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Thule Bike Rack damaging my car


Backpacker
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I have a three bike Thule clip on bike rack which I use on a VW Polo. Mostly carry 2 bikes but have squeezed on 3. Discovered that it has caused serious damage to the roof where it clips on at the top, to the rubber around the boot door and dug out the paint above the bumper. Went to Thule and the guys were a bit confused, took photos but not my contact details (the manager was not there), pretty much said they gave tape in the box (2 pieces??)and that should be sufficient.

 

I have a company car which gets replaced every 4-6 months, not allowed a towbar, hence the clip on. If I return a car with damage I am liable for the costs of repair. Am I perhaps doing something wrong when mounting the rack or does anyone have any suggestions on what I can use to prevent this damage (the space between car and clip is small so cannot put rubber in between).

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I have a three bike Thule clip on bike rack which I use on a VW Polo. Mostly carry 2 bikes but have squeezed on 3. Discovered that it has caused serious damage to the roof where it clips on at the top, to the rubber around the boot door and dug out the paint above the bumper. Went to Thule and the guys were a bit confused, took photos but not my contact details (the manager was not there), pretty much said they gave tape in the box (2 pieces??)and that should be sufficient.

 

I have a company car which gets replaced every 4-6 months, not allowed a towbar, hence the clip on. If I return a car with damage I am liable for the costs of repair. Am I perhaps doing something wrong when mounting the rack or does anyone have any suggestions on what I can use to prevent this damage (the space between car and clip is small so cannot put rubber in between).

 

Yea not sure on the solutions... I was about to buy the clip on some time ago from Thule in Woodmead, and on asking them to confirm that the thing would definitely not cause any paint damage they guy said he couldn't guarantee that and I should expect some "minor scuffing"! That said, I decided to rather wait till I had my new car complete with towbar...

 

PS Shame, very inconvenient for you having to replace your car every 4 to 6 months! ;) work for VWSA?

Edited by dracs
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I have a Thule "strap on" :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

Doesn't seem to damage the car. It is not made for cars with boot spoilers but so far I have used it on 3 cars with boot spoilers.

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When I was in the market 2 bike shops advised against buying it because of how it buggers up your car.

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Jip, same here. The clip on caused alot of paint damage to my car. Mostly where it clips in at the top of the boot. I am taking my car to chips-away and then I'm gonna get a towbar hang on. You cant really see the damage but I know its there

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Someone said that he glued a piece of tube to where it clips onto the body of the car. and that it prevented any damage. I had one last year, it stuffed the boot door up. WOuldnt never get one again. my new car has a towbar on and yeah, no looking back.

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...my new car has a towbar on and yeah, no looking back.

 

You should every now and again to make sure the bikes are still on.

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I've got a Holdfast clip-on type bike rack which I also use on a polo hatchback. I put old socks over the clips before attaching it to the car. No paint damage whatsoever.

 

It might be a strap-on though, but ja, still use the socks on the metal clips/hooks whatever you want to to call it.

Edited by whistler
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Thanks everyone, going to try to sock option, glueing anything on might leave a residue

 

I stuck Elastoplast plaster on my bootlid (VW Polo) both sides where there may be contact - no damage whatsoever. Sometiems also stcuk tube/sponge in the brakcets so it didn't damage on the clips...

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I hear what you saying about your rack,though what a lot of people do is not read the instructions.In the instructions it tells you the do`s and don`t about the rack,i have the clip on and its awesome and 1 of the best racks out there.I carry a dh bike on it and it works like a bomb,do yourself a favour and check the instructions as that seems to answer most of your questions.

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I have a Thule rack that mounts to a towbar and it scratches my canopy. We used the rack on a friend's bakkie and it didn't because his towbar extends further outwards than mine.

 

I am guessing they try to design products that fit as many sizes and models as possible, but there will always be exceptions.

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Backpacker. It sounds like you had more than just paint damage.

 

You did not maybe exceed the recommended speed for the carrier that could have caused the damage? I am just wondering cause I bought my three bike carrier last week (that bolts onto the towbar though). But the manual says you should not exceed 130 km/h. I assume that the drag factor becomes too big after that and that the bolt mechanism MIGHT fail. If this is the case maybe your car might be damaged because of something similar. There is a huge difference in the drag factor from two to three bikes.

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I had a holdfast clip on rack on the back of a golf once and I unclipped the bottom straps, leaving the top clips in and opened the hatch and the top clips bent the entire hatch, lessons learned the hard way

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