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Roof Rails Guides

Getting the Perfect Fit Roof Rails for Your Car

Whether you're in the mood for a car facelift or you just want a hassle-free roof rack installation, getting a set of new roof rails is certainly a good idea. Roof rail prices depend on various factors like the brand, the type, and the material used for the rails. Some online stores offer great deals for both cheap and expensive roof rails. But whether your budget is a huge factor in choosing the right roof rail for you or not, it is still important to learn certain things about these car enhancers to get the product that you really want and the best value for your money.

Roof rails vs. roof racks

Many people confuse roof rails with roof racks. So before you buy the wrong product and waste some good money, start being a responsible shopper and learn the differences now.

Roof rails are usually seen in most mini-vans and SUVs. These are rails that are often made of metal, plastic, fiberglass, or a combination of these materials. Running along the length of the car's top, roof rails are attached through their feet using bolts or other mounts. Aside from upgrading the car's overall look, the purpose of roof rails is to serve as an attachment point for roof racks for a hassle-free installation. Thus, roof racks are sets of bars that are attached to the car's roof rails to carry different types of items like luggage, skis, bicycles, canoes, etc.

The two types of roof rails

Although they serve only for vanity and/or roof rack attachment, you can still choose between two types of roof rails depending on your style preference:

  • Inverted "C" type - as its name implies, the first type looks like an inverted letter C. It is attached to the car's roof with its feet and has several inches of space between the car's top and the rail.
  • Flush-mounted type - this type is probably more popular than the first one. Although the style actually varies, most flush-mounted roof rails are directly attached to the car's roof, meaning there are no actual spaces in between the roof and the rail.

Other considerations

Roof rails are available in different sizes to fit a variety of vehicle makes and models. Before you purchase anything from your trusted online sellers, learn your vehicle's make, model, and roof size to ensure that your new rails are a perfect fit. We also recommend that you buy OEM roof rails so that you can be sure of the product's quality. Some vehicles were not made to have roof rails. If your vehicle is one of them, you may consider other mounting systems like T-racks and fixpoints.

How to Install Your New Car Roof Rails

Installing brand-new roof rails on your vehicle is as simple and exciting as shopping for them. So if you're setting up these babies for looks and function upgrade, you don't have to wait long to see the results. You can do the installation yourself and you can do it in less than an hour.

Difficulty level: Easy

What you'll need:

  • New car roof rails
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Ladder
  • Template with pre-drilled holes
  • Electric drill
  • Drill stops
  • Soft cloth

Step 1: Park your vehicle in a spacious place where you can do the assembly and installation. It is preferable to work in a covered area for a more comfortable and hassle-free installation.

Step 2: Assemble the roof rails and screw the parts together using the screwdriver. Your new roof rails are provided with custom-fit stainless steel screws to help you put the rails together. Usually, a separate set of self-sealing screws is provided for the mounting of the rails on top of the vehicle.

Step 3: Climb up your vehicle's roof using the ladder and carefully position the assembled rails. Adjust the placement of the roof rails from the car top's sides using the tape measure. Make sure that the rails are at the center. It is recommended to measure more than three times just to be certain that your roof rails will be mounted exactly where you want them.

Step 4: Use a template with pre-drilled holes as a guide in puncturing holes through the roof of your car. Be careful with the electric drill for you might pierce too far into the roof. To prevent this, make use of drill stops.

Step 5: Put self-sealing screws at the end of the roof rails and attach them to your car's roof using a screwdriver. Clean your new roof rails and your car's roof using a soft cloth. Wipe away the metal shavings and other deposits.

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