How To Remove Roof Rack Cross Bars


When you buy a new vehicle, one of the first things you must do is check for roof rack cross bars. These are used to hold gear such as skis or snowboards in place, and typically cost around $100-150 per set.

But what most people don’t realize is that it’s very easy to remove them if you ever want to! And hopefully you will eventually since they often get annoying quickly.

In this article we will go over all three types of roof racks and how to take down each one. So let’s get started!

Removing Seat Racks

Seat rails come with clamps already attached, so all you have to do is pull out on those clamps. You can usually find the clamp location underneath the seat cushion where there is an attachment point.

For example, here is a picture of the backseat rail at A close up view is shown below.

You could also use your own experience to determine if these clamps need to be replaced or not. Many manufacturers include really strong ones that require no tools to install, but some may feel weaker than needed.

Connect the cross bars to the roof rack

how to remove roof rack cross bars

Once you have determined that there are no more removable parts of the rooftop cargo cover, it is time to connect the crossbars! These things will not stay broken down for very long, so try your best to do this as quickly as possible before they get too tight or stuck.

The hardest part about removing these bars is getting them detached from the main frame of the vehicle. Make sure you use good quality glues or fasteners that do not easily strip away.

Once both pieces are connected, reattach the plastic piece onto the car body. This process can be done with either repeated spray-on adhesives or using glue sticks if you like doing more hands-on work.

Removing the rooftop cargo cover is definitely not difficult to do, but does take some time to do correctly.

Loosen each fastener, starting with the slowest

how to remove roof rack cross bars

The first thing we will do is make sure you have checked your vehicle’s manual to see if there are any recommendations for how to remove these cross bars. Some cars come without one!

If there isn’t one, then it is best to start by loosening the screws that hold the roof rack in place. These can be located at the back of the bar or along the side.

Once they are loose, you can pull up on the bar to see if it comes away easily. If it does not, use a screwdriver to tighten them down until it breaks free. You may need to do this several times before it removes completely.

After doing so, repeat this process with the next bar until all three have been removed.

Remove each fastener

how to remove roof rack cross bars

While it may seem tedious, removing roof rack crossbars is an easy process that can be done at your home or garage. Simply remove each of the individual attachment bolts first!

The hardest part will likely be locating all of the bolts. You can use online resources or look under your car for pictures to help you identify them. Once you have located all of the bolts, you can either reuse or recycle the metal parts depending on what material they are made of.

Removing hard plastic attachments can sometimes be tricky as well. Use strong light bulbs or hair dryers to melt off the pieces. Letting go of these extra accessories will give your vehicle more space in the trunk or floor area.

Reattach the cross bars to the roof rack

how to remove roof rack cross bars

The second way to remove the roof rail crossbars is by reattaching them to the vehicle. You will have to do this before you pull off of the car lot, as most sellers require you to purchase new roof racks with their cars!

The process to attach these rails again is very similar to how they came apart in the first place. All you need to do is use connectors or bolts to remount each bar onto the frame of the roof rack. Make sure to tighten them enough so that it does not come loose again!

This method can be done anywhere without any tools, but if you are looking to save some money then there are several online resources where you can find the appropriate size hardware for your car.

Check that the roof rack is still attached to the vehicle

how to remove roof rack cross bars

The next thing to check are the cross bars of your roof rack. These add some style to your car, but also can be tricky to use properly!

Roof racks come with two separate pieces that attach together-the top bar and the lower rail. The lower rail usually has brackets that go onto the main frame of the vehicle, while the top bar connects to the other piece. Sometimes, however, they do not lock into place and can easily slide around or even fall off the vehicle!

If this happens, make sure you take extra precautions to prevent theft.

Test that the roof rack is secure

how to remove roof rack cross bars

The next thing to check if you cannot remove the cross bar or rails from your car is make sure they are securely fastened into the vehicle!

Roof racks can be really tricky to work with, because there are so many parts! Therefore, it is important to know how to test whether the bars will come off of the vehicle.

It is best to use the tool kit for your vehicle to do this. Most vehicles have at least one key in place to hold onto the rail or frame of the roof rack.

If your vehicle does not, then there should be some clips attached to the body of the car or steel brackets built in to prevent theft. Both of these things must first be checked to see if they will release easily before trying to pull out the roof rack.

Store the roof rack away from heat and humidity

how to remove roof rack cross bars

The next thing you will need to do is remove the cross bars that go across your rooftop luggage carrier. These are called roof rack crossbars or locking clamps.

Most vehicle manufacturers offer removable roof racks that can be stored in a protected area of your car when they are not in use. This way, you do not have to worry about them getting damaged or destroyed during transportation or bad weather.

Roof racks typically include plastic covers that fit over the bar so that water cannot damage it. It is important to ensure this cover is saved for later! You would want to wash this cover off before storing the roof rack again.

Use a soft, slightly abrasive cloth to clean the roof rack

While it is not recommended to use alcohol or gasoline as cleaning products, they are helpful for removing stubborn dirt or grime from the crossbars of a rooftop car garage.

Alcohol and gas can be poured onto the surface of the bar and then wiped off. Make sure you do not soak the plastic in the bar in these substances as this could cause damage!

By using a soft, lint-free cloth, however, you will still get great results. These types of cloths are usually found in most home stores or through online shopping sites such as Amazon.

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