How to Take a Thule Rack Off of Your Car

Updated April 17, 2017

The Sweden-based Thule Co. has made vehicle roof racks since 1962, evolving over the past four decades to incorporate a variety of carrying functions. On a basic Thule rack frame, attachments can modify your vehicle to carry items like skis, bikes, canoes, kayaks or cargo. The company makes their carrier mounts for a variety of makes and models of vehicles, but removing one is fairly straightforward no matter what kind of vehicle you're taking it from.

Open all vehicle doors on both sides of where each rack is mounted.

Turn the bolt near the rubberised base of each Thule rack foot, unlocking each base mount. Wedge the plastic plugs from each lock with a flathead screwdriver.

Loosen the roof clamp on each rack mount by turning the foot knob counterclockwise. Some models will require a special tool with a green handle for this task called an AcuTight measuring tool. Check with Thule to see if your particular model needs this tool.

Slide a credit card under the rubber feet to peel them from the roof. Years of use can adhere the two firmly, but not permanently.

Lift each rack bar, with their mounting feet still attached, from the roof.


Thule makes its racks for a variety of models of vehicle. If you want information specific to your vehicle, consult Thule's Fit Guide in the Resources section. Use the drop-down menus to find the exact rack installed on your model of vehicle.

Things You'll Need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Thule Allen key for roof rack bolts
  • Thule AcuTight torque tool (if needed)
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About the Author

Dan Harkins has been a full-time journalist since 1997. Prior to working in the alternative press, he served as a staff writer and editor for daily publications such as the "St. Petersburg Times" and "Elyria Chronicle-Telegram." Harkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of South Florida.