Subaru Outback roof rack problem: (And their solutions in 2024)

Subaru Outback is one of those vehicles which you can take for your picnics, a long drive, or road trips because of the ability it possesses however, there are few complaints about the roof rack of this car and that’s what I’m going to discuss with your today.

What are the Subaru Outback roof rack problems you may face?

Some of the most common Subaru Outback roof rack problems are,

  • Couldn’t load heavy items.
  • Subaru Outback roof rack noise.
  • Not clamping on the rack system.
  • Heavy fuel consumption.
  • Wobbling effect while cornering.

Let’s talk about each of these things and see what you can do about them to overcome this issue.

Let’s get started.

 1. Not able to load heavy items

No matter how good a roof rack is, there is a limit to that and you must know about it.

The roof rack weight limit of the Subaru Outback is anywhere between 165 lbs to 176 lbs depending upon the model you own and If you ever try to cross this limit, you are surely going to face some sort of issues.

I have already talked about this in one of my earliest posts on AutoComrade as a lot of people ignore this basic yet important info about their vehicles.

It doesn’t matter If you are trying to load a bike, kayak or any other thing, you must keep this weight limit in mind before loading it.

Also, it would be better to know the dimensions of the roof rack of your vehicle and in this case, the dimensions of the Outback are, 9 x 8 x 66.

If you overload the luggage you will have a hard time driving your car and it isn’t at all safe for both driver and passengers.

What you can do in this kind of situation is, try to remove the stuff which isn’t necessary for your trip and lower the load and everything will be alright.

In case, you don’t have any unnecessary items, you can make use of other storage spaces like a boot or in the cabin and load them there. By doing this, you, your luggage, and the passengers will be the same while driving and you can enjoy the trip peacefully.

Apart from Subaru Outback, I have also talked roof rack limit of the Forester and the limit of the Subaru Crosstrek. I would highly recommend you check that out If you are interested to know about them.

Pro Tip: Check out the roof rack weight limit of the Honda Odyssey and Lexus GX 460 too.

 2. Noise in the roof rack of the Subaru Outback

This is one of the most irritating Subaru Outback roof rack problems anyone could ever come across because it could ruin your journey.

Any kind of noise from the roof rack could be really annoying while driving Subaru Outback and there could be various reasons behind this problem.

It doesn’t matter whether the roof rack is new, used, or old, you may face this issue and there is nothing to be worried about at all.

In this situation, what you need to do is, take a look at the luggage on the roof rack and make sure you have firmly mounted it. If the luggage isn’t properly mounted on the roof rack, you’ll definitely hear some annoying sounds while driving the Outback.

If you aren’t sure whether the luggage is mounted in the right way or not, just take help from your friends and do it the right way.

Apart from that, I would suggest you inspect the roof rack in detail and see If it has got any damage internally or externally. If it is even slightly damaged, you must replace it with a new one immediately.

Another reason why you are hearing noise from your roof rack could be because of the wind force and there is nothing much you can do about it. Just slow down your car when you hear some noise and you will be safe.

 3. Not clamping on the rack system

Another issue a lot of Subaru Outback owners face on the roof rack of their vehicle is, they are not able to clamp it on the rack system which is extremely important.

The roof rail of your vehicle plays an important role while installing any kind of roof rack on your vehicle and If you happen to own this vehicle for a long time now, chances are it may have got weak.

A weak or poor roof rack won’t let you install a roof rack system and you’ll have a hard time doing that unless you are a veteran in this field.

In case, the roof rails are damaged, you can easily get them replaced by purchasing a new one that will cost you only about $100 or so.

If you are looking for a good roof rail for your Subaru Outback, you can take a look at this one which is rated by more than 1000 buyers and have a decent rating of 4.4/ 5.

If you don’t know how to install a roof rail, you can hire a professional and let the person install it.

 4. Heavy Fuel Consumption

Fuel Consumption is quite personal for a lot of people (Including me).

Spending your hard-earned money for extra gas hits pretty hard and no one likes to pay an extra amount for this one because you have other expenses while you are on travel.

The average weight of roof racks of cars weighs anywhere around 20-30 lbs and apart from that, when you load the luggage on the rack, the upper part of your vehicle becomes heavy.

When you carry an extra load on your vehicle while traveling, the mileage is going to decrease between 10-20% but many people don’t pay attention to this one.

If you want better mileage, you should try to remove some of the heavy luggage that might be causing this to happen. If you don’t carry any luggage at all while traveling, you can remove the roof rack system itself that’ll even give you better results.

This is not only applicable to Subaru Outback, it is the same for all the vehicles out there.

 5. Wobbling effect while cornering

Whether it is Subaru Outback or any other vehicle, cornering is an exciting part of driving however, it could be really dangerous If the roof rack installed on your vehicle wobbles while cornering.

The reason behind this problem is very simple and that is Overloading.

As I said earlier, overloading is one of the most common issues for the roof rack problems on Subaru Outback and if it wobbles while cornering, you may face serious situations like accidents.

The solution for this roof rack problem of the Subaru Outback is pretty straightforward i.e lower the number of luggage.

The aerodynamics of your Subaru Outback gets unbalanced when you try to corner with heavy luggage on the roof rack and removing the unnecessary luggage will give you the confidence to ride the car without any issues.

Just follow this simple method and I’m sure you will come across the wobble effect while cornering with your Outback and have a safe journey with your friends and family.

Bonus Tip:

 6. Ensure the gap between the top roof and the roof rack

The designs of the roof rack on Subaru Outback have changed multiple times over the years and If you happen to own a model that has a roof rack with little to no gap between the top roof and the roof rack, you are going to have a difficult time with the roof rack of this vehicle.

There is nothing to be worried about If you are in this kind of situation as you can always customize the roof rack design of your car by hiring someone however, it is going to cost you some money.

Best Roof Racks for Subaru Outback

Some of the best roof racks available for Subaru Outback today are,

  • Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform.
  • MaxxHaul 70115 Roof Rack.

 1. Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform

Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform

The Pioneer Platform by Rhino-Rack is designed for Subaru Outback models from 2015 to 2019 with roof rails.

If you have any other model than the mentioned one, I would suggest you look for an alternative because this one will not compatible with your vehicle.

It is built with some of the best materials such as Aluminum and is sturdy enough to hold heavy items like beds, sofas, desks, etc you can expect it to last for a long time as it has been tried and tested in Australia which has extreme conditions.

Apart from a roof rack, you can use this as a roof basket that can carry a lot of your stuff however, the pricing of this is on the expensive side i.e $680 as of now.

If you want a premium roof rack for your Subaru Outback I would definitely suggest you go with this option and you won’t regret it a bit.

 2. MaxxHaul 70115 Roof Rack

The MaxxHaul 70115 Roof Rack is one of the best roof racks you could get for your Subaru Outback which is budget friendly and comes at a price tag of a little over $100.

The materials used for this roof rack are a combination of Alloy Steel and rubber. The maximum load this roof rack can handle is 150 lbs (68 kg) and the item weighs 25 lbs (11.3 kg).

This item isn’t a model or brand specific however, I have confirmed from the reviews on Amazon that this item perfectly fits almost all the models of the Subaru Outback.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the static weight limit of the Subaru outback roof rack?

The static weight limit of the Subaru outback roof rack is 650 lbs (294 kg).

Static weighs refers to the weight that your vehicle can handle while it is parked or in idle condition and it is always better to know this limit of your vehicle. It can be used where you want to camp with your Subaru Outback.

2. Do I need to tell my insurance about a roof rack?

Yes, you must consult with your insurance company before installing a roof rack on your vehicle.

Installing a roof rack is a major change in your vehicle and it is always recommended to inform or consult with your insurance company about that. By not doing this, you may face some difficulties while claiming the insurance.

3. Do outbacks come with crossbars?

Yes, the latest Subaru Outback does come with crossbars and there is no need to spend extra money to get it for your vehicle.

Even the entry-level model of the latest Subaru Outback comes with crossbars however, If you are purchasing a used car, you may have to get to them separately.

4. Is it normal for roof racks to whistle?

Yes, it is pretty normal for roof racks to whistle and most of the time it happens while you are traveling at a high speed.

There is nothing to be worried about roof rack whistling because it is quite normal however, you must try to find out the reason behind this issue and solve it so that you can travel without any issues.

5. Do roof racks damage your car?

Yes, roof racks may damage your car If you have not installed them in the right way.

If you have not installed a roof rack before and have no knowledge about it, I would suggest you go with the right person and pay a small fee to install or else there is a high probability that you may damage your car.

Final Words:

Subaru Outback is one of the most loved cars in the United States and I’m pretty sure you are one of the proud owners of this vehicle and that’s the reason why you are here today.

But there are a few issues with the roof rack of this excellent car which shouldn’t be ignored at any cost and I have tried my best to share the solutions to each problem on this topic.

I hope you may have overcome Subaru Outback roof rack problems with this helpful post and If you did, leave a comment below and share your experiences. I’m more than happy to hear about it. Cheers!

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