Can You Go Through a Carwash With a Bike Rack?

Not everyone is a big fan of attaching and detaching bike racks off the car every now and then. The reason is simple, it takes effort, energy, and time. Therefore, almost everyone keeps bike racks on the vehicle all the time, at least the indolent ones.

But the real problem comes in when the car gets wrapped in the dirt, and taking it to a car wash becomes a necessity. You find yourself uncertain whether you can go through a carwash with a bike rack safely or enter without a bike rack is the only recommended way.

Can You Go Through a Carwash With a Bike Rack
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Well, let me help you make the decision instantly the next time you go to wash your car, by explaining the answer in a detailed manner.

Going Through A Carwash with A Bike Rack? – Comprehensive Guide

Going through a car wash with or without a bike rack is subjective to the type of carwash you are visiting and a type of bike rack you have installed on your vehicle.

Types of Carwash

You always get to choose from;

Types of Carwash - Can I Go Through a Carwash With a Bike Rack
Buying Guide: Types of Carwash
  1. Automatic Car Wash
  2. Touchless Car Wash
  3. Hand Wash Place

We will go through each of them, and their compatibility with your bike rack.

1. Taking Car to an Automatic Car Wash

If you prefer to wash your car from an Automatic Car Wash, then you need to realize that they use the conveyor, to wash and clean your car with the big brush system. Pass your car through different phases and give you a cleaned and dried car at the end.

The only problem with such Car washes is the chances of getting your bike rack tangled with the big brushes working to clean a car. Eventually, causing damage to your rack or a car. There are very rare chances that you could pass out of an automatic washing system without an accident.

You may also be interested to read a detailed guide about washing your bike rack after use

2. Taking Car to a Touchless Car Wash

The washing mechanism of a touchless car washing is much different from an automatic one. Your car gets washed with powerful water pressure and strong chemicals. You won’t find any brushes or cloth involved in the process. 

Since there is no brushing involved and the process gets completed with almost no contact. So, claiming it to be safer for cars with bike racks will not be wrong. But it only reduces the overall chances of damage and does not completely eliminate it. 

The Touchless car wash system’s water pressure can go up to 2200 psi, which is enough to tear apart your bike rack, depending on the quality. 

If you don’t want to use bike rack to carry bikes on you vehicle, read my guide about how to transport a bike without a bike rack.

3. Taking Car to a Hand Wash Place

Considering the above options, I found the handwash place to be the perfect choice to wash the car with a bike rack. It prevents all the possible damages and cleans the car with attention to detail. Being one of the cost-effective ways, it also saves you money.

If you own a jeep, then you may also be interested to read about Best Jeep Wrangler Bike Racks Review

If you’re using roof rack, you may want to know How to Stop Wind Noise from Roof Rack?

Things to consider before taking your Vehicle to Carwash

Other than knowing the car wash type, there are other things as well, contributing to your decision of detaching or keeping a bike rack attached to a car, while cleaning it. You should also be considering them. Here they are:

Things to consider before taking your Vehicle to Carwash
  • The manufacturer either allows or restricts bike racks attached during a car wash. You can find the information regarding this in the Product manual. 
  • If you are having a roof rack, then you should look out for the recommended height of a car, which normally car wash places state clearly.
  • Either Car Wash allows the attached bike rack by themselves or not.
  • If your rack somehow damages the property of the car wash, what will be the consequences? Whether you will have to pay them, or they are insured. Better to know the answer to these questions from their representative before making the decision of not taking off your rack.
  • In case of any damage, will they pay you for damages, or it will be all up to you? Interrogating it should be considered.

You may also be looking for a comparison of tailgate pad vs bike rack

Concluding Washing a Car with a Bike Rack Installed

Hopefully, the provided information is enough to know if you can go through a car wash with a bike rack safely or not. You need to recall all of this information in your mind the next time you visit a car wash and should make your decision accordingly. But as far as my recommendation is concerned, I would advise you to put yourself into a bit of hassle and detach your bike rack before going in.

Let it be an automatic or touchless car wash. Even if the car wash representative allows you to do so, you should be minimizing the probability of your damage by taking it off. Only in the case of a handwashing facility, you don’t have to question yourself and get it cleaned with peace of mind.

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