roof rack on a car with a sunroof

Can You Put Roof Racks On A Car With A Sunroof?

A car owner with a panoramic, pop-up, built-in, spoiler, removable or folding ragtops type of sunroof will no doubt be wondering whether a roof rack can be attached to their vehicle. 

This is because no car owner would want to ruin or damage their sunroof while trying to install a roof rack, as that would lead to spending extra cash to get it fixed.

Can You Attach Roof Racks On A Vehicle With A Sunroof?

Attaching a roof rack on a car with a sunroof is absolutely possible and safe as long as the process is carried out according to guidelines. To put a roof rack on a vehicle with a sunroof, you have to purchase longer bolts and clearance bars. These two tools help the roof rack to attain balance without being directly on top of the glass.

Always ensure to use the manufacturer’s manual for more directives about using a roof rack on a car with a sunroof. However, in this article, we will discuss in more detail how a roof rack can be installed on a vehicle with a sunroof.

Most importantly, do not attempt to open your sunroof with your roof rack on and carrying a load.

What Exactly Is A Roof Rack?

A roof rack is a set of bars secured to the roof of a vehicle, designed to carry bulky items such as luggage, bicycles, canoes, or skis. It provides additional storage space, especially for items that might be too large or awkward to fit inside the vehicle.

Roof Rack On A Vehicle With Sunroof

By attaching specialized mounts or carriers to the rack, users can securely fasten various types of equipment and gear, allowing for safe transportation on the road.

What Are Roof Rails?

Roof rails are the long, sturdy bars that run lengthwise on both sides of a vehicle’s roof, often raised and parallel to each other. They are the foundation for installing a roof rack system, allowing users to attach crossbars and mount various carriers.

If your car does not have rails, you will not be able to install a roof rack (though other cargo-carrying solutions are possible if you still want to use a soft roof bag with a sunroof).

Guidelines On How To Install A Roof Rack On A Vehicle With Sunroof

Step 1 Understanding The Type Of Roof Rack Your Vehicle Needs

A lot of newer vehicles come with already installed roof rails. In this case, only the crossbars will need to be attached. A car without already attached crossbars will need the entire roof rack system installed.

The primary function of a clearance bar is to protect the roof racks from hitting directly on the sunroof, thereby denting it or causing damage.

However, it is also very important to note that the type of roof rack you want for your vehicle will solely depend on the vehicle type.

Step 2 Take A Measurement Of The Sunroof Height

This measurement will help to determine how high the roof rack will be so that it doesn’t have any contact with the glass top. Also, ensure to measure to determine where to install the bolts for holding down the rack. always make good use of your vehicle manual during this process.

Step 3 Study The Installation Instructions.

Take note of the roof rack installation instructions while you open up the crossbars using the enclosed keys.

Step 4 Measure To Position The Crossbars.

Measure evenly to position the crossbars for vehicles without specification for placing the crossbars. Make sure to check for sturdiness by checking that each screw side is appropriately tightened and perpendicular to one another and must not shift when being pulled. 

Best Roof Racks For Cars With Sunroofs

There are a variety of roof racks on the market suitable for vehicles with sunroofs. Your choice of rack will depend on the type of vehicle and sunroof you have. Some of the best roof racks for vehicles with sunroofs are:

Thule Aeroblade Roof Rack Bar eTrailer Systems 

This is an AeroBlade roof rack system from Thule. It is very compatible with a panoramic sunroof. Its features include a wingbar, Evo crossbars, Evo fee, and a fit kit. 

Best Marine Roof Rack Pads

This type of roof rack is most suitable for cars without crossbars. It has factory-fitted accessories and makes use of pads.

HEYTRIP Universal Soft Roof Rack 

This type of roof rack makes use of pads that help it protect the roof and the sunroof from damage.

Inflatable Roof Racks

This type of roof rack is very affordable and efficient and is mostly suitable for short trips.

Pros And Cons Of Putting A Roof Rack On A Vehicle With A Sunroof


Controlled Lighting 

Sometimes, depending on the type of sunroof your vehicle uses, the sunroof allows for extra lighting in the vehicle, but with roof racks attached, a direct penetration into the vehicle is usually controlled. 

Controlled Ventilation 

Vehicles with sunroofs experience additional ventilation in the car, especially on hot and sunny days. With the attachment of a roof rack, there tends to be a controlled inflow of air into the car.

Unique Appearance 

Most times, sunroofs can come with a certain level of tinting, which usually helps to shield vehicle occupants from direct and harsh sunlight. When a roof rack is attached to such vehicles, it makes its appearance sporty and unique.


Increased Weight 

The combination of sunroof and roof racks on a vehicle adds to its weight. This is because glasses are heavy-weight objects likewise, all the components of a roof rack when joined together.

The increase in weight of a vehicle auto magically leads to an increase in fuel consumption and a reduced performance of the car.

Additional Complexity 

Sunroofs with roof racks add complexity to the car, which may also lead to certain functions going wrong. For instance, there is an increased possibility for a car with sunroofs and roof racks to leak.


Because of the uniqueness of the style of cars with sunroofs and roof racks, which makes them more desirable, there is a possibility of an increase in price for the vehicle, its maintenance cost, and accessories.

In conclusion, before considering putting a roof rack on your vehicle with a sunroof, study and understand the type of sunroof your vehicle has to determine the most suitable roof rack for your car.

Finally, always consult your vehicle’s manual for best practices and to prevent any damage whilst using a roof rack with a sunroof.

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