Top 5 Roof Racks for Bmw E46
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CargoLoc 2-Piece Roof Rack Crossbars
Universal fit for all vehicles.
These roof rack crossbars are to be mounted on top of existing raised rails. As long as you have an existing pair of raised rails, installing this crossbar based roof rack will allow you to further expand the cargo availability on your ride. Coming in as one of the best products in its class, it can hold up to 150 lbs in weight. The standard option can fit raised rails with a width of 46". There is also a 60" option for wider rail widths.
Price was around $49.47 at the time of this posting.
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SportRack Complete Roof Rack Crossbars
Universal fit for all vehicles.
Are you looking for a complete roof rack system that is ready to install out of the box? Then you have found your match. The SportRack roof rack is hands down a perfect choice for you. It provides great functionality, design and style. And best of all, it comes with everything that you would need to easily setup your roof rack; load bars, hooks, locks and every part required.
Price was around $160.12 at the time of this posting.
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HandiRack Inflatable Crossbars
Universal fit for all vehicles.
These inflatable pads are some of the best temporary pads on the market & can provide you with the perfect solution for transporting gear on your vehicle. They are safe, super easy to install & can effectively protect both the roof of your vehicle, as well as the cargo itself. A small hand pump is included for a quick setup.
Price was around $84.95 at the time of this posting.
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Apex RLB-2301 Universal Roof Rack Crossbars
Universal fit for all vehicles.
The Apex Universal Roof Rack Crossbar system has been designed to be able to fit most vehicles. The rack is made out of steel, which makes it a great choice in terms of strength and durability. Its weight capacity is up to 130 lbs. The rack also utilizes rubber on its surfaces so as to not damage the vehicle's roof. If you are looking for a roof rack system that's easy to install and that give you an easy way to attach various additional accessories like a roof cargo basket, look no further.
Price was around $65.99 at the time of this posting.
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MaxxHaul Steel Roof Rack (Needs Crossbars)
Universal fit for all vehicles.
This rack has been designed with the intention of providing additional space for your gear in a fast and secure way. If you are looking for a cargo roof rack system that is both good quality and well designed, you have found your perfect match. For this particular rack system, you do need to already have crossbars in place on your vehicle. The rack includes the U-bolt mounting mechanism to make installation super easy and straightforward.
Price was around $81.45 at the time of this posting.
Additional Roof Rack Information
Taking some awesome long road trips and distant adventures can only be done properly if you are able to take with you all of the necessities, plus some. Unless your Bmw E46 is close to overflowing, you are probably not doing it right. However, if you end up having to play a game of Tetris with your belongings every time you enter and exit, and if your Bmw E46 is bursting at the seams; there is a chance that you’ll be able to see absolutely nothing out of your Bmw E46’s back window. This my friend is not a safe way to travel at all.
So, what do you do then? How do you pack up all of your gear, and still have room to breathe inside of your Bmw E46? Well, having an awesome roof rack for one can be a really good way to spread out gear over a very spacious, yet unused space on your vehicle’s roof. With a good roof rack, you’ll be able to comfortably store and take with you any gear that wasn’t going to fit into your Bmw E46 in the first place. Here is what a roof rack can do for you. It can help your travel with oversized items like; mountain bikes, snowboards, skis, kayaks, suitcases, luggage, camping gear and many others. All of these items can and should all ride topside, especially after a long weekend of hard use.
We believe that CargoLoc’s Roof Rack Crossbars are the best choice if you are looking for a great crossbar set for your vehicle (Existing Side-Rails Required). If however you need a roof rack system for a vehicle that doesnt come with Roof-Rails, then the SportRack Universal Complete Roof Rack System is the way to go since it comes with everything that you’ll need to make it fit. Included on this best-of list is a Cargo Tray Roof Rack System by Maxxhaul that can be added to the top of your ride’s raised roof rails for additional cargo space.
If you do not have roof rails on your vehicle, then we also suggest taking a look at Alfa Gear’s Universal Roof Rack Pads. This rack system is meant for vehicles that do not have any built-in side rails.
Why Use a Roof Rack for Bmw E46?
Doesn’t really matter if you own a Bmw E46, SUV or pickup truck, the inside cargo space can always fill up quite a bit faster than you think. Even though the average person out there typically doesn’t need a roof rack for all of their adventures; much like winter tires, the roof rack can be a very good asset to have readily available – whether you’re camping out, going on a super long road trip, moving to a brand new home or just want to go and take a dip in the lake on a warm day.
So, if you’re looking to secure something to the roof of your Bmw E46, get the job done right. As mentioned above, it would be best to utilize a solid, yet light-weight piece of hardware that is 100% designed with the purpose of carrying heavy gear.
Features to Consider Before Buying a Roof Rack for Bmw E46
Roof Rack for Bmw E46 – Type of Rack
It is quite easy to dive directly into the summary of the best general roof racks. However, it’s very important to have a good understanding of a few basic concepts regarding the roof rack.
With roof racks, you are able to mount just about anything to a couple of universal roof rack crossbars. In addition to a roof rack, the traditional “roof box” can assist you with bringing extra items and can be particularly beneficial when it comes to vacations. You can even get clamps to secure your bike in place or a good quality locking system for your skis, kayaks, snowboard or even a surfboard.
Roof bars can also help you carry a mattress or furniture that you just picked up from a store, all on the top of your Bmw E46.
The universal roof rack crossbars can range in cost from anywhere between $50 all the way to $500. This difference in cost typically comes from the quality of the rack, the brand, model, materials utilized in the construction, as well as the purpose of a particular rack.
Roof Rack for Bmw E46 – Construction Material
A basic universal roof rack that can be added to your Bmw E46 will typically be made out of steel. These racks are strong, but they are pretty heavy and can significantly affect the drag on your vehicle. The drag can in turn reduce the amount of kilometers that you will be able to get out of your Bmw E46.
The absolute best type of universal roof rack for Bmw E46 is typically constructed out of high-grade aluminum. These racks are going to be much lighter, yet very strong. Additionally, they tend to be designed with an aerodynamic design; which helps tremendously in keeping your gas costs down when compared to a steel roof rack frame.
Roof Rack for Bmw E46 – Design
One other important aspect of choosing a good roof rack for Bmw E46 is to become very familiar with the rack’s design and style. The standard type of universal roof rack typically has a clamp at each end of the rack. This allows the rack to be mounted onto the door frame of your Bmw E46. On the top of the rack, you will typically find a smooth pad that is utilized to store things on top of it. Tightening the clamps at the end secures the roof rack bars in place and makes for an easy installation.
On the other hand, the curved type of roof rack bars are typically made for a range of specific vehicles. You always need to make sure that the pair of curved roof rack bars have been manufactured for your Bmw E46’s specific roof bars. These roof racks are designed to clamp onto the existing roof bars that already are mounted on the top of your Bmw E46’s roof. Most SUV’s tend to have these already in place as they were added in by the vehicle manufacturer. They are typically known as “elevated roof bars”, plus they typically run along the full length of your vehicle, in this case a Bmw E46.
Newer vehicles may have an identical design but use roof rails that are made out of one piece; there is literally no gap between your Bmw E46’s roof and rail. Effectively, they are fully attached to your vehicle, without any gap whatsoever. The rails will typically add an inch or two to your vehicle’s height.
The 3rd type of roof rack bar for your Bmw E46 is one that clips into the fixed points on the top of your vehicle. These can be on any kind of vehicle; you’ll need to see on top of your roof or take a look at your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find out if this is an option. It’s well worth noting that these particular type of roof rail bars are usually concealed under a plastic material flap; this allows your Bmw E46 to keep its sleek profile.
The fixed point rail bar system that would perfectly fit your Bmw E46 is typically going to be one of the most difficult rail type systems to find. They are usually made to order or specifically manufactured with your vehicle’s model in mind. There aren’t too many of them out there.
How to Choose the Best Roof Rack for Bmw E46
When it comes to choosing a proper roof rack for your Bmw E46, you should always look for one that has the absolute best design for a particular application. You never want to just grab a roof rack based on a name brand. Always try to select your roof rack and storage system based on what it is that you are trying to carry, or where you are trying to go, etc. The goal is to find a roof rack has a very low profile and a low center of gravity. These things help the roof rack and your Bmw E46 perform better on the road as well as while off-road driving. A good starting base of any roof rack for your Bmw E46 is to choose one that is manufactured out of aluminum, this allows us to keep the weight down on your roof.
There are many things that you should think about before you get your universal roof rack:
Roof Rack for Bmw E46 – Intended Use
The very first thing that you should consider is what you are intending to use your universal Bmw E46 roof rack system for. If you’re just thinking that it would be really great to have for a camping trip or to pick up some unique furniture piece, then you should take a look at Malone’s Handirack roof rack system. There are also additional roof racks you can easily take on and off your Bmw E46’s roof; in particular, the roof rack type that straps through your Bmw E46’s doors or windows.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to transport items like a kayak, bike, snowboard, skis or a surfboard, then you’ll almost certainly need to get your hands on a top-end product that will keep your gear secure; like Thule’s Aeroblades roof rack system. This type of a roof rack will provide you with the security that you need in order to safely transport items on your Bmw E46’s roof.
Of course, there are is a variety of good quality products to choose from between both of these types of roof racks. There are also many differences to learn about before choosing a roof rack that will fit your Bmw E46.
How to Properly fit a Roof Rack for Bmw E46?
Additionally it is essential that you take a look at what’s already on your Bmw E46’s roof. You can purchase roof bars that are designed to fit on a Bmw E46 with raised rails; unless you have elevated rails.
Truth be told, it isn’t easy or cost-effective to purchase and add a pair of raised rails to your Bmw E46.
In addition, if you have more than one car or SUV, you should consider which vehicle is most probably going to be the one that you utilize with the new roof rack and whether the you will be using the rack system on any of the other ones. If there is a chance that you will be using the roof rack on more than just your Bmw E46, then you should purchase a roof rack that can fit all vehicles in question. A Universal Rack is the way to go. Luckily, this “Best Roof Rack for Bmw E46” guide has many different universal roof rack options to choose from.
Ultimately, when it comes down to it; it really is quite a bit easier to fit roof rack bars with door jambs onto several types of different Bmw E46 models. Even if you have raised roof rails on your Bmw E46, you can still put a door-jamb type of roof rack system on it. If this suits your needs, then you should take a look at SportRack’s Complete system.
Obviously, if you just have your Bmw E46 and if it comes with raised rail bars, then you’ll choose the best universal roof rack system that is meant to work well with your vehicle.
In addition to the above, it is also worth considering how often you change out your cars and what the likelihood is if you’ll change out your Bmw E46 for a different vehicle soon. This might influence the kind of universal roof rack that you will need and will obviously narrow down your selection of available roof racks.
Is it Necessary to Have Locks On Your Roof Rack for Bmw E46?
If you typically only use your roof rack for periodic trips; such as an annual vacation to your favorite spot, then you typically won’t have your roof rack on your Bmw E46 year round. If that’s the case; whenever possible, you should try to utilize your home’s garage to keep your Bmw E46 secure. In addition, you should try to remove the roof rack whenever not in use and store it. It is also fairly important to be able to easily remove the roof rack and bars at any destination that you are headed to. If you can take your roof rack on and off with ease, you won’t have to specifically look for a locking roof rack system.
However, you should always try to remember to remove the roof rack when you arrive at your destination. Failing to do so can easily result in complete loss of your roof rack due to theft. When out and about, there are many things that can happen where you end up leaving your Bmw E46 unattended..
On the other hand, if you are someone that intends to always use their roof rack system, then it is paramount that you choose one that is lockable. Having a roof rack system that locks can be of great advantage over one that doesn’t. For instance, you won’t have to take the system off your Bmw E46’s roof as often due to the fact that it is much harder to get into or to steal. One thing to keep in mind with these types of roof racks, is that typically get quite a bit pricier when compared to their none-locking counterparts. Whatever your application for the roof rack may be, will help you decide the type of roof rack that you will need to get.
Modular or Complete Roof Rack for Bmw E46 System
The complete roof rack system for the Bmw E46 easily connects to your vehicle’s roof and is ready to be used as soon as it is attached. In fact, you are able to load almost anything on top of it all the way up to the specified weight limit. One thing that you’ll need to do however, is to devise your own approach to securing the many items and ensuring that they are properly fastened so that they do not move during transit. This is a perfectly suitable system if you are looking to get a roof rack for Bmw E46 that can house a roof container or something similar.
If you however want to carry a variety of different things, you’ll probably need to choose a modular system instead. The Thule Aeroblades roof rack is one such modular system that . These systems offer you an easy way to hook it up to your Bmw E46 just like the complete systems.
The main difference between the two, is that you are able to slide or clamp down different accessories to the roof bars all at the same time. This will allow you to easily mount your skis, surfboard, snowboard or bike with you. A modular system is certainly the best when it comes to versatility, but you will need to know before purchasing such system as to how often you will need the roof rack to be flexible. Meaning, if you don’t intend to use it for things like kayaks, skis and such, then a complete system might end up being the better option.
Reaching the Roof Rack for Bmw E46
One consideration that lots of people typically don’t think about is the degree of difficulty reaching the roof rack on your Bmw E46? When you have a vehicle with a higher roof (like a Bmw E46) and then you add a complete roof rack system to the top of the vehicle, will you be able to reach it easily? Sitting on the sill of your Bmw E46 can be an option, but even this may still not be an adequate solution.
You can buy a small step that mounts directly over one of your wheels, this would offer you a boost. If you don’t want to invest in a step, you could always make sure to have a small stool with you to help reach your Bmw E46’s roof rack easily. Ultimately though, one of the most important questions to ask is, “what type of gear are you looking to haul?”. Knowing the answer to this will help you determine just how often you’ll need to be able to get to the center of the top roof rack, as well as what type of assisted device you might need (small step or a small stool).
Surprisingly, not all roof rack systems are made in the same height; choosing a shorter one allows you to make your life quite a bit easier.
Budget Needed When Looking to Buy a Roof Rack for Bmw E46
Whenever you’re thinking of buying something big, you should consider your total available budget for the purchase. There is absolutely no point in spending a lot of money on a super expensive universal roof rack system when you don’t have the money available and a cheaper option can do.
If you do want to go ahead and get that special roof rack for Bmw E46, you should put a plan in place where you can start putting small amounts of money aside every check to ultimately move toward the purchase of your favorite complete roof rack system. One thing to keep in mind however, is that you shouldn’t get overly excited by the many different top roof rack brand names out there. No, you should in fact research the exact one that fits your needs and that can be picked up easily, even if it is cheaper than some of the other big brand models.
Roof Rack for Bmw E46 – Load Limits
Most of the roof racks on our list can typically handle a maximum weight of roughly 150 pounds. This is usually sufficient for most needs. However, there are many other roof racks out there that are designed for higher maximum weight. If you need a higher weight capacity, I would recommend doing thorough research on whatever product you are interested in. Keep in mind that you should also always need to check and make sure that the maximum weight of the roof rack capacity does not exceed the maximum weight allowed on the actual Bmw E46 roof.
When it comes down to it, you really do want to be safe while driving. And having a super heavy roof rack with a bunch of gear on it on top of your Bmw E46 can make the roof cave in.
Roof Rack for Bmw E46 – Brands & Brand Reputation
You’ve probably heard of the most established and well-known brands such as Thule. But this certainly does not mean that they are the only available choice out there.
There are a variety of different roof rack for Bmw E46 solutions on this guide that perfectly fit well and can do the job of hauling gear without issues. However, there is one caveat regarding roof rack manufacturers; you should definitely make sure to do your research regarding any brand of rack system that you’ve never heard about before. The good thing is that we have done a ton of research already for you and are only recommending the brands and models that we deem would be safe for your vehicle. If you’re considering investing in a rack from an unfamiliar manufacturer or supplier, then it’s important to verify their reputation first.
The ultimate way to do that is to look on social media sites. You should put yourself in a position where you can find honest opinions about a particular brand or product from past clients. Keep in mind however that it is very hard and rare for just about any manufacturer out there to keep 100% of their customers happy. What you should make sure to evaluate is if the quantity of positive reviews and feedback outweighs the negative ones. Another key thing is to see how the actual roof rack manufacturer handled the negative reviews. This will shine some light on that manufacturer’s level of customer support quality.
Design and Profile Style of the Roof Rack for Bmw E46
You might not have considered the profile of your universal roof rack system before, but it is most definitely worth considering.
For instance, you should be aware that the closer the bars are to the roof of your Bmw E46, the less pull the crossbars will create. It will also help if the crossbars and roof rack are shaped in an aerodynamic way to encourage less drag.
Another thing to consider is the level of wind noise. Not all roof racks are made equal. Some can handle wind much better than others. You’ll need to check out the look of the roof rack and crossbars to see where the air can be captured while driving. You should also always make sure that all gear is properly fastened on the roof rack to help remove any issues with items flapping in the blowing wind.
The quicker and faster that you drive with your Bmw E46 and the roof rack, the greater of importance it will be to reduce any and noise sources. This also stands true if you’re going to be driving for extended distances.
Roof Rack for Bmw E46 – Materials
It’s also advisable to spare a few moments to think about what material the universal roof rack system is manufactured out of. Steel is quite strong but also very heavy. Aluminum tends to be a much better choice while heavy-duty nylon, (what the Handirack uses); is light and durable but may wear quicker with items being able to slide on top of it.
Again the way that you intend to utilize the rack, will play a significant role in the type of material you should look for. Different material types carry different price tags due to the higher quality of the racks, but sometime it would make sense to spend more if it gives you a peace of mind that you items are safe on the Roof Rack of Bmw E46 while you drive down the highway with high speeds.
Installation Instructions for a Roof Rack for Bmw E46
Finally, you will need to check out the installation instructions for your roof rack; they can at times be overly complicated. This may not be considered a huge concern if you are installing the crossbars and roof rack once and then forgetting about them. However, if you are looking for a solution that you can take on and off with ease, than you will want to make sure that you choose a rack system that is easy to work with.
Once again, social media can be your best resource when it comes to researching stuff about a particular rack. When it comes to owning a roof rack for Bmw E46, they will typically come with instructions, but only an individual that has already used a particular roof rack system is able to provide accurate feedback if the roof rack in questions is worth getting or not.
Installing the Roof Rack for Bmw E46 Yourself
Just about anyone can install their own roof rack, but it is highly recommended to get yourself a little bit of help. Having somebody with you there to assist will certainly reduce the chance of the bars banging on your roof top and scratching it up during installation. This can actually get quite annoying especially if you have a somewhat new Bmw E46!
It is essential to check on the instructions before you install the universal roof rack crossbars on your vehicle. You will see detailed information and advice about the correct torque settings and where exactly the rack bars should be placed. It’s smart to get help before you begin with the installation process.
Before you begin with the installation of any universal roof rack system, you must make absolutely sure that the region where you will be placing it has been thoroughly cleaned and dried. Leaving any dirt or grit between the vehicle’s surface and the rack can significantly damage your paintwork over a couple of hundred miles. That is especially important if you have a door clamping roof rack crossbar system.
Another good notion is to place a small amount of grease on all the bolts before you tighten them. This can help make things much simpler and easier to remove the roof racking system at a later time.
Finally, after the universal roof rack crossbar system is all the way in place, go ahead and tighten the bolts. But, you should only tighten them up to the exact specifications of the manual. Placing them in there with too much or too little torque can damage your Bmw E46 as well as the roof rack crossbar system. It may also lead to complete rack failure.
Roof Rack for Bmw E46 – Safety & Accessories
All universal roof rack crossbar systems are typically produced to a specific standard which ensures that they are safe to use. This is all of course dependent on whether you follow the appropriate installation instructions for the roof rack.
Just keep in mind however, that these instructions don’t cover securing loads to your vehicle; this is very much just as important as the initial installation. You need to make sure that the load is properly secured and connected to the the roof rack bars to make sure that they are unable to freely move around in any direction. This will ensure you that you won’t need to be concerned about the loaded items when you have to brake hard suddenly.
There are also lots of accessories that can be purchased that work together with your roof rack bars:
- Aftermarket Locks & Locking Mechanism – if the manufacturer’s don’t include them with the roof rack system already.
- Bicycle Mounts – to carry several bikes on the roof.
- Ski Brackets – for skis!
- Roof Box for Your Roof Rack- this is normally the hard type or a soft cargo storage containers that sits directly on the roof rack bars mounted on your Bmw E46. There are also some roof boxes out there that do not require roof bars.
- Clamps – some manufacturers sell their roof rack bar systems without including clamps. Knowing this type of information may make it easier for you to choose the perfect roof rack for Bmw E46.
- Just a Roof Top Rack – this is an open up roof rack that used to be quite popular back in the day. Ever since the roof box made its appearance however, the open roof rack is no longer as good a choice if you are looking to store items on your Bmw E46. However, if you need to add different brackets to it to transport things like kayaks, skis, snowboards, canoes, surfboards and other similar adventure items, an open roof rack can come in quite handy.
- Cargo Nets – these accessories are a perfect way to protect any cargo or gear to help make sure that it all remains exactly where you placed it to begin with.
- Cargo Box for Your Roof Rack – they are absolutely great when you are looking to transport any camping gear or any other type of cargo really. They boost your Bmw E46’s cargo space, all while keeping the majority of the aerodynamic characteristics that go into your Bmw E46.
- Cool Roof Rack Lights – a great looking set of lamps that can be mounted to your Bmw E46’s roof rack by utilizing aftermarket clips. These light are great to have as they can further light up the path in front of your Bmw E46. They also allow you to see and work on your gear that is also mounted on your roof rack, even in the dark.
- Cargo Straps for Your Roof Rack – it really doesn’t matter a whole lot on how secure your new roof rack for Bmw E46 is on its own. If you are even in doubt as to the security of your gear on the roof rack, you can always purchase some additional straps for your care.
Frequently Asked Questions – Roof Rack for Bmw E46
Do They Make a Roof Rack for Bmw E46?
While roof top rack systems are made for roughly 98% of cars out there, you might end up requiring a few specific parts to be able to easily install them on your Bmw E46. You may want to take the roof rack of your Bmw E46 to place on another vehicle, but you will need to make sure that the other vehicle’s roof setup is pretty similar to your Bmw E46. For instance, if your Bmw E46 doesn’t have crossbars or rails, the particular roof rack that you will be using might not fit onto another vehicle that does have built in cross bars or rails.
How to Choose the Right Roof Rack for Bmw E46?
- Know what you want to transport.
- Find out the weight capacity of your Bmw E46’s roof before buying a roof rack system.
- Calculate the total weight of the heaviest items that you will want to transport.
- Take a look at your Bmw E46’s current roof set-up.
- Measure your roof Bmw E46’s width and length before buying that new set of crossbars.
- Choose a roof rack that suits the particular application that you will be using it for. For instance, if you want to transport a kayak, you will need to make sure that you buy a kayak rack.
Is Every Roof Rack for Bmw E46 Universal?
You can buy a roof rack and crossbars that can fit on a Bmw E46 that sports raised rails; that is, if you don’t have elevated rails. As mentioned earlier, if you have two vehicle, prior to purchasing a new roof rack, you should make sure that this new rack will fit on both vehicles, not just your Bmw E46.
Why is a Roof Rack for Bmw E46 so Expensive?
The predominant factor regarding the high cost of a roof rack, is the fact that most of the good ones are constructed out of high density aluminum. They also tend to sport a high-quality design and style. In addition, roof racks must have the ability to endure high rates of speed and lots of heavy wind resistance. This involves a great deal of special design features and high-quality parts in every aspect of the roof rack.
Is a Roof Rack for Bmw E46 Worth It?
For all of the many different advantages that it may bring to you, a roof rack for Bmw E46 is definitely going to be among one of the best investments for an accessory that you can include for your vehicle. It might not come cheap, but it’ll definitely be worth it. You have to ensure that you have done all of the necessary research to help ensure that the roof rack that you have chosen is indeed of top quality.
Does a Roof Rack for Bmw E46 Damage your Bmw E46?
When properly installed and safely used, a roof rack can give you years of pleasure and make life easier when looking to transport gear with your Bmw E46. An over-torqued, under-torqued, terribly fitted or overloaded roof rack system can on the other hand can cause quite a bit of real damage to your Bmw E46. “If left on your Bmw E46, your roof rack crossbars system will come in contact with the elements, and consequently the parts on the rack can start to corrode as time passes.
How Much Weight can a Roof Rack for Bmw E46 Support?
About 165 pounds
Active weight capacity is the magic number and identifies how much the roof can take when your Bmw E46 is driving – and it’s really not nearly what you would think it would be. Normally, most cars, and SUVs can haul no more than roughly about 165 pounds of weight, that’s it.
Why do you need a roof rack?
We recommend that you get a roof rack for Bmw E46 as it will allows you to carry just about anything you do not want or can’t fit within your Bmw E46. Maybe it’s big things such as boats, bikes or other unpleasant things like camping gear that got wet or hockey equipment that is too bulky to fit inside the vehicle. Some cars come with manufacturer installed roof rack crossbar systems, some don’t.
Does roof rack affect gas mileage?
Running a control test on a number of vehicles revealed that adding roof top rails alone decreased the vehicle’s fuel economy by about seven percent, or a slight -2 mpg change. However the point stands: whatever you strap to the top of a Bmw E46 will affect it’s fuel consumption.
What is the difference between roof rails and roof racks?
Roof racks are made to handle more cargo weight. Roof rails on the other hand are installed on to a vehicle in a north-south direction that faces parallel with the length of the vehicle. They also offer an aerodynamic design to your Bmw E46 while providing you with an opportunity to easily tie down items that wouldn’t otherwise easily fit inside of your Bmw E46. These additional items can all be stored on the roof.
Can I Install Roof Rails Myself?
Although some cars and SUVs include basic roof racks rails automatically, if your Bmw E46 isn’t outfitted with them yet, you can install one yourself.
How Long Does It Take to Install a Roof Rack?
Exploring the idea of installing a roof rack yourself is a really common idea. It is natural also to want to know how long the whole installation process might take you. Well, you should know that the quantity of time necessary to successfully attach a roof rack carrier to your Bmw E46’s roof top can take less than ten minutes or potentially as long as a whole hour.
What Are Roof Bars on Cars For?
What are roof top bars and why do cars, SUV’s and trucks have them? Roof crossbar systems fit onto the roof of your vehicle, utilizing a variety of different rail connecting systems. Fitted roof top rail bars are perfect if you’re a frequent camper, cyclist, or simply just need to move around some stuff. They enable you to transport your bike, tents, hand bags and other equipment from your home for any new adventure and then back again, all on top of your Bmw E46’s roof.
Are Soft Roof Racks Safe?
Some of the main drawbacks of a soft roof rack become apparent when you are looking to transport larger items over longer distances or at significantly higher speeds when traveling. Soft roof racks are most definitely not as durable or sturdy as their harder counter parts, the hard roof racks. For these particular reasons, soft roof racks have been designed for more or a short trip type of a setting. For taking longer trips, the straps of the soft roof racks can at times break.
In addition, soft roof racks should absolutely not be utilized when driving at speeds that are higher than roughly 40-50 miles per hour. At these higher driving speeds, any type of log and heavy gear (surf board, snow board, kayak, ski, etc..) that is securely strapped to a soft roof racks may start pulling wind, this could in turn make the secured items start to shift. If this happens, there is a good chance that the movement of your items shifting will eventually wear down the straps that are holding down your gear. If however, you do not plan on taking long trips or driving at high speed, than in almost any other type of a situation, soft racks are going to be a great choice.
How Fast Can You Drive With a Surfboard on the Roof?
Roughly about 70mph
70mph is the absolutely highest speed that you should drive while hauling any type of bulky and heavy item on your Bmw E46’s roof top. You should also always read over the manufacturer’s manual to get the exact information as far as what your maximum speed should be for their particular product. Driving down fast with speeds exceeding 70mph with a heavy item on your roof top can cause the roof rack system to break, which can in turn lead to a serious risk of injury to both you as well as other fellow drivers.
Can You Put a Roof Rack on a Bmw E46 With a Sunroof?
The roof rack as we know it is definitely able to be installed on vehicles with a glass or panoramic roof, unless it is otherwise specified in the manufacturer’s manual for the particular roof rack system that you purchased. Also, there are certain types of sunroof roofs that absolutely cannot be used during transport of gear on top of your vehicle’s roof rack.
Are Rhino Roof Racks Universal?
Rhino racks were in particular were created specifically to match one version/model of a vehicle really well. Even though the are not quote on quote universal, roof racks can often time be transferred from one vehicle (a Bmw E46 in this case) to a completely different car, SUV or truck just by updating a few certain parts.
Are Roof Rack Cross Bars Universal?
Most universal roof rack cross bar systems are typically adjustable from 34.5″ to about 49.5″. And yes, most of them are indeed compatible with your for Bmw E46, a different car, SUV or other type of vehicle. If you have a vehicle that already comes with existing raised side-rails that contains a space between 1.5“-2.5”, you should still be able to utilize a universal roof rack. With this said however, please make sure to always double check the proper documentation for that particular rack that you want to purchase, before jumping in to get a roof rack for Bmw E46.
Do You Need Roof Rails for a Roof Rack?
Vehicles with empty / bare roofs are not equipped with crossbars or rails for their roof. Having a completely naked roof top on your Bmw E46 means that you will need to purchase a complete package, a rail pack, as well as crossbars in order to be able to make a complete roof-rack system.
What Can You Put on a Roof Rack?
Once the roof rack is mounted on your Bmw E46, you can utilize it for an array of different cargo items. Depending on your exact preferences, you should be able to transport things like; roof top cargo boxes, bicycle racks, racks for boats, kayaks, surfboards, skis, snowboards, furniture, mattresses and many other items.
Does Slip-Streaming Save Fuel?
Yes, Bmw E46s (just like most other vehicles out there) tend to create an area of relatively low-pressure of air around themselves, which is indeed possible to lessen fuel usage by engaging in this ‘slip-stream’ process. By looking at recent research, vehicles can save all the way up to a potential 17% in energy by tailgating one another. Although, you should know that any top of tailgating of other cars, trucks, SUV’s or other vehicles on the road is extremely unsafe and irresponsible.
Does a Roof Rack for Bmw E46 With a Cargo Box Use More Fuel?
Vehicles with a mounted roof box on their roof tend to spend anywhere between 10 – 25% more on fuel when compared to other vehicles without a roof box. This happens due to the increase of mass area of the vehicle. The added roof box makes the aerodynamics lessen on the car, truck or SUV. Even a completely clear roof rack rail system can potentially add up to 15% to your gas bill.
Is a Thule Roof Rack for Bmw E46 Worth It?
Not all roof racks are made equal. One key thing to worry about is the material used in the construction of the roof rack. If high-grade materials are not utilized, there is a chance that the roof bars can bend during transport of bulky, heavy and oversized items. Thule has been in the business of building roof-top racks and roof top accessories for a while. The great thing about a Thule roof rack is that Thule also sells all of the tiny parts separately, and that means that you can replace them if you needed to.
Can You Sit on Top of a Roof Rack for Bmw E46?
In a variety of different safety crash screening tests, a “Good” roof rack power test means that the Bmw E46 should be able to support up to four times its weight before collapsing. Which technically means that a normal weight individual (someone that is not overweight), or perhaps a normal weight couple should be able to have a seat on the roof top of their Bmw E46 without denting or damaging it.
What Happens if You Put Too Much Weight on a Roof Rack for Bmw E46?
Having too much weight in and on top of your Bmw E46 can put unnecessary stress on some of its most important and critical systems. This can all result in premature wear and tear of the vehicle. An excessive amount of weight in your Bmw E46 will make its engine have to work a lot harder than it has to. If there are certain items that can be removed to lessen your vehicle’s weight (as well as stress on its systems), you should absolutely do it.
Is it Illegal to Strap a Mattress to the Top of a Roof Rack for Bmw E46?
Tying a mattress to your Bmw E46 is not illegal; however, tying a mattress incorrectly onto the roof of your Bmw E46 is completely unlawful. This is not only due to the fact that you are endangering your own life, you are also putting other fellow motorists in peril if your mattress was to fly off. The likelihood of getting pulled over by a law office if you incorrectly put a mattress on your Bmw E46 are extremely high.
Can I Wash my Bmw E46 if it has a Roof Rack?
Can I proceed through a car wash with my roof rack system? No, you absolutely should not. At least not the automatic card wash kind. When you are looking to wash your Bmw E46, you should always make sure to take off the roof rack system in its entirely because the rack might get caught on a some of the car wash equipment. Not only can you damage your Bmw E46 & your roof rack, you can also damage the car wash equipment.
Can You Drive with an Empty Top Carrier or Roof Rack for Bmw E46?
I’m sure that you have by now seen at least a few cars, SUV’s or trucks driving with an empty roof rack. Well, when it comes to it, an empty roof rack is typically fine to drive with as the air can just stream through it while speeding on the highway. An empty cargo box or container however should be taken off while empty due to the fact that it causes drag. In fact, the roof rack system manufacturer Thule actually recommends that you should always remove the roof box from the vehicle when not in use. This can help preserve the entire integrity of the cargo roof top box for a prolonged amount of use!
Is a Roof Rack for Bmw E46 Illegal?
No, they are absolutely not illegal. In fact, law officers are typically unable to fine you for installing a roof rack system on your Bmw E46. No matter what reason or other issue they might have stopped for you, they are unable to ticket you for it. Now, one exception to this rule is if you did not secure your cargo correctly, this is when they can potentially give you problems about your rack. However, if you are driving with properly secured gear on your Bmw E46, there should be no problems.
Will a Thule Roof Rack fit a Bmw E46?
Thule makes excellent roofing bars and has fittings for nearly all car makes and models, including the Bmw E46. It is also a good idea at times to add a rack system with longer cross bars. What longer bars do is that they provide with more space to be able to fit more items on top of your roof rack.
Which is Better, the Thule or Yakima Cargo Box for a Bmw E46?
Here are a few distinct, yet important differences between the Thule & Yakima roof rack and roof box makers. Thule employs a pretty good secure locking system, whereas the Yakima Cargo Package is a super easy to set up system. Thule also creates products that are highly resistant to any type of weather, whereas the Yakima Cargo Box products aren’t as weather-proof and water-resistant. Thule utilizes materials that can haul a good amount of weight, whereas Yakima Cargo Box runs on the very special carbon fiber-like materials.
Can You Put a Roof Rack on a Bmw E46?
Yes, you can definitely get and install a roof top rack system for a Bmw E46. In fact, there are a variety of different possibilities that you can explore when looking for a rack system for your Bmw E46. All of these different options provide additional space to store and transport your gear.
The end result of purchasing and installing a roof rack for Bmw E46 is that you most likely will not end up with a roof rack system that your best friend or neighbor bought. One of the key reasons as to why we say that is the fact that there are so many different roof rack types available out there. There are just as many different manufacturers and models of roof racks out there that it makes it almost impossible choose one on your own. You really do need to have a good starting place where you can calmly do some research on the different features and options that are available.
I’m confident that you probably did come across at least a single universal roof rack system for your Bmw E46 that meets your requirements on our page. All of the different roof rack system have their place on your vehicle, it all simply just comes down to personal preference as well as the exact use that you are looking to get out of your roof rack system. Another key thing to consider is how often you will need to take the roof rack on or off your Bmw E46.
If you enjoyed reading this article on roof rack for Bmw E46, check out the main page with information on Kayak Racks for all other Car, SUV and truck models by clicking here.