Proper technique and care is key to securing items to your roof.

How to Secure and Reduce Noise From Roof Rack Straps

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Proper technique and care is key to securing items to your roof.
Many vehicles have roof racks and use straps to secure items on the roof. If you are an avid traveler or love the outdoors, then chances are you make frequent use of the roof to transport items like kayaks or coolers. The downside, however, of this added space is that the roof straps are often noisy and unpleasant, making the process of getting to your destination less comfortable than it could be. They may clank against the top of your car or create a shrieking wind noise. There are ways you can reduce noise from straps on a car roof and make the experience much better.
In this article, we’ll recommend removing the straps if you can, tell you how to pull them snugly, and advise securing the ends of the straps.

Reducing Noise from Straps

Step 1: Remove the straps when possible. If the straps are loud, then try removing them from your roof rack whenever it makes sense to do so.
Maybe you like to travel with the straps on the roof even when you are not transporting anything. If, despite your best efforts, the straps continually make noise, then it may make sense to remove them when they are not in use. You can store them in your trunk or an underseat compartment until needed. If you’re not carrying anything on the roof during your trip, make a habit of removing the straps.
If you have a large roof mount like a clamshell, you may want to consider removing it when you’re not planning on using it for a while. Not only could this reduce noise, but making your car lighter in anyway can also increase your car’s gas mileage and help you save money.
You’ll probably reduce the wear and tear by not having them exposed to the elements as well. Of course, you may not want to do this if it is impossibly difficult to get the straps reattached, but it is at least an option to keep in mind.
Step 2: Pull the traps tight. The less free space that the strap has to wiggle and collide with other objects, the less likely it will produce annoying noises during the drive.
Pull the straps as tight as you can and fit them snugly to whatever object you are carrying to reduce any slack.
Make sure in your quest to reduce noise that you have not somehow compromised the safety or security of whatever you are transporting. Inspect the straps thoroughly just in case.
It’s possible the that noise that is bother your is coming not only from the straps, but also from whatever is strapped to the top of your car. If that’s the case, adding extra security, like a bungee cord or zip tie to what you’re trying to secure could also help with the sound.
Step 3: Secure the ends of the straps. One of the most common sources of noise from roof straps is the extra length of strap that is loose after an object has been secured.
Most people get their kayak or clamshell storage unit secured and then – in their eagerness to get on the road – leave the job incomplete. But if reducing noise is important to you, you’ll want to secure the rest of the loose ends of the strap as well. Using the proper technique for fastening large items to your roof rack is key.
There are a number of ways to do this well. Some people wrap the extra strap around the portion of the strap at the tie joint. This way, the loose strap is actually incorporated into the knot to minimize noise.
Depending on the type of strap you have and how much remains after securing something to the roof, you can try this method or others you think may work better.
You could even reduce the amount of remaining strap by using more of it while securing the item to the roof. In all likelihood, this would increase safety and security and would end up keeping noise down too.
An added benefit of reducing the noise of the straps, whether by tying the extra into the knot or securing it in other ways, is that, depending on the types of strap you use, this could also prevent loosening. If the straps are flailing around during the ride, then eventually the knot could loosen, leaving the roof unsecured and risking damage or loss of whatever you have strapped to the top of your car. Taking these extra steps is therefore not only convenient for your ears and sanity, but improves overall safety as well.