Whether empty or loaded with equipment or a roof box, roof racks have a considerable impact on your car’s performance—the main effect being aerodynamics and how that plays into your vehicle’s gas mileage. 

Read on to learn more about how a roof rack can affect your car’s performance.

How roof racks affect a car’s performance

How roof racks affect a car’s performance

Does a roof rack lower my gas mileage?

A roof rack and cargo box compromise your car’s aerodynamics, which, by definition, is the motion of air when interacting with a solid object. The more aerodynamic your car is, the less effort your engine needs to keep your vehicle moving.

On the other hand, when your car’s aerodynamics is compromised, the higher the drag is on your vehicle. With that extra drag, you’ll notice that your fuel mileage is less, which means you’ll use up more fuel with a roof rack and cargo box than you would without one.

The difference with Thule roof racks 

Thule roof racks are engineered using high-quality materials and innovative designs that support a considerable amount of weight while using minimal contact points. Thule roof racks are very aerodynamic and can withstand high speeds and wind resistance. 

This intelligent design reduces the amount of drag on your vehicle to achieve the best gas mileage you can get with a roof rack attached to your car.

The difference with Thule roof boxes

Like roof racks, Thule roof boxes are also optimized for aerodynamics. AeroNose technology, like the one featured on Thule’s Hyper Rack, is shaped in a way that reduces air drag and allows you to stay safe at higher speeds. 

When you’re not using your roof box, Thule’s smart Power-Click quick-mount system easily lets you take the box off and install it back with a simple click into position. A built-in locking mechanism provides added security for your belongings.

Key takeaways

A poorly designed roof rack not only significantly decreases your gas mileage, but it can be dangerous at high speeds on the highway. Always refer to the owner’s manual to stay within the recommended speed limit for your safety.

The good news is, advances in technology and innovative designs have greatly improved the function and aesthetics of roof racks and cargo boxes. They are now more aerodynamic, easy to install, and easy to use than ever.