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Roof Rack Question

Old 03-14-2009, 06:25 PM
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Default Roof Rack Question

I have a Yakima rack system on my car right now for my kayak (see sig pic) but with the wind resistence on the rack, I am getting 21+/- mpg on my mazda3 while city driving. Prior to rack, I got 25-27mpg in the city. Obvisouly I can pull the racks off and put them back on whenever I use them but that'll be a hassle. I thought about buying a Fairing, I can pick it up on EMS.com for $52 shipped, then I just need to buy SKS locks.

On Yakima's site, it doesn't mention anything about gas mileage improving but does cut the wind noise. I guess it could be considered common sense, less residence = improved gas mileage. Before I purchase it I just wanted to hear feedback from people on here, you guys gthat have the fairing, are you noticeing a signif difference? I know its only 50$ plus locks, but I don't want to waste money.

Thanks guys.
Old 03-15-2009, 05:49 PM
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I'm not doubting your math, but possibly your diagnosis.

Are you sure the rack is costing you 5-6 mpg?? That seems very extreme at CITY speeds. Usually the loss of mileage is due to resistance(drag) created at highway speeds.

I would check other mechanical causes of that kind of mileage decrease before I added anything to the rack. (ie bad gas, clogged filters, bad plugs, etc)
Old 03-15-2009, 06:01 PM
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Rit- good point. I found it to be extreme also but the poor gas mileage came right when I added the racks. I guess a quick diagnosis would be to pull the racks off and see if the gas mileage increases. Then I will quickly know. Also, you reminded me, I think I will change my plugs next weekend, can't hurt. Thank you.
Old 03-15-2009, 06:39 PM
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the rack killed the mileage on my already lousy trooper, and the fairing made little difference.

i would remove the rack whenever practical.
Old 03-15-2009, 09:21 PM
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You may note that the Honda Odysseys that come with roof racks as standard equipment do not come with cross bars. They only have the side rails. There is a clue there.
Old 03-16-2009, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rit.05 View Post
I'm not doubting your math, but possibly your diagnosis.

Are you sure the rack is costing you 5-6 mpg?? That seems very extreme at CITY speeds. Usually the loss of mileage is due to resistance(drag) created at highway speeds.

I would check other mechanical causes of that kind of mileage decrease before I added anything to the rack. (ie bad gas, clogged filters, bad plugs, etc)
I was going to say the same thing. NO WAY that rack is costing you that much mileage on city driving. Well, unless you drive around all day with your kayak on the roof.
Old 03-16-2009, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by kerno View Post
You may note that the Honda Odysseys that come with roof racks as standard equipment do not come with cross bars. They only have the side rails. There is a clue there.
The cross bars are optional on Chevys now. I thought it was a cost saving measure
Old 03-16-2009, 08:07 AM
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Yes the racks will reduce gas milage and maybe because you have a smaller car with a smaller motor they have a greater effect on gas milage.
Old 03-16-2009, 08:16 AM
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The racks on my 99 tahoe costs me about 1-3 mpg depending on how I drive and what I put up there. Bottom line is the truck only gets 13 mpg in the city and 15 on the highway. More the truck than anything. Had same racks on my old 88 diesel suburban and the truck got 18-20 mpg in the city and highway. I have the fairing and I think it makes a little difference.

ALB

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