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Discussion Starter #1
I was installing two bike trays on the factory cross bars today and I noticed that driver side roof rail is a bit loose toward the back of the car. There is a gap under the gasket trim that goes around the base of the roof rail that isn't there on the passenger side. I can also push down on it to fix the gap, but then it springs right back up.

Anyone have this problem before?

I'm assuming there's a bolt that I can tighten, but I'm reallllllly hoping I don't have to access it through the headliner.

The car is obviously under warranty, but I like to take care of these little things by myself rather than go through the hassle of going to the dealer.

Thoughts?
 

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2013 Jeep Wrangler 2dr
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My thoughts:

Go to the dealer and get it fixed before the roof rail gets looser and damages your car, or comes off and damages someone else's. Or drop the headliner and tighten it. PITA, but do-able.
 

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2014 2.5 Outback Premium CVT 72,000 mi (previous: 2012 OB 2.5 base 6-MT, totaled at 73,532mi)
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I had the same thing, still do. Took it in for the window recall and had them check it. They said it was all the way tight, same as all the new cars on the lot. They even took the headliner out to check it. I think it's lame to be that loose, but what can you do?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I had the same thing, still do. Took it in for the window recall and had them check it. They said it was all the way tight, same as all the new cars on the lot. They even took the headliner out to check it. I think it's lame to be that loose, but what can you do?
Do you know where it tightens? Do you have to tighten it from the inside of the car, above the roofliner? Sounds like it, based on your post, but want to make sure.
 

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2014 2.5 Outback Premium CVT 72,000 mi (previous: 2012 OB 2.5 base 6-MT, totaled at 73,532mi)
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Yes. Inside under the head liner. Has a nut or something that bottoms out before getting the rack tight. Engineering fail.

I always thought warrantys covered defects in materials and workmanship, including design/engineering, but good luck getting them to honor that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't think it was an issue before, I think it was something that loosened, so hopefully it can be tightened all the way. Any issues with leaking?
 

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2014 2.5 Outback Premium CVT 72,000 mi (previous: 2012 OB 2.5 base 6-MT, totaled at 73,532mi)
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No leaks.
 

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I know it's a PITA and something little, but I would take it to the dealership so at the very least it's documented. One month after your warranty runs out and the same thing happens or something WORSE that is related (e.g. the roof rail coming loose and damaging the roof), you'll have record that the problem happened before and perhaps wasn't fixed correctly.

.02
 

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2014 2.5 Outback Premium CVT 72,000 mi (previous: 2012 OB 2.5 base 6-MT, totaled at 73,532mi)
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X2^
 

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Sounds like the bolt used is too long and stops before the rack is pulled tight. Loosing the rack is probably highly unlikely though over time the loose rail will vibrate and wear on the bolt and given enough wear could cause issues.

Chances are the bolt just needs to be removed and trimmed down a little so it pulls the rail tight before maxing out the threaded space in the rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't think the bolt is too long, because I think the rack was tighter before. I think it just loosened a little. Is there any way to tighten the bolt from the exterior, rather than pulling the headliner?

And has anyone removed the rear interior trim piece that is on the rear most pillar? It's like the a pillar trim, but at the back of the car. I got some clips off, but couldn't get it completely loose.
 

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I know this is an old thread, but wanted to say that our roof rack was also loose and was the source of a leak in our car. The rear bolt was missing its nut and washer. 2012 Outback.
 

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I know this is an old thread, but wanted to say that our roof rack was also loose and was the source of a leak in our car. The rear bolt was missing its nut and washer. 2012 Outback.
Did you notice any noises with the loose rack? Ours was making a metallic ticking noise when going over asymmetrical bumps. I dropped the rear headliner and tightened up all the nuts which were all very loose. Noise is now mostly gone but I might still need to tighten the rear most nuts a bit more.


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Honestly I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, just the typical "wagon noises" on a 8 yo car... The roof rack wasn't super loose - only noticeable if you really pulled on the right rear and then it would shift about 1-2 cm.
My guess is that someone was distracted the day they were installing it! It must have worked its way off over time... (?)
 

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Keep in mind that the third rear seat belt buckle assembly is stored up in the headliner over the rear seats. When we bought our 2013 3.6R in November 2015, there was an overhead rattle that I initially thought was coming from the roof rack. I checked and all the roof rack bolts were tight. I then learned about the rattling rear seat belt buckle on this forum, pulled it down, wrapped it in some bubble wrap, secured the bubble wrap with a couple of thick rubber bands, then stuffed the assembly back up into the headliner where it belongs. It has not made a sound since then.
 

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Keep in mind that the third rear seat belt buckle assembly is stored up in the headliner over the rear seats. When we bought our 2013 3.6R in November 2015, there was an overhead rattle that I initially thought was coming from the roof rack. I checked and all the roof rack bolts were tight. I then learned about the rattling rear seat belt buckle on this forum, pulled it down, wrapped it in some bubble wrap, secured the bubble wrap with a couple of thick rubber bands, then stuffed the assembly back up into the headliner where it belongs. It has not made a sound since then.
Good to know. Does that rattle only happen if the seat belt is fully retracted into the roof? We always keep ours plugged into the seat and ready to use.


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I would recommend since it is under warranty to have the dealer fix it. That way if they fudge up the headliner it is on them.
 

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chuchu,

Yes, the third rear seat belt assembly rattle only occurs when the assembly is stored up inside the headliner and is loose enough up there to allow it to move around on rough roads. We never use our third rear seat belt so that is where it stays on our vehicle.
 
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