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How to Remove Thule Roof Bars

Updated February 21, 2017

You can remove the Thule roof bars from your car, truck or SUV in a matter of minutes. Thule mounting rack systems are designed to clamp onto a vehicle's roof with adjustable feet. Thick rubber pads in the feet prevent the clamp from damaging the paint on the roof. Simply loosen both feet and lift your Thule rack off the roof of your vehicle to store, or move it to another vehicle.

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  1. Open the doors on both sides of the vehicle below where the roof bar is mounted.

  2. Unlock the outer housing or lockable knob at the base of the feet using the Thule key that came with the set. Remove the plastic plugs covering the locks with a flathead screwdriver. Some Thule roof rack systems do not have locks or come with keys.

  3. Twist the knob on the foot counterclockwise to loosen the clamp. Some Thule models require a special tool called the AcuTight to turn the clamp loose. This tool is located inside the foot housing and has a bright green handle.

  4. Reach across the roof to lift the bar straight up from the centre and set it to the side. Check the roof of the car to make sure that the rubber pads have not stuck to the roof. Peel the pads by sliding a credit card under them as you pull up.

  5. Clean residue build-up from the areas where the roof bars were removed using a mild car wash detergent and soft sponge.

  6. Remove the roof bars from the detached feet by popping off their end caps and sliding them out. Some Thule roof rack mounting feet have a small black lever on the back that you must lift to release the bar.

  7. Warning

    Stepping on the inside of the door is not a very stable surface and you may damage the seat controls. Use a stool or small ladder if you need to get a better view of the mounts on top of the vehicle.

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Things You'll Need

  • Thule foot key (optional)
  • Screwdriver (optional)
  • Thule AcuTight torque measuring tool (optional)
  • Credit card (optional)
  • Mild car washing detergent
  • Sponge

About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.

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