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Discussion Starter #1
Do Roof Racks wastes that much fuel? If so, how much to remove them at dealerships?

We bought a Hybrid in January and it came with a roof rack (just two bars, one on each side of the roof parallel to the length of the car, I think the crossbar would be extra since we don't have it on ours), which we will not be using it, with 99% certainty.

Does it really cause that much drag? The ones on the RAV4 look sleek enough and not mounted up high on the roof like many others:
http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a20554/your-roof-rack-is-a-gas-guzzler-science/
http://st.motortrend.com/news/roof-racks-responsible-100-million-gallons-fuel-use-nationwide/

Because I don't want to ruin the vehicle, how much would I have to spend to have a dealership remove it?
 

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Toyota makes great effort to keep the vehicle as streamlined as practical so it is not likely that the side rails hurt mileage. I would leave them on. As evidence of their streamlining, they changed the spats in front of the wheels a couple times to reduce turbulence, extended the rear spoiler on one model, and even added thick, clear plastic stick-ons in a couple places on the sides (although they could be to reduce debris damage.)

I removed the cross rails on my 2011 simply to make it easier to remove snow in the Winter.
 

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True, the only compelling reason to remove them is for convenience - if they're in the way. The Rav4 has so much drag, those rails are insignificant.
 

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To have the rails removed would be costly, the hardware required to cover the mount holes costs around $100, plus labor.
 

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I doubt they cause that much drag that you'll see a difference in gas milage if you remove them.


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Discussion Starter #6
Good to know we are not getting a 2-3 MPG hit. Do all Hybrid variants come with roof racks? Ours is the Limited model.

Then it would be an easy compare if the XLE didn't have the roof racks. :)
 

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To have the rails removed would be costly, the hardware required to cover the mount holes costs around $100, plus labor.
I removed the rails on our 2014 a month into ownership. The hardware was under $50 ordered online. Not a hard job and it won't leak, the hardware seals the holes. They're kind of goofy, curved and not parallel, only usable with the crossbars. Like the clean look much better.
 

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I removed the rails on our 2014 a month into ownership. The hardware was under $50 ordered online. Not a hard job and it won't leak, the hardware seals the holes. They're kind of goofy, curved and not parallel, only usable with the crossbars. Like the clean look much better.

The OP asked what the dealership would charge. :cool:




Because I don't want to ruin the vehicle, how much would I have to spend to have a dealership remove it?
 

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I doubt there would be ANY measurable difference in MPG. Unless you just can't stand the look leave them be.
 

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I did this to my Rav as well. Sadly dealer overcharges for parts. IMO, you are looking at about maybe $200.

Around $100 for the parts to fill in the holes from rail removal, and about 1hr of time for labor to do the job.

 
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