Reduced mileage from a roof rack

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Thread: Reduced mileage from a roof rack

  1. #1
    crv|oc Rank: Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Needham, Ma

    Reduced mileage from a roof rack

    So, I added a Thule roof rack to my new (jan 09) CRV within weeks of buying it.
    And quickly realized the wind noise would drive me crazy, so I dug up the Thule wind ferring I had from an older Thule rack I owned. And voila most of the noise was gone. But my gas mileage never went above 23, with a fair amount of highway driving. So this w/e, I removed it after I realized I can reinstall in about 20 that I know what I am doing. And voila, my mileage for the first 100+ miles is now about 25.2 mpg, with no changes in
    driving habit or type of traffic.

    Is that decrease in mileage with a roof rack or maybe it was really the wind ferring, normal?

    What do you think the most to the mpg reduction. The rack or the wind blocker.



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  3. #2
    crv|oc Rank: Member cr_vatech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    its normal

    yes i believe roof racks decrease your mpg because they add more resistance to the shape of the car.. the more resistance, the more the engine must work to beat that resistance, ie gas you must use

    good idea about removing for when you don't need it

    hope this helped

  4. #3
    crv|oc Rank: Silver
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    myrtle beach south carolina
    thats the reason people put covers over the beds of their trucks, the rack will add resistance, but the wind ferring will reduce that drag, but not enough. if you like the rack, and its too hard to remove and replace when needed, just grin and bear it, sorry i cant help anymore
    I drive a 1997 JEEP CHEROKEE
    lifted 8 inches on super swampers
    locked and geared

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  6. #4
    crv|oc Rank: Senior electric V's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Tracy, CA
    Car and Driver did the same test and there results were...

    With cross bars and cargo carrier

    gas milage dropped 1.9% at 35 MPH, 5.6% at 55 MPH, and 5.8% at 75 MPH

    With the cross bars only

    gas millage dropped 1.6% at 35 MPH, 3.7% at 55 MPH, and 4.3% at 75 MPH
    Nothing is as cool as rollin' thru da hood with 122 cubic inches

  7. #5
    crv|oc Rank: Platinum Serj22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Make sure you have the little trim plugs if you do pull the carrier off, There's 4 little plates that cover the screw holes to keep water out of them, and I wanted to do the same thing - take it off- but need those 4 plates, which I don't have so I need to go get them from Honda.

  8. #6
    crv|oc Rank: Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    a few months ago, car and driver had an article on various things on a car that would reduce MPG, you should look it up and its really informative and surprising what their results were.

  9. #7
    crv|oc Rank: Member Orwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I am interested in getting a roof rack for my V, however I am debating if I should install one or not. Is it true that roof racks make an abundance of noises? Is it also true that MPG is affected when you have them? Anyone here with the factory roof rack notice the difference? Hmmm...
    2008 Honda CRV EX-L
    Nighthawk Black Pearl

  10. #8
    crv|oc Rank: Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    I installed the Thule Areo bars that are the oval aloy ones... they make no noise.. you have to trim the rubber strip to the perfect length so the little tab on end caps can close completely..

    I got 28.9 mpg on the first tank.. 40-60, lights, stop signs..

    on the highway I'll have a kayak on top so it doesn't matter..

    BTW.. on my last hatch back I installed my own tracks and the Thule bars and feet detached with a push of a button..

    the factory bars look good, are thinner and less expensive than Thule Areo set up..

  11. #9
    crv|oc Rank: Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SE Michigan
    I'm sort of a test case, I guess. I have 2 '01's; one with Honda rack and cross bars, the other bare naked. There is essentially no difference in noise or mpg.
    And I've driven each myself > 50K miles. If there is an mpg difference, its less than 1 mpg, which is within the range of difference from how much gas goes in before the pump shuts off.

    I cannot tell the difference between the two from behind the wheel in terms of noise, either. The tire brands made a much bigger difference, but that's tire noise at speed which all CRV drivers are familiar with.

    In terms of utility, I've used the roof rack from time to time and was glad I had it. But since car #3 is a Pilot with rack, that's the one that gets the "heavy lifting" jobs most often.

  12. #10
    crv|oc Rank: Freshman miragebass's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Columbus, OH
    Hmmm well I've never done a roof setup on my V, but on my previous car (ford focus zx3) the roof rack really hurt mileage. I had saris crossbars and trays. The bars made a whistling between 20-35mph and reduced mileage about 5%. When I put two mountain bikes up there, mileage would drop at least 15%, sometimes more.

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