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Can a bike rack go through a carwash?

can a rooftop carrier go through a car wash

Can a bike rack go through a carwash?

We sometimes get asked this clarification when customers are using our bike racks. We believe this tip is important to note for those going on or returning from a bike trip. 

Quick Feedback on Bike Racks and Car Washes

Overall, most bicycle rack manufacturers don’t recommend you keep your bike racks on your car when going through a car wash for several reasons. For all bike racks we rent, we don’t recommend you keep them on your car if you need to clean your car either.

Here’s Why Bike Racks and Car Washes don’t mix

Below are a few reasons why leaving a bike rack on your car during a car wash is a bad idea.

  1. The bicycle rack could become stuck in the car washing equipment causing the carwash to break down in turning leading to an expensive day at the carwash for you. 
  2. The bike rack could hit the top or sides of the carwash structure as you pull into the washing area causing damage to the bike rack leading to a broken bike rack for you. 
  3. The soap and excessive water could get inside your bike rack potentially damaging your rack over time.

When in doubt, check the bicycle rack manufacturer’s installation instructions for specific advice for the bike carrier on your car. Each manufacturer such as Thule and Yakima may have additional tips or advice on this cycling topic. 

Though if in doubt, remove the bike rack prior to heading into a car wash. Removing while a bit more work is a cheaper alternative in the long run. 

Other Bike Rack Resources to Help on Your Cycling Adventure

Want to read more bicycle carrier pro tips and tricks? Read our Beginner’s Guide to Selecting a Bike Rack Carrier to learn more

Feel free to email us with questions, we are glad to help. 


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