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Will A Trunk Mounted Bike Rack Scratch or Damage Vehicle


I have just received the Thule Gateway Pro 2 trunk mount bike rack i bought from your website. I have a 2019 BMW 540i sedan. I plan to carry only 1 bicycle a TREK DS-3. I want to know if the bike rack with the bike on it will scratch the paint on my car. I need to drive 55 miles mostly interstate with this setup.


Expert Reply:

Any time you install a weight bearing device on a vehicle that rests on a painted surface, there's the potential that the vehicle can be damaged. That's the honest answer.

That being said, there are things you can do to greatly reduce the possibility of that occurring.

• You'll want to make sure that the surfaces of the bike rack and the vehicle that touch each other are 100%
clean and free of dirt and grit. A good coat of high quality car wax applied to the surface of the vehicle will
provide some protection.

• The bike rack can handle 2 bikes weighing up to 35 lbs apiece, be sure not to exceed that capacity.

• It's very important that the bike rack is installed exactly according to the instructions.

• It's not recommended to leave the bike rack on the vehicle if it isn't going to be used for an extended

• Do not open or close the trunk lid with the rack in place.

If you are concerned about the vehicle getting scratched, I'd honestly recommend using a trailer hitch and a hitch mounted bike rack. The hitch mounted rack will not be in contact with the vehicle, which completely eliminates the chance of the vehicle being damaged.

Stealth hitch offers the perfect hitch for your vehicle, part # SH24VR. The hitch is completely concealed and is invisible when installed. When you want to carry your bikes, you'd install the included receiver and install the bike rack. Once you're done with the rack, it's a quick matter to remove the receiver, which makes the hitch completely invisible from the rear. This is not an inexpensive option, but for folks that don't care for the appearance of a hitch, it's certainly the way to go. I've linked to the installation instructions for you.

If you decide to go this route, for a hitch mounted bike rack, I'd recommend the Thule T1, part # TH9041 for a single bike rack or # TH9044 for the 2 bike version. The rack includes a locking hitch pin as well as an integrated cable lock to help deter theft.

I've linked to demonstration videos for the bike racks mentioned above.

expert reply by:
Mike L

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