Fitting Instructions for a Ford Focus Roof Bar

Written by rob kemmett
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Fitting Instructions for a Ford Focus Roof Bar
Make sure cargo is properly secured to the roof rack before driving. (Dynamic Graphics/Creatas/Getty Images)

The Ford Focus is not factory equipped with a roof rack, but aftermarket roof racks are available and are installed after the purchase of the car. The roof bars of a roof rack, which are the bars that run across the width of the roof and serve as the foundation, must be properly fitted and attached to a Ford Focus. Improperly equipped roof bars are a safety issue and may not stay permanently attached to the vehicle.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Ford Focus owner's manual
  • Measuring tape
  • Soft cloth
  • Bucket filled with warm, soapy water
  • Screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench

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Instructions

    Purchase a Roof Rack

  1. 1

    Review the measurement specifications found in the "Specifications" section of the Ford Focus' owner's manual or measure the dimensions of the roof with a measuring tape to determine the length and width of the entire roof. Do not attempt to install a roof rack that is larger than the roof of the Ford Focus.

  2. 2

    Shop for roof racks in local automobile parts stores and online retailers; take the roof measurements with you. Consult the professionals at auto parts stores to find out which racks would work best for you. Some racks are designed to carry individual items, such as bicycles or kayaks, while others are all-purpose and are designed to carry items of all types. Discuss your cargo needs with the auto parts professional. Many online retailers provide an online form to fill out that tells you which racks fit the different years and models of the Ford Focus.

  3. 3

    Purchase a roof rack. Inspect the roof rack kit and make sure all necessary parts are included before beginning the installation process. Some roof rack systems do not include load bars or fit kits. Some systems require you to purchase those parts separately.

  1. 1

    Wash the roof of the Ford Focus with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water. Dry the roof with a soft towel or allow to air dry.

  2. 2

    Open all the doors of the Ford Focus.

  3. 3

    Attach the rubber pads to the front and rear feet, which are the mounts that attach to the roof. Some rubber pads snap into place while others are secured with screws or bolts.

  4. 4

    Release the tension of the bar mounts located on the front feet and insert the load bars. Some models of roof racks, such as Thule's 400XT, have feet containing clamps that release tension when you squeeze the handle. Other models may operate differently and require you to unscrew mounting bolts before attaching the load bar. Do not secure the load bar at this time. Repeat with the rear feet.

  5. 5

    Adjust the width of the feet to the appropriate width of the Ford Focus' roof using a measuring tape. Make sure the load bars are centred between the feet.

  6. 6

    Lock down the load bars. Depending on the model of roof rack you are installing, release the clamps on the feet or tighten the bolts to secure the load bar.

  7. 7

    Insert the load bar caps onto the ends of the load bar. The load bar caps are often rubber slips that cover the metal corners of the load bar.

  8. 8

    Attach the foot brackets onto the feet. The Thule 400XT roof rack system contains brackets that are secured with built-in bolts. If the roof rack system has brackets which need to be bolted to the feet, use an adjustable wrench to tighten the bolts into place. Some models have brackets that are secured with screws. If the roof rack system has brackets which need to be screwed into the feet, use a screwdriver to tighten the screws into place.

  9. 9

    Place the roof bars onto the roof of the Ford Focus. Make sure the roof bar containing the front feet are at the front of the car and the roof bar containing the rear feet is at the rear of the car. Align the roof bars in the appropriate locations, so the feet are resting right above the open doors with the mounting brackets hanging over the lip on the roof.

  10. 10

    Clip the mounting bracket onto the roof, making sure to securely fasten it underneath the lip of the roof. Tighten the tension using the tensioning cam, which is part of the foot bracket. Rotate the tensioning cam until the bar is tight and secured to the roof of the car. Do not overtighten or you may damage the roof rack system or the car.

Tips and warnings

  • The mounting instructions contained in this article are for the Thule 400XT roof rack system. Consult the installation manual of the roof rack system during installation if you attempt to mount a different roof rack to a Ford Focus.

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