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Can You Have a Roof Rack With a Sunroof?

You’ve probably thought, “Can I install a roof rack on a car with a sunroof?” whether your vehicle has a panoramic, pop-up, built-in, or any other style of sunroof. Is it possible? Ruining the sunroof and having to spend hundreds of dollars having it fixed are the last things you want to do.

Can you mount a roof rack to a car with a sunroof?

Can You Have a Roof Rack With a Sunroof - topgearadvice.com

Yes, it is feasible, but to prevent the rack from resting exactly on top of the glass, you will need to buy clearance bars and longer bolts. Having said that, if you have an aftermarket sunroof, find out if installing a roof rack is possible by consulting the manufacturer’s handbook.

Some of the most inventive people you’ll ever meet are outdoor aficionados. They are aware that carrying large objects doesn’t always require a rack. This post will explain how to install one whether you own a fast BMW or a Honda Accord. Additionally, it will provide essential information for utilizing the sunroof while having roof racks on top.

How do roof racks work?

A roof rack is a unique accessory that connects and bolts to the rear of the automobile, making it simple to transfer extra objects that won’t fit inside the car. The market offers a variety of mounting options, including roof-mounted, vertical towers, and horizontal bars.

The kind of rack you require depends depend on the kind of vehicle. We’ll be discussing about roof-mounted racks in this post.

How to mount a roof rack to a sunroof on a car

How to mount a roof rack to a sunroof on a car - topgearadvice.com

A car with a sunroof may have a roof rack installed just like any other car. You may find comprehensive instructions for installing crossbars on a sunroof-equipped car below.

Therefore, let’s begin.

Equipment You’ll Need

  • Set of Allen wrenches
  • Set of precision screwdrivers
  • Tape ruler (for measuring the height of your sunroof)
  • A sharp blade or utility knife
  • Sticky tape
  • Matching bolts, nuts, and washers for your roof rack system. For instance, if you use a Yakima system, you will require the standard bolt, nut, and washer set.

Prior to starting

Take off the antenna and all other roof-mounted attachments. By doing this, you can prevent accidental harm to them during installation.

Step #1: What kind of rack will you need for your sunroof vehicle?

All you need to do is install the crossbars because the roof rack will often be fitted on newer vehicles already. Purchase a clearance bar with longer bolts if your car is older and lacks them.

The clearance bar will prevent the roof rack from bumping into your roof and perhaps denting or scratching it. The longer bolts will guarantee that the brackets fastened to the rear of your automobile won’t come free or sustain harm.

Therefore, the style of roof rack you choose will rely on how your car’s top appears. You will need to purchase the entire system, which includes the crossbars, saddles, and other components, if you own a Toyota Prius, which is what I do. Of course, unless you’ve installed an aftermarket one, the majority of Toyota Prius models lack a sunroof.

You’ll need to buy a whole roof rack system if your car doesn’t already have crossbars on it.

Some of the most popular ones let you mount canoes, kayaks, motorcycles, skis, and snowboards. Such systems are made by companies like Thule, Yakima, and others.

Scroll down farther if you’re not sure what kind of purchase to make. If your car has a sunroof, I’ve included some of the top roof racks you can buy.

Measure the height of your vehicle’s sunroof.

To prevent the roof rack from touching the glass top, you will need to lift it to this height. Only if you have to install the crossbars is this required (the ones that go long way, not side to side).

Make sure you mark the locations for the bolts holding the rack with a measuring tape. Because every car is unique, you should consult the owner’s handbook.

We’ll be showing you how to install rooftop crossbars as we’re presuming that your car already has side rails for the sake of these instructions.

Step #3 Read the roof rack for sunroof manufacturer’s guidelines.

Read the roof rack for sunroof manufacturer’s guidelines - topgearadvice.com

For optimal weight distribution, the crossbars should be positioned according to the directions that come with the roof rack. Most roof racks that have been pre-installed contain bolts or markings that indicate where to place the crossbars.

If not, you should measure from the height of your sunroof to the location where the new crossbars will be installed using the tape measure. Make sure there is adequate room between the crossbars so that nothing hits the glass.

Step #4: Release the cross bar locks

To open up or unlock the rack, use the provided keys. To disengage the lock on the lever once it has been unlocked, put the hex wrench into the adjustment gear and crank counterclockwise.

Continue doing so until the cross rails are loose on all four sides. Open the bottoms after they are loosened, then position them horizontally on the crossbar of your car.

Step #5: Set the cross bars in place

Use the measuring tape to make sure the crossbars are even if your vehicle doesn’t have marks for their placement. They should be put in place so that the weight is equally distributed across the roof of the car.

Once you’ve established this, tighten the nuts with the Allen wrench.

Step #6: Evaluate the rack’s durability

Avoid stripping the screws by not over-tightening them. Check that the sides are straight to one another and not slanted inward or outward to make sure each side is tight.

When you tug on them, they should not slip or move. When they are put properly, you will know it.

Best roof racks for sunroof-equipped cars?

Best roof racks for sunroof-equipped cars - topgearadvice.com

As was already said, the kind of rack you receive will depend on the kind of rack you purchase. A Toyota Prius, a Honda Accord (with a sunroof), and a Toyota Celica with an aftermarket sunroof are just a few of the many kinds of cars I’ve had.

Additionally, we have assisted a number of our outdoor friends in mounting roof racks on a variety of cars. Here are a few of our favorites that are excellent for sunroof-equipped cars.

eTrailer systems: A panoramic sunroof is compatible with the Thule AeroBlade roof rack system. It includes of the Fit Kit, Silver or Black Evo Fee, and Wingbar Evo Crossbars.

Best Roof Rack Pads: These fit cars without crossbars well. It employs pads that won’t harm the glass on the sunroof or the top of the car and includes all the necessary equipment.

It also makes use of pads to safeguard the roof and sunroof from harm, according to the HEYTRIP Universal Soft Roof Rack. It is ideal for carrying a kayak or surfboard.

Air-filled roof rack

Consider using an inflatable roof rack if you want a cheap solution or are worried about harming your sunroof. It’s ideal for a brief journey and is simple to take off after usage, so it won’t impede the sunroof’s ability to open and close.

Will using a roof rack ruin my sunroof?

An appropriately placed roof rack won’t harm your car. Make sure you go through the rack system’s cautions. The manufacturer will specify in detail how to take care of and preventative measures for both your rack and vehicle.

For instance, before activating the sunroof, always be mindful of the clearance space between the goods and your rooftop. Your luggage or sunroof might get damaged if you don’t do this.

Can I open the sunroof while using a roof rack?

Depending on the sort of sunroof your car has, you may or may not be able to use it with a roof rack connected. The several types of sunroofs are shown below, along with whether or not a roof rack may be used to open them.

Sunroof Model Opening Mechanism Roof Rack Friendly?
Pop-up sunroof Opens upward No
Spoiler sunroof The sunroof door tilts up and slides backwards No
Inbuilt or Moonroof The sunroof’s door panel slides backwards remaining between the inside of the vehicle and the metal roof Yes
Folding ragtops A soft material door panel that folds backwards whenever it is opened No
Panoramic This is a large sunroof with panels that span the entire front and rear No
Removable roof Convertible cars tend to have a removable roof top or glass Yes

Ultimately, the distance that’s present there between the glass and the roof rack will determine whether or not the sunroof may be opened. Before attempting to open the window, I would advise measuring the opening distance.

In conclusion

Undoubtedly, a car with a sunroof can accommodate a roof rack. However, there are a few crucial considerations to keep in mind while mounting a roof rack to your sunroof-equipped car.

You must select how far back you want it put and the space between the roof and your back.

Installing the brackets properly will prevent them from denting or scratching the car’s roof. Additionally, larger bolts for the brackets are required.

Last but not least, you should be aware of what should not be placed on your roof and what might potentially weigh heavily on it, such as large objects that could cause permanent harm.