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7 Ways To Keep Your 5th Gen 4 Runner Roof Rack Lasting Longer

Roof racks make for a solid investment. They are the ideal gadget for those who enjoy adventuring, Overlanding, or camping. These systems provide extra space and allow one to carry bulky items with ease. Roof racks are undoubtedly a traveler’s best friend. This investment, however, is one that needs maintenance and care to ensure longevity. With a little love, your roof carrier will last for years to come. 

Knowing how to look after your roof rack system is another matter altogether. Read along as we explore some tips and tricks on how to keep your 5th Gen 4 Runner roof rack lasting longer.

7 Ways To Maintain Your Roof Rack

  • Clean and Inspect

    Roof racks, like anything exposed to the weather and the elements, need maintenance and cleaning. Dirt builds up quickly, especially if you travel through the wilderness where dust and dirt roads are prevalent. Rain or snow, or even exposure to salty air from the ocean, leaves a residue on your carrier system. Leaving this grime on your roof bars for extended periods will lead to the deterioration of the rack system. 

    Removing your roof carrier from time-to-time to inspect them and to give them a clean makes them last much longer. One question we hear frequently is this: Are roof racks permanent? Sometimes, yes, and in others, no. The permanence of your roof racks depends on how they attach to your vehicle. Some connect with clamps, making them simple to remove. Permanent roof rack installation sees the system bolted to your car. An example of this style would be the Front Runner Toyota 4runner (5th Gen) Slimline Ii Roof Rack Kit. In a fixed roof rack system, the base is permanent. You can still remove the remaining parts of the system for cleaning and inspection.  

    • Cleaning

    Keeping your roof bars clean takes no time at all. Once you have removed them from your vehicle, give them a good wipe down with warm, soapy water. You can clean permanent roof rails by hopping on a ladder and giving them a good wipe with warm soapy water. Once clean, ensure they are dry before you reattach them to your vehicle. You don’t want any water getting into the system and causing rust, mostly if your roof racks come made from steel.

    • Inspection

    Once clean, inspect your roof bars before reattaching them. Look to see if any of the parts need replacing or are wearing through. Replacing these parts will save you from having to spend more later. Besides, you don’t want to arrive at your destination one day to find your belongings are no longer attached to your roof.

    • Lubrication

    Lubricating your 5th gen 4runner roof rails and roof rack system is a must. Keeping the roof rack system in proper working order prolongs its longevity. By lubricating the bolts and ensuring the nuts, locks, and washers are all fastened securely, you keep the roof carrier in top condition.

    If you live by the sea where there is an exposure of your roof racks to salt air and water, consider using stainless steel components. Stainless steel resists rust and corrosion. Parts made from stainless steel will ensure your roof carrier lasts longer. It would be best if you replaced any rusted pieces as soon as possible. You will also need to rust-proof any areas that appear to be giving way to rust or corrosion.

    • Take Note Of Capacity

    Roof racks come with a load-bearing capacity. The roof of your vehicle can also withstand only a certain weight. Noting the weight both your roof and roof rack system can withstand is of great importance. The Eezi-awn Toyota 4runner 5th Gen K9 Roof Rack Kit, for example, offers a dynamic capacity of 500 pounds.   Overloading your vehicle is dangerous and leads to accidents. A car carrying a weight greater than the recommended amount loses the ability to handle corners and may topple. 

    Overloading your roof rack system may also cause damage to the body of your vehicle. This added weight causes the roof to become deformed and affects the way your doors close. Too much weight on your roof rack system may cause it to buckle. Your roof rack system will need replacing.

    • Loading and Packing

      Looking after your roof rack system while it is in use is as important as maintaining it while not in use. It is necessary to take care when loading up items and luggage. Learn the best way to pack your 5th Gen 4 Runner roof racks. 

      Correct packing will see a well-balanced load that is not heavier on one side. Items such as kayaks or surfboards need to be tethered to the roof rack system. These sporting goods should not protrude more on one end of the roof bars.  Luggage that extends past a certain point on your vehicle is a traffic offense and leads to fines. 

      Load your goods onto the roof rack system so that the items produce the least wind resistance. Cars that experience increased drag need extra power to propel them forward. The boost in power increases fuel consumption. 

      When you pack your items onto your roof system properly, it minimizes the wear and tears on the roof rack system. Well-balanced luggage that creates little wind resistance makes less work for them, enabling the system to last longer. When used correctly, there is no reason for them to break or become damaged. 

      • Fasten Securely

      Once you have your goods well packed on your roof rack system, it is time to tether them down. This step is as important as packing your luggage, if not more so. Ensure your straps and buckles are in optimal working order. The straps should be sturdy and not frayed or thinning, and the clamps need to be firm and rust-free. 

      The importance of fastening your luggage is vast. Not only does it protect your items and prevent accidents, but it protects your roof carrier too. Objects that come flying off the roof bars while you travel may hook onto them and pull them out of place. Should this happen, there is a great likelihood of your car becoming damaged too.

      • The Carwash

      If you prefer your vehicle cleaned at the car wash, first spare a thought for your roof racks. Taking your car through the wash with them still attached can spell disaster. The large roller brushes used in these washes can quickly become tangled in the roof bars. These bushes may bend the roof carrier out of shape or even pull them from the roof of your car.

      Cars fitted with permanent roof bars will need to have the detachable components removed before the car goes through the wash. You will also need to remove roof rack accessories such as ladders and brackets. 

      • Leave Them On or Take Them Off?

        If you do not have a permanent roof rack system, asking yourself whether to leave your roof racks on your car is a brilliant question. The design of roof carriers makes them able to withstand all forms of weather. But, if your vehicle stands outdoors, removing the racks from constant UV and rain exposure will increase their longevity. 

        Should your car stand in a garage, and you frequently check and clean your roof racks, there is no problem with leaving them attached. If you plan to take your car through the carwash, it is best to remove them.

        Final Thoughts

        These maintenance guidelines are just the thing to help you keep your roof carrier in top shape. With care and a good clean every so often, there is no reason your roof racks shouldn’t last for years to come. 

        Are you thinking of purchasing a set of roof racks for your 5th Gen 4 Runner? Now that you know how simple it is to keep your carrier system in tip-top condition, you can see what an excellent investment they are. Look at our extensive selection of roof racks for your Toyota to find the set that best suits your needs. 

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