preserve the integrity of the paintwork – particularly around the sides, front and back. Unfortunately, the top of the vehicle rarely gets as much attention as the other surfaces. While the roof is less likely to be scratched by a key or coin, it can nevertheless succumb to rain, dirt and other contaminants. Paintwork can also be exposed to chipping or flaking, especially when roof racks are installed. This guide details how to install roof racks on your vehicle without damaging your paintwork.


Essential Items You Need

To ensure the job is done right the first time, you’ll need these particular items before you begin the installation process. You’ll find them anywhere that sells roof racks Sydney wide or elsewhere in Australia:

  • Car wash and wax
  • Roof racks (explore the range here)
  • Tools
  • Vinyl tape
  • Removable ink marker
  • Measuring tape

Step 1: Wash and Wax

While you can do this at home if you wish, you might like to use an automated service at the local service station. The heavy duty drying process will ensure there are no water spots or soapy residue left on the roof. The soap residue is typically the main factor that attracts dirt and discolouration to the paintwork, so by making sure the roof is as clean as possible, you’ll be ensuring the quality of the paintwork is as strong as possible when the roof racks are installed.

Step 2: Get Everything Ready for Installation

When you purchase your roof racks in Sydney, they’ll come with assembly instructions to ensure they are installed safely and securely. Keep the vinyl tape within reach, as prior to the installation you will need it to fit under the mounting legs and gaskets. The vinyl tape helps prevent the onset of rust and other symptoms of corrosion damage.

Installation Preparation Tips

First, you want to place the roof racks loosely on the roof, but don’t fasten them to the roof just yet. Get the vinyl tape again – cut off a small piece that is still a little bit bigger than the mounting point and gently place the tape underneath one of the rack mounts. Trace around one of the mounts with a marker and then once you’ve verified the accuracy of its size, cut it out and use that as a model for the other mounts.

Using the manufacturer’s directions, carefully lay the racks into place. Confirm that the measurements are accurate, and then replicate the mount of each leg on the roof paint with the marker. Remove one side of the vinyl tape and set in place within the traced area. Repeat with all remaining mounting points, ensuring there is no bubbling in the tape that could lead to paintwork damage.

Finally, take away the remaining side of the vinyl tape and securely position the mounting point of each leg on the tape. All you have to do next is tighten your roof racks to meet the manufacturer’s specifications.

Step 3: Regularly Clean Your Roof

As mentioned at the beginning, your car roof is often neglected when washing your vehicle, especially if you own a four wheel drive or commercial van. Size alone in these cases makes it difficult to regularly clean your vehicle roof. But to maintain the quality of the paintwork, it needs to be done. Applying a wet, soapy rag to as much of the roof as possible will help keep a significant amount of dirt and other contaminants (like the salt in the Sydney air) off, ensuring your paintwork and roof racks remain secure for years to come!


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