Do Bike Racks Damage your Car?

The most frustrating thing is reaching your destination and finding damage to the car or bikes. It potentially ruins your plans and compels you to dig deeper into your pockets to repair the damage. The bicycle racks to be attached to the car are space-creating solutions. So you don’t have to force your bikes into the car.

The trunk bike racks create the most significant potential for damaging your vehicle. The primary cause of damage is the result of bike racks coming to direct contact with your car, where they are attached, and the use of straps and foam pads.

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Can a Bike Rack Damage Car?

Let’s dive into some of the circumstances that may lead to a bike rack installed in your vehicle, damaging your vehicle.

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  1. The weight of the Bike rack

The weight of the new accessory in the car will affect the Centre of rotation, which affects the vehicle’s balance. It reduces the ability of your car to handle windingand undulating roads.  Consumer Reports suggest that carrying heavy language on the rooftop of an SUV may cause a higher center of gravity, leading to compromise of emergency handling. You need to know how much weight your rack will hold.

The extra weight damages the body panel and paint of the vehicle where it rests.

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If not properly secured, bumping the hitch rack may slide and cause a substantial impact to damage the roof. In case of a significant force, the bicycle forks may penetrate the top of your car. Depending on the effect’s intensity, you may dent the vehicle, or the glassy part broken.

  1.  Blocking the rearview window and liftgate.

When the mounted bike rack fitted at the back, it obscures the blind-spot visibility. Bicycles could also hold on something at the end or get hit by side objects, the shaking or the swings caused by the sudden movement may result in fatal damage to the vehicle.

  1. Straps failure

The straps might become loose, wear out or snap, resulting in the bike banging onto the vehicle’s body panel. Paint is scratched from the car’s body by the bicycle in such cases. The bike rack’s effectiveness relies majorly on the straps having secured tightly; if not done correctly, the rack’s bike might sway or shift while driving, thereby denting the car.

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  1. Padding, barrier straps, and bungee cords if used to secure the bike.

Padding is placed between the bikes to prevent the cycles from banging to the vehicle surface or each other; these causes rub marks to the body panel’s paint and texture due to friction. The appearance of rub marks is accelerated if the surface is dirty.

Bungee cords and barrier straps to secure the bikes on the rack also scratch the paint in the vehicle body panel’s surface.

  1. Wind resistance

The bike rack attached increases wind resistance, therefore, damaging the car by reducing your car gas mileage; it also produces more wind noise. Wind resistance or wind noise while driving can be noticeable and can also hurt gas mileage. When you attacha bike rack, it damages your vehicle because the connection leads to increased turbulence in any location.

High-speed driving on the highway with a bike rack attachedresearch indicates it reduces the gas mileage by approximately 9% compared to the same vehicle without a bike rack. The main difference is due to an increase in drag on the car, which is more pronounced during high speed.

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  1. Increase in height and length of your car

A bike rack mounted on the spare tire or trunk increases your vehicle’s overall length and causes difficulty of maneuvering and backing up in enclosed spaces. The roof-mounted bike racks increase the risk of damage, especially during packing in garages, structures with low clearance, drive-through food restaurants, and areas with trees hanging low. Mounting bike racks may also interfere with the installation of the spoilers.

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  1. Mounting the bike on the rack

Placing the bike on the rack onto a tall vehicle can be a tough challenge increasing the risk of mishandling resulting in scratches on the vehicle’s surface, body and other possible damages.

The bike rack may not be compatible with the bicycle, and if adapters had are not used, the banging of the bike is common, causing the denting of your car.

  1. Warranty

Most of the small car ratings do not allow towing and mounting of a bike rack. These cause problems during routine servicing and maintenance because it affects the manufacturer’s warranty.

Related: Can You Open Your Trunk With a Bike Rack on it?

  1. Installing the bike racks

Bike racks are safe if properly installed. If installed incorrectly, significant damage can be caused by the bikes bumping and harming the car. The frame moves against the trunk, creating dents on the surface of the body. If not properly secured, the rack may fall from the vehicle causing irreversible damage to your car.

Installing some of the bike racks requires drilling oof top, vehicle panels, or cutting the rear side ich damages your vehicle.

  1. Car washing with the Bike rack

The bike rack snags create damage to your car during cleaning and may trap a lot of dust, spillage oil bike oils making it hard to clean. These affect your warranties in place. It is vital to remove the bike rack before cleaning.

  1. Usage of plastics

Most bike racks have plastics; they quickly wear off and fall into the vehicle’s surface, leading to denting and scratching.


Bike racks are manufactured with materials and technology in such a way to carry bicycles while ensuring minimum or no damage to your car. When properly maintained and used well, these bike racks can keep most of the problems away.

Be as it may be, issues still occur due to human error and wear and tear. You should use the right size and makeup of the bike racks. The car user should follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the later.

Minimal use of bike racks is the best option, and avoiding high driving speed and bumpy roads, you recommend to prevent damage to your car.

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