With a lot of different roof rack models out in the market, a first-time buyer will likely have a hard time deciding on a particular design or brand. And the questions "what roof racks fit my car?" and "do roof racks fit all cars?" make it even more difficult to land a solid decision. However, with a little help, you can easily figure out what you need. Here's a breakdown of the parts that make a roof rack function to better understand the roles of each component:
The mount – this part is what latches onto the vehicle and is normally built specifically to your car's make and model.
The tower – this is the part that connects the mount to the cross bars.
Crossbars – as its name suggests, these are the bars that run through both ends of the mounts
Accessories – the additional attachments for the rack comes in a wide variety to handle different items.
Now that you've gotten a little acquainted with the basic parts, here are some tips that will give you more insight on the best way to get a rack mounted on your vehicle.
Using raised rails – cars can sometimes come with two types of mounting points. One is the factory track and the other is the raised rail. By far, the least complicated system to use is the raised rail. You can find specific racks that can grab onto the rails with no additional components needed. Some brands have a number of models for raised rails that is quite easy to install.
Factory tracks – some cars come with tracks that are used for securing towers in place. You do need to find a certain brand that gives the best fit and grip though.
Fixed mounting points – No rails and tracks? No problem! You still have a number of options to choose from. Some car manufacturers have fixed mounting points that are hidden behind rubber or plastic caps on the roof.
Bare roof mounts – if you own a car that does not have tracks, rails, and or fixed mounting points, you can still mount racks on your roof. One option is to use clip systems that latch onto the door jambs of the car. Another, more permanent solution, is to drill holes like factory-drilled mounting points.
As you may have noticed by now, you will never run out of options whatever it is that you want to carry on your car's roof. There will always be an attachment from a certain brand that will fir your car. If you don't have the time or simply don't have access to any retail outlets, you can grab a universal roof rack instead. The universal models don't always have the best look or the best fit, but in some cases, they will work out. Even if your car isn't the latest model, there will always be a product that fits. It's only a matter of research and availability. It's best to get fully informed first prior to buying one, though. You would want to avoid as many mistakes as possible. Some kits offer convenience, coming with various attachments that make it easier for the rack to be mounted on the roof of the car.