Updated on March 14, 2023
Can I go through a carwash with a bike rack or should I take it off beforehand? Lazy people like me often find themselves asking this question from themselves given the sheer amount of time it takes to do so. I personally don’t fancy taking a screwdriver and taking off my bike rack just to have it back on in a couple of hours. I think it is a total waste of time. However, I could not risk damaging my hundred-dollar rack so I decided to do a little research on my own and dig up a few facts relating to this issue so that I can be sure of what I am doing.
And frankly speaking, the one thing I hate more than repeating the same task over and over again is having to spend my money on something that is totally avoidable. So, naturally, I decided to look up this matter more seriously. In all my research there are a couple of very important things that I am glad I found out otherwise, It would have caused me great loss. And now, I want you to know all about it too so that you can also be aware of what you are getting yourself into and be able to make a more informed decision. So, let’s get started!
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Can I Go Through A Carwash With A Bike Rack
If you ever pay attention, you will notice that outside every automatic car wash there is a warning written in bold letters that you must proceed at your own risk. This warning is a kind of insurance policy for the washers that they are not responsible for any damages that might occur. It means that you must take full precautions before you lead your car inside the car wash. Furthermore, most manufacturers recommend you to take off your bike rack before taking your car inside the automatic car wash. It will protect both your car and the rack from any possible damage.
What If You Go Through The Automatic Carwash With The Bike Rack intact?
Modern-day automatic car washes perform a very thorough clean-up of your car including taking off your roof and deep cleaning your seats. In such a case, if you leave your bike rack intact, there is a possibility that the carwash tools will try to remove it and severely damage the rack in the process. If not that then it might get horribly scratched, dented, or start to rust. Besides, such damages also cause the warranty claims to become void. So, it is imperative that you take off your bike rack before going through the automatic car wash to avoid any such loss.
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However, there is always a way to get what you want while also avoiding any losses. One way to do so is by referring to the manual that comes with your bike rack. Make sure that you read out that entire manual, especially the part that describes what you can and can do with the bike rack. You will definitely find the clause stating whether you should remove the rack or not while going through the carwash. If it says that it is carwash safe then you don’t need to remove the rack every time you need to get your car washed. However, make sure that you follow the instructions.
Being a lazy person, I prefer not to remove my rack because honestly, it is a different kind of a headache to attach and detach the bike rack. So, I like to hand wash my car at home with soapy water and a sponge. It gets my car cleaned up at the same time I would otherwise have to spend on detaching the bike rack. So, in a sense, it saves me a lot of time and energy. However, I even get my car thoroughly washed every few months and for that, I remove my bike rack. So, there is no way you can avoid it altogether.
Can you go through a carwash with a bike rack?
Yes, you can go through a carwash with a bike rack attached but you shouldn’t. This is because automatic car washes are all automated and designed to remove all things extra from the car even if it is not garbage. Chances are that the machines will try to detach the bike rack itself and in the process, damage your car and the rack beyond repair. So, it is important that you take precautionary steps and remove the rack before you go through the carwash.
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Can you wash a bike at a car wash?
If you ask whether you can wash a bike at a carwash then the answer is yes, however, if you want to know whether you should then the answer is no. This is because car washes use very high pressure of water which can damage the bike and cause it to rust.
So, this was all from my side. I hope you found all the information that you came here looking for. I tried to keep things simple and to the point so that everybody can understand everything without having to google technical jargon. To sum it all up, I would like to remind you that you must always remove your bike rack from your rooftop before you take your car through the car wash. And if you really want to keep the rack intact, then refer to the user’s manual to make sure that the rack manufacturers permit that. Otherwise, you would risk getting your rack damaged.
Austin Jacobs is a passionate cycling enthusiast who has over five years of experience in bike repair and maintenance. He is an avid mountain biker and loves tinkering with bikes for hours on end to make sure they are running at their optimum performance level. Leland’s blog, which focuses on bike repairs and tips to keep them in good running order, was created out of a desire to share his knowledge and help fellow cyclists stay safe while enjoying the outdoors. He covers topics such as preventive maintenance, troubleshooting common issues, basic tools and supplies needed for repairs, and more.