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Audi Q5 Roof Racks – “How do I install roof racks on my Q5”

Aug 12

As time passes I find that I get asked the same questions more than a few times a week and I love to give the answers because showing people the Audi Brand and technologies is one of my true passions. A question that has been asked of me in a number of times in emails by people all around the country is “How do I install my Audi Q5 Roof Racks ?” I really enjoy helping and working at Sunset Imports gives me an opportunity to do this every day. The Audi Q5 comes standard with adaptive cross bars that can be installed in less then ten minutes and will actually change the driving characteristics of the vehicle to counteract the top heaviness caused by the roof load. With up to 220 pounds of load capacity on the crossbars of the Q5 it really is nice to have the ability to put bikes, kayaks, surfboards, skies, snowboards or anything else you can think of on the roof. The roof rails will not interfere with the open sky system (panorama glass roof) as long as you use Audi genuine adapters for whatever it is you are carrying. Now to start with, in order to install the Q5 Cross bars you will need to find the tool; it is usually located in the back in the spare tire well. After you have laid out the cross bars and located the tool (pictured) you will need to find the cross bar end with three prongs, this is important. Take the cross bar end with three prongs and make sure it goes in front and the three prongs go over the drivers front side. After that it is simple. You will lift the caps on the end of the bars up, the installation is easier the first time with two people, lay the Q5 cross bars across the roof (carefully) and line up the prongs on the inside of the roof rails. After the alignment of the roof rails is done you can tighten them down, make sure not to tighten them too much, you only need about 3.5 pounds of force, like softly squeezing an orange. (If you overtighten the roof rails it can strip out the threads.) After you have installed your roof rails stand back and take a look at the dynamic lines of the Audi Q5 and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!
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Well done,please continue to keep us informed.

From Stephen on August 16th, 2009

I have ordered a base model 2010 Q5 and I intend to use the stock 18″ wheel for winter wheels. I wanted to know how much would it cost per wheel for the new 2010 S-lind 20″ wheel. if the price is reasonable, i may want to buy a set for my summer tires. By the way, I am located in Toronto, Canada. Thanks for your assistance.

From Ken Chan on August 21st, 2009

Hi, I purchased an Audi Q7 (2010) and was wondering if the cross bars from the Q5 would fit my Q7? I was disappointed to learn that the cross bars are a standard feature for the Q5 and not the Q7 (in my area- Germany). Thanks a lot!

From Marisa on September 29th, 2009

Marisa, Sorry the crossbars from the Q5 will not fit the Q7, if I can be of any help let me know.

From Scott Mitchell on October 2nd, 2009

Just bought a 2010 Q5 and loving it! However, I did not get the cross bars. I thought it was a standard item for Q5. Am I wrong or did my dealer steal it from me?

From Sam on December 3rd, 2009

Yes you should have got cross bars they are standard feature, just ask your dealer I am sure they simply forgot.

From Scott Mitchell on December 4th, 2009

If I buy the Audi crossbars for my Q7, how different/similar is the installation process? The bars are a bit different i.e. flush and I think there are only 2 holes on rails in both front and back. Is the same tool provided with my Q7? Can the Q7 crossbars be used with open sky system?

From Christian on May 26th, 2010

will the bars from q5 2010 fit a4 2010 avant

From ed on June 20th, 2010

Sorry, no they are not interchangeable and will not work on the Audi A4 Avant.


From Scott Mitchell on June 20th, 2010

Despite putting the bars on correctly it appears that my roof box is tilted upward on my Q5. I have tried Yakama Skybox and Thule Atlantis 1600. Any ideas?

From John on June 27th, 2010

Hi, I have a 2010 Q5. I have been looking into a roof top tent for it. Will I need to buy different roof rails to support the weight or will the standard ones suffice? I am thinking that I will need to buy additional ones as I do not think that the load weight will be sufficient on the standard rails.
Thanks for any help you can provide.

From Michael on September 28th, 2010

How do I install the Barracuda bike racks on my Q5? The don’t seem to fit over the cross bars. The bolts don’t seem long enough.

From Mark on November 15th, 2010

Hi, does the 2011 Q5 come with the tool? I want to remove the bars. After I opened the spare tire well, I couldn’t find the socket wrench, only jack and a few other things there.

From Hong on November 19th, 2010

is there a wind deflector available for these crossbars? The wind noise at >40mph is quite significant.

From roger on November 21st, 2010

Make sure that the rubber gaskets were installed on your crossbars, it would have been done at the dealer during the Pre-Delivery Inspection. It is a black rubber strip the runs the entire length across the top of both bars. Please let me know what you find.

From Scott Mitchell on November 21st, 2010

Hi Scott – I actually installed the rubber strips myself (what a PITA) but the wind noise is with those already installed. I know a lot of people have retrofit their Thule deflectors to fit these Mont Blanc bars, but I like doing “the factory fit” or not at all.

From Roger on November 21st, 2010

Yes, the Q5 always comes with to tool – the tool is unique to each Q5 so make sure if you order it to get the right one.

From Scott Mitchell on November 23rd, 2010


Do you know if the Roof Rack gives more stability when breaking with the car?

Tx to confirm.

From Ben on December 17th, 2010

The adaptive roof rails do change the driving characteristics of the Q5 and yes with a load on the roof the stability will be improved under those driving conditions.

From Scott Mitchell on January 2nd, 2011

Hi, I bought a used 2009 Q5 which did not come with the cross bars. I see cross bars for sale for 2010 Q5. Will the 2010 Q5 cross bars fit a 2009 Q5? thx

From Ray on January 4th, 2011

Yes they should fit.

From Scott Mitchell on January 4th, 2011

I have tried to remove the roof racks with the tool as provided which was located in my glove box and not the boot.

I have lined up the white strip on the tool with the triangular metal mark on the roof rack bolt. The problem I have is that the tool does not fit over the bolt on the roof rack.

It is almost as though the plastic sleeve which covers the roof rack bolt is in the way.

Am I doing something wrong?

From Peter Dally on March 10th, 2011

Is the distance between the roof racks the same for the Q7 & Q5? I’m replacing a 2008 Q7 with a 2011 Q5 and hoping my existing roofbox will fit.

From Robert on April 10th, 2011

Hi I am driving Q5. I have to top up the black oil almost every month. Any advice? I had A4 and never experienced such hassle.

From Chamk_s on October 25th, 2011

I have a new 2012 Q5 with factory cross bars.  Made it about 3 days before the noise drove me nuts.  Mine do have the rubber gaskets.  I’d like to get some bikes up there but returned the Audi bike racks due to the noise of the cross bars.  Has Audi considered making a fairing to fit their crossbars to cut down on noise?  I plan to visit Rack Attack to see what my Thule options are.

From Kathy on November 22nd, 2011

I am getting a unbelievable amount of wind noise even at speeds as low as 50 mph- is there a cure?

From Kblack on November 24th, 2011

We did as well.  We ended up taking them off completely and are still trying to find a solution.  Ugh…

From Joneschristine on November 26th, 2011

Kblack…. see other comment below.  Sounds like there are rubber strips that should be on them.  Perhaps that will help both of us.  Good luck.

From Joneschristine on November 26th, 2011

We checked ours out… we do have the rubber strips installed in ours and it still makes a terrible sound.  Anybody have any ideas?

From Joneschristine on November 26th, 2011

I have a 2009 Q7, what kayak carrier are compatible with the crossbars?

From Sdmeckler on December 4th, 2011

Watching your post for answers.  I’ve had my 2012 Q5 for almost 2 months and took the crossbars off due to the extreme noise (have the rubber strips on).  I can’t believe Audi doesn’t offer a fairing since the noise is pretty severe.  I did call Rack Attack and they can fit the Q5 with Thule racks but I’ve not gone that route yet.

From Kathy on December 5th, 2011

Does the front grille of a S-Line Q5 (2011-2012) fits to a 2010 Q5 premium plus??!!. Thanks.

From Mr. E on February 5th, 2012

 John, did you ever find a solution to resolve this?  I am having the same issues with a Thule 1600 Box… points up in front, rather than down.  Not very aerodynamic.

From Jay North on April 29th, 2012

Hi, I have a 2010 Q5 will standard crossbars but I need them to be at lease 60′ to fit two kayaks side by side. Do I have to go aftermarket? If so, what is the recemmended solution? Thank, Sandi

From sandi on January 26th, 2013

Hello, can someone suggest me a shop by the Houston area that can install adaptive headlights to an Audi Q5 2013?

From lfua on February 14th, 2013

Hi can the q5 roof bars be adapted to fit the Q3?

From Lana Hughes on March 12th, 2016

[…] floor of the trunk where the battery is located? Here's a thread link with photos of its location. Here's another thread link with detailed photos showing the whereabouts of the tool kit and compress…. __________________ FOR SALE on AutoTrader: 2011 VW MK6 GTI CSG DSG FOR SALE: Dunlop […]

Good morning,

I owned a 2010 Q5 and want to sell the roof rack as it is not compatible with my new A6. Is the 2010 Q5 roof rack compatible with all years and models of the Q5, as long as the Q5 has the installed cross bars? Thank you.

From Mark Lynch on May 9th, 2016

Does the standard 2016 Audi Q5 roof cross bars fit on a 2016 Audi Q3?

From Vincent on May 24th, 2016

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