Common Problems With Subaru Outback Roof Rack – Causes and Fixes

Have you experienced any difficulty with Subaru Outback Roof Rack? Last year, I installed a roof rack over my Subaru Outback SUV. All went right for months, but later it caused one problem or two. Not knowing what to do, I researched and found solutions to my Common problems with Subaru Outback Roof Rack. 

A roof Rack is installed over the roof of a car or truck. It is a set of a base and crossbars that let you secure heavy and oversized loads such as bicycles, canoes, kayaks, and many others. Additionally, it is a perfect way to carry loads up to your vehicle. 

No doubt, a roof rack allows adding tons of luggage over your vehicle. But at the same time, it does not perform appropriately and acts weirdly by not fitting the objects and making unwanted loud sounds. Therefore, I decided to make a guide that addresses these common problems with Subaru Outback Roof Rack. Now my problems are solved, and it’s time to ask yours and let them solve. 

Common Problems with Sabura Outback Roof Rack 

When searching for solutions to roof rack problems, I read the issues of other truck owners on the forum. Problems with the roof rack make a driver frustrated. In this way, I have decided to write possible fixes for the Sabura Outback roof rack issues. 

Let’s read them one by one in detail so you can learn the correct procedure and instructions for fixing them.

But before diving into detail, I prefer to let them know in a quick rundown.

Reasons for Problems and their simple solutions with Roof Rack

  1. Problem

Wrong installation leads to gaps between the roof rack and the rooftop.


When you notice this kind of problem with your roof rack, the first step is to Align the roof rack in a correct manner. 

  1. Problem 

Roof rack shifts and moves when loading heavy items.


It is better to load light and small cargo.

  1. Problem 

The roof rack system does not work correctly and adequately.


I recommend you replace the roof rack if it does not work. Because holding onto the same roof rack will only lead to further damage.

You might think I just gave you this little knowledge. No, this is not going to happen. As I said earlier, I will discuss each problem in detail so you can deal with yours in an ideal way. 

Are you ready to learn the Problems and their Fixes?

Roof rack Latch problem

Do you deal with cargo damage problems even after you secure it tightly? Or when you haul your truck, it feels your cargo above the roof is shifting and shaking? 

This is the most common problem with the Saburack Outback roof rack. Why does it happen?

Some drivers who like sleeker and aesthetic looks prefer to install it lower. This way, they have less space between the top roof and the roof rack, leading to lower drag and aerodynamic resistance.  

You might notice this problem right away, like me, but it can cause harm to the luggage you have put over the roof rack.

To make you understand what I am trying to say, there is a high chance that your cargo will get damaged when there is less space between the rooftop and the roof rack.


In order to cope with this problem, learn the following instructions that will fix your problem in seconds.

  1. First, examine all the nuts and bolts to find which fits incorrectly.
  2. Once you find out, unbolt the bolt with the help of a ratchet wrench.
  3. Next, carefully install the bolts in their right hole and fasten them correctly.
  4. Do not forget to snug-fit them so they do not lose and latch. 

Tip: Ensure you clean the rooftop and rack because it might cause rusting and corrosion if not cleaned regularly, making it look bad and old. 

Fail to hold Heavy load – Problem

Many truck owners address this complaint that the Subaru Outback roof rack does not hold heavy and large items. Well, I totally agree with this complaint. Because this also happened to me. 

To this problem, what happens actually is when you put large and heavy items above the roof rack, it denies to hold a wide capacity of weights.

Why this problem sometimes occurs due to superfluous airflow conditions; the cargo above the roof rack shifts and moves. This way, the roof rack becomes fragile and cannot hold the luggage. 

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The most straightforward solution to this issue is not to carry oversize items. No matter how robust a roof rack is. This can happen anyway.

Try not to add bulky and oversized items to avoid further damage to the roof rack and your items. 

Moreover, do not forget to evenly distribute the weight capacity so it won’t affect the roof rack frame. 

Tip: I recommend you investigate the bolts and nut’s placement before hitting the road. You will never know how a tiny misalignment will cause severe harm or damage. 

Replace the broken Roof rack – Problem

This problem happened to me, and God knows how long I tried to get it fixed. After searching for hours, I finally solved my problem. And now, it’s your time to get it solved. 

But let me explain why this problem occurs.

Sometimes when you try to secure your cargo on the roof rack, it won’t clamp correctly, and from there, this issue starts. 

This issue sounds hectic; however, it is pretty standard and can quickly solve.


When the roof rack is not holding the load, get ready to buy a new one. If you have a Subaru Outback roof rack, then you must know that they won’t give any assurance to the damage. 

Do not get panic over this; you still fix it. Before taking your truck to an expert, I recommend you check the rooftop condition. After this, read the given instructions.

  • To begin with, examine the left side map, dome, and other accessory connectors. In case your truck has a sunroof, detach its motor connectors.
  • Then, set down the seatbacks and detach the door opening trim. Grab a ratchet wrench and unbolt the bolts from the roof rack rails.
  • After this, draw out the Subaru Outback Roof Rails, crossbars, and brackets. 
  • Now install the new one by reversing the method. 

Note: I suggest you never drive your truck with a problematic roof rack because it can damage your luggage or your rooftop. 

Pro Tip: I recommend investing your money and time in a valuable, durable, reliable roof rack system. 


How much weight can a Subaru Outback roof rack hold?

Subaru Outback claims its roof rack can hold up to 176 lbs of weight. However, when the vehicle is parked, the weight capacity increases up to 650 lbs. 

How much weight can 2022 Subaru Outback roof rails hold?

Subarus Outback 2022 roof rails have premium features. It can hold up to 800 lbs of weight capacity with tie-down hooks and anodized copper accents. 

Do roof racks damage your car?

No, roof racks alone do not damage or harm the car. The damage happens when there is incorrect installation, adding plenty of weight, and lack of maintenance. 

Do roof rack crossbars affect mileage?

Installing roof racks over your truck affects gas mileage. The crossbars increase aerodynamic resistance, which makes the truck’s engine work hard, which leads to reduced fuel efficiency. 

Summing Up

A roof rack helps to store large and heavy items above your rooftop. But at the same time, it can cause various problems that ultimately irritate you. In the guide, as mentioned above, I have explained several problems with respect to their solutions. I believe this guide will help you with your Sabura Outback roof rack problems to get solved. 

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