Need advice on excessive noise from factory roof bars
Looking for a little advice on how to handle this situaton. I bought my mini in Minnesota and I live in Seattle, Wa. The factory bars were installed by the dealer in MN and they whistle a lot. It's very noticable and annoying. I sent an email to my MA when I got back to Seattle with the car but she hasn't or won't respond. I have read other posts on this site about rack noise and it sounds like some bars are better than others but I dont' really understand how that could be the case on the same car. I like the bars but hate the noise and I'm wondering how I should deal with this. Ideally I would like to have a factory rack that didn't drive me nuts with whistling when I drive the car.
1) I could continue trying to hound the dealer in MN. I'm not really sure what a good outcome would be with this tact. I'm 2000 miles away. The MA was great about responding to mail until they got my check - well that might not be true as this is the only time I have tried contacting them post sale.
2) I could go down to the local dealer in Tacoma. I'm actually going by there on Wed. and am planning to drop in. Should I just ask them about the rack and if there is a fix? I'll be nice about it. Seems like it's a known issue and is better on some cars than others.
3) contact MiniUSA somehow. This seems like a last resort. It feels like complaining to someone's manager without really trying to work it out with them first.
I talked to the folks at NW Mini in Tacoma and they make customers sign a waiver before getting the factory bars installed. They have had that many complaints. I have had a lot of cars with roof racks but never had one that was this bad - it's really awful. I think Mini really designed a bad product here but I've stumbled across a solution.
I went to a rack specialist and they sold me an old yakima fairing. It is different than the current models and bolts on with some slotted steel rails. I used a 1" washer inside the bar and bolted the fairing on with 6MM bolts and nuts. Works great. I can barely hear the rack and I can live with it being on the car. The whole setup was less than $40. I have a big ugly Yakima fairing on the car but I can live with the looks because of the lack of whistle. I can post pics if anyone is interested.
Finally I also got a new bike mount from rockymounts.com (Noose SL). It bolts onto the factory bars (including the giganitc Mini ones). Works great and I think it much better than the Thule carrier. I had to get longer bolts but that was it.
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