Do You Leave Your Bike Rack On Your Car? (Quick Answers)

Bike racks on your car are becoming a popular option for many riders since it gives the rider more control and safety over where and how they want to store and park their bikes. However, this comes with its own set of problems, such as what to do with it when you are not using the rack.

Do you leave your bike rack on your car?

Whether you should keep the bike rack on your car depends on personal preference as well the build of the rack. Some believe it is okay to keep it on year-round since it folds up when unused, while others think keeping it on always can increase the chances of it getting stolen or scratching the car.

The general advice is that if you don’t seem to need the rack for the next few days or weeks or even months, it is better to remove them and “let it rest”, so to speak. Regardless if you keep it on or not, good care and maintenance will always increase the longevity of both your bike and its storing rack.

Is it ok to leave your bike rack on your car?

It depends on your lifestyle and how much use you are getting out of the bike rack for you to determine if it is okay to leave your bike rack on your car.

Most manufacturers do believe that despite their aggressive testing and guarantying, keeping the rack on 24/7 is a fireproof way to decrease the life length of your rack. There is also the off chance that if your rack is blocking your license plate, it could become a legal issue.

The general consensus is to take it off since keeping it on will wear it out faster, as well as be a target for thievery.

Should I leave my bike rack on my car?

If you want to leave your bike rack on your car, by all means, you are welcome to. Wear and tear-wise, it should be fine.

However, it is advised to check with your state and local news to see if it is legal to leave the bike rack on your vehicle unattended for a long period of time since there are some jurisdictions where it is unallowed.

Some also believe keeping it on when you do not need it can cause the car to have flawed aerodynamics and cost you more fuel. Continuous exposure to the sun could also degrade the plastic or nylon material it is made of.

As it usually takes about 5-10 minutes to take it on and off, it is advised to make it a habit of taking it off when it is not needed and storing it properly.

Are bike racks easy to remove?

Manufacturers have tweaked the formula so much that putting bike racks on and removing them is easier than they have ever been. Bike racks are deceptively easy to remove, the hitch racks variant being one of the easiest.

Since they are lightweight and user-friendly, handling bike racks is an almost effortless task. The installations are usually one and done, using them becomes as simple as lifts them on, and removing them becomes a matter of minutes.

If you are unsure how to remove the bike rack, you can always contact the manufacturer.

How do I store my bike rack?

Now that you know it is better to remove and store bike racks when they are not being extensively in use, here are some ways you can store your bike rack. To start with,

Garage floor:

This is one of the most common ways to store bike racks if you can’t be bothered to mount your rack to something. Simply keep the rack on the floor and pick it back up when you need it again.

Wall mount:

this method is becoming popular day by day for it is both practical and stylish. Wall-mounted docking stations are practical and they let you beautifully display your stash as well.

All you need to do is level and mark the place you want to mount it and drill the pieces on it. Typically, these wall mounts can handle up to 100lbs of products.

You could also just leave the bike rack into your car’s trunk if it folds into itself and be kept there. Leaning them against the abandoned hallway works too. Basically, storing bike racks needs to be as easy or difficult you would like them to be.

Can I leave my bike rack on my car in the rain?

Whether you can leave your bike rack on your car when it is pouring outside depends on the material your rack is made of and where they are on the car itself.

Roof racks can handle the rain better than the trunk or rear racks since there is rain and bug cover that work with roof racks. But for rear racks, not only does the bike get wet, but they also become dirty and the straps become abraded.

Too much gunk and dirt will accumulate into the rack if it is left unattended in the rain which will ultimately ruin the rack, bike, and later on the car itself, so it is advised to either properly cover it and remove it.

Can I go through a carwash with a bike rack?

Since your bike rack can’t handle natural rain, it is highly unadvisable to go through a carwash with a bike rack.

It is advised through and through that taking the bike rack through an automatic car wash would thoroughly damage the rack itself and worse off, the car itself. 

For most cases, they aren’t covered by warranty as well so you will have to be the one paying for this unfortunate mistake from your own pocket.

All things considered, it is better to take off the bike rack when you are not using it, especially if it is raining or when you are going through the car wash. This will only ensure the longevity of the bike rack, the bike, and the car as well.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does a Bike Rack Damage Or Scratch Your Car?

How Fast Can You Drive with a Bike Rack?

How Much Weight Can a Bike Rack Hold?

How Many Bikes Can a Bike Rack Hold?

Why Are Bike Racks So Expensive?