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Old 02-18-04, 02:11 PM   #1
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Probably a really dumb question re: roof racks and car wash

I have a Thule roof rack on my Altima and I've left it on all winter hoping beyond hope we'd have some nice riding days to no avail. This weekend looks promising though.

Anyway, my question. Can I leave this thing on to run through an automatic car wash? If this weekend is nice, I can probably hand wash, but it isn't always warm enough for that. We've had plenty of salt on the roads this winter and my car is filthy.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-18-04, 02:35 PM   #2
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Most of my friends who have roof racks either don't wash their car, don't use automatic car washes or end up taking their roof rack off first. I would probably recommend taking off the things like wheel holders, air deflectors, and anything else that could be considered even remotely loose. I don't think you have to take it all off. I have a Jeep with a roof rack although I don't have a bike roof-rack for it but the crossbars and such hold up fine through automatic car washes and I see no reason why the major components of quality roof racks shouldn't either.

Also, you can always give this idea a try... no... not really.
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Old 02-18-04, 02:45 PM   #3
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although it has been 30 years I worked at a car wash in high school. If they are removable racks take them off before going through one.
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Old 02-18-04, 02:55 PM   #4
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i've got a thule rack on my car and have taken it through a whole bunch of carwashes with no problems. If you have a touchless carwash in your area that will probibly be the better idea though.
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Old 02-18-04, 03:11 PM   #5
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I am in the category where my car gets washed far less than it would, If only I did not have a roof rack.
I learned the hard way. The manager said the car wash was brushless and they would watch the car as it went through the dryer. They did not keep their promises...Outside the car wash, the owner helped me reassembly my roof rack. The dryer riped the track right off of the cross beams. Luckily, the damage seemed repairable.
Never since Have I used a brushless car wash. Either I wash the car myself or else the car washes with the spray nozzles upon a wand. Not worth the bother to take off the bike rack each time the car needs washing.
The rack stays on the car permamently, since I use it for carrying bikes weekly.
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Old 02-18-04, 08:57 PM   #6
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There is a touchless car wash around here. I may try that if I don't get a chance to do it by hand this weekend. I definitely didn't think I could take it through one of those things with the brushes and belts.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-18-04, 09:02 PM   #7
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Most car washes have signage about not having "aftermarket items" attached to the vehicle. I take my Thule rack off in the late fall and put it back on in early spring, since I wash my van often in the winter to keep the road salt off of it. In the good weather, i wash it by hand or just take the rack off to go to the car wash. It only takes 5 minutes to attach or remove the whole shebang from the roof.

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