Right ski roof rack?
October 30, 2009 11:25 AM   Subscribe

I want to buy a ski roof rack for my late(st) model Honda Civic. Any suggestions? I'm concerned about any impact on the fit (seals) and finish (paint) on my car. How justified is this paranoia? Also I will likely eventually want to carry bikes or other cargo.
posted by Wood to Shopping (4 answers total)
I had a Thule rack on my Accord. No problems with the finish, although if you leave it on 24/7 like most people, there will eventually be a noticeable difference where the feet of the rack was. I only recall having a leak once, and that was due to having rolled a seal during installation.
posted by electroboy at 11:28 AM on October 30, 2009

Dunno about roof racks, but I've left my bike rack on the trunk of my '06 Civic from around May to October for the past two years and I'm starting to see a couple of scuff marks from where the foam pads were resting. I guess just make sure your rack is on really tight.
posted by xbonesgt at 11:55 AM on October 30, 2009

I have sold, installed and serviced all brands of roof racks through years of working in sports and bike shops.

I absolutely recommend a permanent installation using Yakima Tracks. These are flexible but durable, low-profile and weatherproof tracks that drill into your roof's sheet metal, then allow you to install Yakima Control Towers.

If you drive a car that you love, or at least drive a car that you intend to keep a long time, this is the way to go.

I've had problems with Yakima Q towers and Thule Aero towers tearing up the door seals on many models of cars. My current vehicle is a Honda CRV, which I mounted the Yakima Tracks to. A benefit of this system is that the Control Towers install and remove from the tracks faster than any other system (for storage or fuel efficiency), and it looks super clean and sporty.

You typically see them mounted on truck bed toppers, but as a person who runs this system, whenever I see one mounted directly to the sheet metal on another car, I appreciate that that driver is somebody who is committed to their vehicle and it's functionality. I saw this system mounted on a Mini once and it looked super sporty.

You could argue that this might devalue your vehicle but it is in fact considered a customization and actually will add value to your car down the road. Any handy person with a drill can install this system.
posted by Oireachtac at 12:57 PM on October 30, 2009 [2 favorites]

I have a Thule rack on my Acura TL (stretched Accord). No problems with leaks at all, and that includes driving through a few coastal deluges at highway speeds.
No damage from the rack, through I got a few scratches on the roof mostly from the cargo straps going on and off (I transport lumber and kayaks up top).
Key thing to remember is to make sure you clean the bottom of the rack and the top of the car really thoroughly before installing it, otherwise you could get some grit up there that might scratch.
Oh and if you are worried about the paint being a different colour, taking it on and off is a breeze, takes like 5 minutes tops. I usually just leave it on all the time, silver car and I cant tell where the rack was, except for the clean spot at first.
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 12:57 PM on October 30, 2009

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