Car Roof Rack Attachment Methods

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Aftermarket roof racks usually attach in one of 4 ways.   They attach to cars with a bare roof (pictured left on a Subaru sedan) by clipping into the door openings.  They attach to raised roof rails (pictured center on a Ford Explorer) by clamping around the raised roof rails.  They attach to flush roof rails (pictured right on a Jeep Grand Cherokee) by clamping to the rails.  They attach to roof fixed points (not pictured) that are little threaded attachment points built into the car roof. They typically have a flush cover.  This is a gallery of photos of various car roofs, roof rails and fixed points. The pictures point out some of the issues that come up for the various install methods.
Aftermarket roof racks usually attach in one of 4 ways.

They attach to cars with a bare roof (pictured left on a Subaru sedan) by clipping into the door openings.

They attach to raised roof rails (pictured center on a Ford Explorer) by clamping around the raised roof rails.

They attach to flush roof rails (pictured right on a Jeep Grand Cherokee) by clamping to the rails.

They attach to roof fixed points (not pictured) that are little threaded attachment points built into the car roof. They typically have a flush cover.

This is a gallery of photos of various car roofs, roof rails and fixed points. The pictures point out some of the issues that come up for the various install methods.
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