Roof racks are a common accessory on Subaru Outback models, offering extra storage space and the ability to carry bulky items like kayaks, canoes, and skis. However, Subaru Outback roof rack problems can arise, such as noise caused by air resistance, overload issues, and airflow restriction. In this blog post, we will provide 7 hacks to overcome common Subaru Outback roof rack issues, optimizing your roof rack system for a smoother, quieter ride.
5 Outback Roof Rack Problems
Here are the main things that affect the roof of a Subaru Outback. You might be having some of these problems. If you want a Subaru Outback, you should learn as much as you can about it.
1. It makes a noise when you drive it.
This problem usually happens with older racks, but it can also happen with newer racks.
In addition to making noise because of air resistance, they can also shrink when you put a lot of weight on them.
Consider this situation: you’re going to a faraway place and need to bring a lot of things with you, like blankets, chairs, and other things. The roof of your car might get in the way.
When going fast, the more air resistance there is, the more noise can be made, which can be annoying and make it hard to drive.
This noise changes depending on how fast you’re going, the shape and size of the crossbar, and, as we’ve already said, how strong the wind is.
If you like to drive by yourself, the noise from the roof rack can be quite annoying. When wind moves over or through things, it makes noise.
But I don’t think you’ll notice if you talk or listen to music while you drive.
2. The Subaru Outback makes people use more gas.
Because carrying a lot of big things puts more stress on the wheels and steering wheel, a roof rack helps save fuel.
It’s as easy as comparing walking alone to walking with a big pack on your back. Your car also moves when it’s carrying a lot of weight, which changes the air resistance and makes it use more gas.
If you want to buy a car with a roof rack, this is something you should think about carefully. I think you will spend a lot of money on gas if you have to fill up your tank often.
3. When turning, make the car wobble.
If you put too much stuff on the roof, it could throw off the balance of your car. When you’re going fast and the wind is strong, the drag is especially noticeable. This changes the balance of the car you’re driving.
When you’re going around a bend, this is even more obvious because your car will shake. If you don’t keep your items in place, they can move around. This also doesn’t happen very often.
When you make lots of sharp turns on uneven ground, your car will shake. Always be careful when you drive!
4. There wasn’t enough room between the roof and the roof rack
The Subaru Outback looks better because the company that made it took away a small space between the top roof and the roof rack. This helps lessen the effect of air drag on the way the car moves.
But this is something to consider. Just by taking up less space, you can move your things closer to the top. This could cause scratches on your car, which would make you look bad.
Sharp, rough furniture should be avoided, such as bicycles, tents, and small travel chairs. They can scratch the paint on your car at any time if you don’t take care of them.
5. Subaru’s Roof Rack Breaks Because It Was Too Heavy
Even though Subaru’s roof racks are strong, some customers have said they aren’t strong enough to carry big bags.
Over the years, Subaru’s strong roof rack system has won a lot of praise. But this roof rack has become less reliable over time, which has upset people who use it.
If you own a Subaru and often carry big things like kayaks, you might want to have a professional install a stronger system than the one that came with the car. I think you should do this to be on the safe side.
On the other hand, I don’t think you need to make the change if you only need to move small things. The roof racks that came with your car are strong enough for your needs.
Roof Rack Types
There are different kinds of roof racks on the market right now, and the kind you get will depend on the model of your car. Below, we’ll talk about the different kinds.
1. Rails That Stick Up
Most SUVs and minivans have these kinds. They are stylish, and they usually come on the roof of your car from the factory.
When you need to carry big things, it’s easy to attach crossbars to them.
Because they can do more than one thing, they can be used to carry different things. A Subaru Outback has rails that are higher up.
2. Roofless Rack
The bare roof is another type that is common in the world today. This kind of vehicle doesn’t come with lines or tracks from the factory.
The racks need to be attached to the door frames or roof curves.
Some cars come with tracks that go from the back to the front already installed.
So that it will be easy for you to put up the racks, the tracks are lined up next to each other.
There will be a roof rack system or bars with tracks that make it easy to put them on.
4. Stable Point Rack
On the edge of the roof of some cars, there are points that come from the plant. When you’re not using them, these things don’t stand out as much.
They are safe, and you can take different things in them without much trouble.
Quick Fix for the Subaru Outback Roof Rack Problems
1. Mind the Weight Limit
The Subaru Outback roof rack weight limit is approximately 150 pounds. Overloading can cause damage to the factory rails and the roof. To prevent this, ensure you distribute the weight evenly across the roof rack and do not exceed the maximum weight limit. Check the item weights beforehand and make sure heavy items such as skis, kayaks, and heavy luggage are appropriately secured to prevent wobble.
2. Use a Strong Roof Rack
Subaru’s roof racks are designed to handle a lot of weight and provide ample storage space. However, if you frequently carry a lot of heavy items, consider investing in aftermarket rack systems. These are often stronger and offer a higher weight capacity than the Subaru Outback’s factory rails.
3. Install a Wind Fairing
Air resistance at high speeds can cause noise from your roof rack, as well as airflow resistance. You can reduce this noise and drag by installing a wind fairing. This accessory diverts airflow over the top roof and the roof rack, reducing noise while driving and improving fuel efficiency.
4. Use Roof Rack Pads
Roof rack pads act as a cushion between your cargo and the roof rack. They protect your items and the vehicle’s roof rack from scratches and damage. If you carry items like kayaks, canoes, or pedal bikes, wrapping them in rubber pads can prevent the pedals from scratching the paint or causing any other damage.
5. Choose Aerodynamic Crossbars
Choosing sleeker, sportier, and more aerodynamic crossbars can reduce air resistance and noise at high speeds. The latest Subaru Outback models come with edge bars that have a foil bar design, reducing the drag as well as the noise from the roof rack.
6. Secure Your Cargo Properly
Secure your luggage on the roof rack properly to prevent it from moving or causing unbalance while driving. Use strong straps and clamps, and always double-check that all items are securely fastened before you drive.
7. Regular Maintenance and Checkup
Regularly inspect your Subaru Outback roof rack for any signs of wear and tear. Tighten any loose bolts or clamps, and ensure the rack is firmly attached to the roof rails. This will ensure a long lifespan for your rack and prevent any potential problems before they arise.
With these hacks, any Subaru Outback roof rack problem can be easily managed. Remember, the key is to use your roof rack properly, stay within the weight limit, and maintain your rack regularly. If you have any questions or concerns about your Subaru Outback roof rack, leave a comment below, and we’ll be happy to assist you.
Subaru Outback Roof Rack Problem: FAQs
Q1: What are some common problems with the Subaru Outback roof rack?
Some common problems with the Subaru Outback roof rack include weight limit issues, noise from the roof rack, and wobbling of the rack system.
Q2: What is the weight limit for the Subaru Outback roof rack?
The weight limit for the Subaru Outback roof rack varies depending on the specific model and year. It is important to consult the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer to determine the exact weight limit for your vehicle’s roof rack.
Q3: Can I put luggage on the roof rack of my Subaru Outback?
Yes, you can put luggage on the roof rack of your Subaru Outback. To prevent damage to the roof rack or the vehicle, it is crucial to make sure that the weight of the luggage does not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended weight limit.
Q4: How can I prevent the Subaru Outback roof rack from making noise?
To prevent noise from the Subaru Outback roof rack, you can use a wind fairing or adjust the crossbars to ensure a secure fit. Additionally, reducing the airflow resistance by placing heavier items closer to the vehicle’s center and using proper tie-down methods can also help reduce noise.
Q5: Are aftermarket rack systems compatible with the Subaru Outback roof rack?
Yes, aftermarket rack systems are available that are compatible with the Subaru Outback roof rack. However, it is crucial to choose a system specifically designed for your vehicle’s make and model to ensure proper installation and functionality.
Q6: What is the space between the roof and the roof rack on a Subaru Outback?
The space between the roof and the roof rack on a Subaru Outback varies depending on the model and type of rack system used. It is recommended to consult the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for specific measurements and information regarding your vehicle.
Q7: What is the noise caused by air resistance when using a roof rack?
When using a roof rack, air resistance noise is common and can vary depending on the rack’s design and the placement of the cargo. To minimize noise, it is recommended to use a wind fairing, secure the cargo properly, and distribute the weight evenly across the rack.
Q8: Can the Subaru Outback roof rack carry a lot of weight?
The Subaru Outback roof rack has a weight limit that should not be exceeded. While it can carry a considerable amount of weight, it is essential to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure the safety of the roof rack,
Q9. What is the weight limit of the 2021 Subaru Outback roof rack?
The 2021 Subaru Outback comes with a strong roof rack or rack system that is designed to safely carry significant weight. According to Subaru, the roof of the Outback has a weight limit of 165 pounds that can be distributed on the factory roof rack.
The Outback’s roof rack is well-designed to properly distribute weight across the roof rails. It incorporates reinforced mounting points to securely hold roof items like cargo boxes, bikes, kayaks, or even a rooftop tent. As long as weight is properly centered and positioned evenly from front to back, the roof rack may safely support close to its maximum rated load capacity without risk of damage.
Owners should always refer to their owner’s manual for exact weight limits and distribution guidance. And it’s wise not to exceed the recommended roof weight limit. But the Outback’s sturdy factory roof rack provides confidence that, with proper loading techniques, it can handle the weight of common outdoor gear for adventures.