Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Roof racks

I have a 2004 Toyota Sienna that came with standard roof rack, that is designed to carry excess luggage or other paraphrernalia. I have never used it and never would, as it would be very difficult to put things up there and secure it, and there is more than enough room inside the van. Has anybody removed them, and what would be the best way to seal the holes?

Are you talking about an actual roofrack? or the 2 rails that run the length of the roof front to back on either side? why do you want to remove it?

I suspect that the OP wants to remove the rack in the interest of better gas mileage. The way that a roof rack disrupts air flow over the vehicle can have a minor effect on gas mileage at highway speeds.

I would not try to remove them. I believe there is little to be gained, at best a very very minor fuel saving, or maybe even increase fuel usage. aerodynamics are funny. The rack could be reducing drag a little, or not.

Consider that when you go to sell or trade, potential customers may well wonder what happened or want the rack.

I suspect it will require removing the headliner and that could be a real mess itself. I would suggest leaving it alone unless you have some reason we are not suspecting for removing it.

Your owner’s manual should have some info on how to remove the crossbars. Leave the tracks in place. You’ll derive no benefit from removing them, and you’ll have the headache of sealing the mounting holes.

You can probably remove the roof rack’s cross members quite easily. There is a screw that holds them in place. These screws don’t have regular screw heads. The heads of these screws are plactic loops. You can loosen it to slide them to the front and to the rear. Removing these screws might make them pop right out. There also might be regular phillips head screws that you can remove to take out the cross members. However, I would not remove the pieces that run along the sides. They don’t hurt fuel economy that much and they add value to the vehicle.

You will not gain anything in fuel savings.

The proper way to seal the holes is to pull the headliner, remove certain items on or close to the roof. Weld the holes shut inside and out, repaint the roof, reassemble.

It’s not worth it.

The best way to seal the holes is with metal tape. Then paint the tape. Put the rack back on when you want to sell it.