2012 Honda CR-V Long Term Road Test

2012 Honda CR-V: Installing Factory Roof Rack Crossbars

December 25, 2012

2012 Honda CR-V

A fortuitous thing happened after my last post, in which I fretted over our the growing mound of presents our 2012 Honda CR-V would have to haul some 900 miles north, along with four passengers and their luggage.

I managed to get my hands on a set of Honda Genuine crossbars to try out, along with a rooftop cargo box. Among other things, it will be interesting to see how fuel consumption compares to the nearly identical naked-roof run I made to the same area in this car last summer.

But I have to install the stuff before any of that can happen. Today I'm tackling the crossbars, an accessory that mounts to the longitudinal aluminum roof rails that came standard on our CR-V EX-L. Those of you with an LX or EX won't have the aluminum roof rails, but they're available as an accessory, too.

2012 Honda CR-V

A sticker on the box warns there are no instructions inside. But how hard can this be? There's only one way to find out.

2012 Honda CR-V

It's looking good. The crossbars come fully assembled. It looks like this is going to be a simple matter of installing 8 bolts.

2012 Honda CR-V

More good news up here. Four pairs of rubber plugs positioned along the inside flange of the roof rails show where they need to go.

2012 Honda CR-V

Open doors provide a handy step to get the height necessary for easy access. After that the caps come off in seconds with a small thin-blade screwdriver, revealing the threaded holes the kit's bolts will twirl into.

2012 Honda CR-V

The crossbars are labeled left and right, front and rear, so it's easy to figure out where they go. Set the far side in place first, then press in on the near side and compress the gaskets until it slots into position.

2012 Honda CR-V

The bolts have a Torx head, and it takes a T-30 bit to engage them. You can get one at any auto parts store or home improvement megaplex. I'm using a socket-style that snaps onto my ratchet, but T-30 Torx bits come in many forms.

2012 Honda CR-V

This part is pretty straightforward, especially since the bolts come with blue thread lock compound already applied.

2012 Honda CR-V

Tighten the bolts until everything is fully seated and tight, but there's no need to overdo it. In my case it looked at first like the front crossbar was too short, but the assembly telescoped easily as I tightened the bolts and it all mated up properly.

2012 Honda CR-V

This was easy. We're done after no more than 15 minutes. There isn't much reason to pay a dealer to do this job if you have basic mechanical skills and can get your hands on a T-30 Torx wrench or screwdriver bit.

Honda offers a whole range of attachments that fit these crossbars that accommodate skis, snowboards, surfboards, kayaks, bicycles and the enclosed cargo box I'm going to mount.

At some future date we'll compare these crossbars to a similar aftermarket product, but for now I'm going to mount the box, load it up with stuff and head north.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 12,903 miles

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