How To Reduce Roof Rack Wind Noise and Vibration?

Have you ever noticed that irritating whistling or humming coming from your roof rack while driving? It’s not just a minor annoyance – it’s a sign of inefficient aerodynamics, potentially impacting your vehicle’s performance and fuel economy.

As someone who has faced and conquered this noisy nemesis, I’m here to guide you through proven solutions. In this article, we’ll dive into practical, tested methods to significantly reduce roof rack wind noise and vibration, ensuring your drives are as quiet as they are enjoyable.

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How to Stop Roof Rack Wind Noise?

Since wind hits the roof rack as fast as greased lightning, we need to look for feasible ways to minimize noisy sounds.

We have introduced here wind fairings, roof rack crossbars, and some DIY wind deflectors to let you adopt the convenient alternative below.

Get a Wind Fairing for Roof Rack

INNO Medium Universal Mount FairingINNO Medium Universal Mount FairingCHECK CURRENT PRICE

The INNO wind fairing is for roof rack owners who have been facing the whistling noise from the very beginning. This wind fairing, also well-renowned as Wind Deflector, is a plastic-made shield that deflects wind away. As the wind is being distracted, there is hardly any chance of getting the annoying vibration.

Universally, wind fairings are very popular to be fit to your vehicle. The wind fairing works as the top section tends to attach to the front crossbar when the bottom section connects on the top of the car. INNO fits all-sized crossbars and widths of your vehicle.

A wind fairing has other benefits too. For instance, improving gas mileage, experiencing less drag, and stylish appearance. Depending on the quality, design, and brand, the wind fairings’ cost is well-determined. Before you purchase wind fairings, make sure whether it compatibles with your vehicle or not.

Related reading: Best Bike Rack For Car Reviews & Buying Guide

Consider 3 Features before Purchase the Best Wind Fairing

From our experience, we can say that the wind fairing technique works better than any other available products. Wind fairings are indeed pretty expensive. That is why we want you to decide the other features of wind fairing before you invest.

Materials are of High-Quality

Wind Fairing should be long-lasting, sturdy, plastic-made, or acrylic. Before you purchase, get assured whether it maintains these features.


A tint is always a must-have feature.  When you pass other cars, tint spreads a glare that other cars receive.


Wind Fairings are easy-to-install tools. You will not need to waste time with bolts and screws to make them attached.

Shift Your Roof Rack Crossbar into Aerodynamic One

YAKIMA - JetStream Bar Aerodynamic CrossbarsYAKIMA – JetStream Bar Aerodynamic CrossbarsCHECK CURRENT PRICE

Aerodynamic crossbars are highly designed tools to prevent wind noise on your roof rack. They mostly come in an oval shape that allows air to flow around the crossbars. With a no-noise feature, aerodynamic crossbars contain wind diffuser strips. Besides, they are so quiet that you barely require wind fairings to attach.

You can look into YAKIMA branded roof rack crossbars that reduce drag to provide maximum efficiency. These are lightweight and aluminum-constructed.

Check Whether Your Vehicle’s Base Rack is Well-built

When you transport your belongings in the roof rack basket, you hear an irritating sound, don’t you? If this is your case, look into the base roof rack. Ensure that you have kept the support towers secured.

You can secure it by tying down the straps and mounts attached to the vehicle. We all know the base rack connects the vehicle. In that situation, you need to pull on the side of the crossbar to the side to check whether you’ve got a stable base rack.

Related reading: How to Carry Women’s Bike on Rack?

Reduce the Humming through Bar Padding

It does not matter which type of bar you use. You can always add bar pads wrapping around the crossbars on the vehicle’s roof rack. Cause bar padding disturbs airflow and reduces the creation of unpleasant noises.

Two types of bar load surfaces are out there- load bars and edge bars. Load bars refer to be heavy and wide with an additional space to keep objects placed. On the other hand, between these two, edge bars have better chances to reduce wind noise. Since edge bars allow better reroute airflow, the curvature of the bars prevents wind resistance.

Fix the Roof Rack Noise in the Following Steps:

If you ever face the situation that your aerodynamic-designed roof rack creates sound, consider these steps to fix the issue:

  • Make sure all the measuring strips are well-inserted on both undersides of the bars, including the rubber strip.
  • Cannot locate the strips? Take out the crossbars and give them a shake. With little effort, you will see them sliding out. Replace the rubber strip with the one in the crossbar parts section.
  • If the first two steps do not work out, find any wind-fairing product that deflects air around the rack and gear bars. It will keep the sound quiet.

Use Cordage to Reduce Noises

Take a nylon cord and wrap it around the first crossbar in a spiral pattern. Wrap the cordage twice and tighter overhand knot at a 45-degree angle. When wind travels over the crossbar, the crossbar tends to sound less than before. A ¼ inch thick or more diameter cord will work in this process perfectly.

DIY Tip-Tap Section of Pool Noodle to the Crossbar

If you are more into the Do-it-yourself trick, you should try taping the available sections of a pool noodle to the crossbars of your vehicle. Although it adds some drag to the roof rack, this method reduces the noise than the wind fairing cost.

Invest In An Aerofoil Bar

Thule AeroBlade Edge Flush Mount RackThule AeroBlade Edge Flush Mount RackCHECK CURRENT PRICE

You can find a new aerofoil crossbar that provides an eye-catching improvement in a noisy roof rack. Thule and Rhino-Rack bring out new products in the market with the feature of noise-reducing strips. These products are well-applied and remain silent during their use.

Besides, Thule Aeroblade has wind diffuser technology that reduces noise. Sometimes, it can reduce drag to provide an improved fuel economy.

Related reading: Best Bike Rack for Subaru Outback

How to Stop Roof Rack Vibration?

Vibration noise occurs when you transport something on a roof rack. The sound seems to be annoying. Yet, it indicates that we need to look for loose connections that may cause the problem.

Get an Airfoil

Airfoil is another solution to install around the front rack bar. It blocks the difference or gap between the rack and the car roof. As a result, the wind goes through from two sides and the top of the vehicle’s roof rack. It creates no sound, even any vibration.

Related reading: How to Transport Bike in SUV?

Are the Contact Points Well-attached?

You need to look for contact points that rub the vehicle’s surface. The contact points stay between the roof rack and other attached accessories. Apply rubber stripping to all contact points and attach to the adhesive side. It creates less vibrating noise in the surface area of the vehicle.

It is also significant to save support towers and straps (tie-down) to the vehicle. To stabilize the base rack, pull side to side on the crossbars. After that, adjust the roof rack’s mounting points attached to the base. You can adjust by pulling a strap or turning a knob.

A gear would never move if the mounting points were well-attached. We have talked before about cords to secure gear or crossbars. You can also try with duct tape and zip ties to stop vibrating.

Use an RTV Sealant

Under each foot of roof racks, there is a rubber gasket that vibrates when you go at a fast speed. Using an RTV sealant keeps it quiet. RTV sealant refers to room temperature vulcanizing. It starts curing immediately when it is exposed to air.

Related reading: Best Bike Rack For SUV Reviews & Buying Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I reduce roof rack noise without buying new accessories?

Absolutely! One effective DIY method involves wrapping a nylon cord around your roof rack’s crossbars in a spiral pattern. This simple adjustment can disrupt airflow and reduce noise significantly.

Does adding a wind fairing impact fuel efficiency?

Yes, in most cases, adding a wind fairing can actually improve fuel efficiency. By streamlining airflow over your vehicle, it reduces drag, which can lead to better mileage.

Are aerodynamic crossbars worth the investment?

Definitely, the aerodynamic crossbars are worth their price. While the initial cost might be higher, aerodynamic crossbars are designed to minimize wind noise and drag. This not only makes for a quieter ride but can also improve fuel efficiency in the long run.

Final Words

In my journey to quell the clamor of roof rack wind noise and vibration, I’ve learned that each vehicle and rack setup is unique. The solutions are as varied as the causes. From sleek wind fairings to simple yet effective DIY fixes, the key is experimenting and finding what works best for your setup.

My personal favorite? A combination of aerodynamic crossbars and a quality wind fairing. It’s about striking that perfect balance between functionality and peace of mind. After all, the ultimate goal is to enjoy the ride, not just endure it.

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