-- Last Updated: Mar-18-16 6:18 PM EST --

We have a nice new red Mazda CX-5. Roof rack works fine with the Thule Crossroads, bars, and cradles & jays. We like fore and aft tie-downs, and as is the typical case with recent models, there are no front-end external attachment points for tie-down guys.

I've fabricated some webbing straps with holes to screw in under the hood to make guyline attachment loops, to remain inside when we're not carrying our boats, but which we'll switch outside as our front tie-down points.

So far so good... But I'm having second thoughts.

Will the tension on the loops snaking out from under the closed hood deform the edge of the hood? I'd hate to mess up the front end of our handsome new car if I didn't have to when securing our boats when we travel to


-Frank in Miami

No deformation
I just turned in two way used cars, a Subie with nearly 190000 miles and a Sable with over 130000 miles, both of which had under hood loops for securing the front tie downs. There were deformations in various parts of the cars from poorly planned backing into the yard and something solid which literally came out of the sky and hit the roof if the Subie.

But neither hood had any deformation from the hood bumper loops. I never have figured out what landed on the Subie roif, on a country road with no traffic, though.

Tiedown eyelets

– Last Updated: Mar-18-16 7:00 PM EST –


You should have two tie-down eyelets stored with the tire changing tools. Pages 7-21, 22 show you how to install them.

I had no idea I had a front tie-down eyelet on my Honda FIT until my Thule rack installer showed it to me and where to install it.

I have a hood loop as well; just haven't decided which I'll use.

No problem here
Ford ranger hauling 2 multiple 14-17 ft yaks or canoe at interstate speed for 7 years with hood loops and no deformity.

Ford body parts being slightly less durable than a beer can, I admire the way they crumple instead of scraping the bark on my trees.

I’ve had tie down loops for 298,000 miles. The best part of the truck is the hood.

The undercarriage shows the effect of 16 winters.

No deformation…
No deformation on the hood of my wife’s Ford Escape, “under the hood”/painter loops setup.

Have hauled two 45 to 70 lb canoes for a couple of thousand miles. I used nylon tubular webbing for the loops.


I rum um and my back loves them. No damage here lots of miles.

None here



– Last Updated: Mar-18-16 9:43 PM EST –

Appreciate the info and feedback.

Thanks, Rookie, for the CX-5 owners manual research and reference. Our ancient, archaic, atavistic? printed copy has been temporarily unavailable as Sally's had the car this afternoon-evening.

I knew about the tow points, but other considerations come into play, and I think I'll go with the underhood straps on the front.

First, internet research notes a couple observations that suggest not using the hooks because the force applied will be perpendicular to the eye axis, and not in line. The hooks are noted as strong enough to hook and hold a vehicle for towing, but not for lateral stress. That may be true, tho' lateral forces anticipated in my case would be orders of magnitude less, of course.

Second, in a purely aesthetic consideration, I'm not sure I want the hooks permanently protruding from the front end.

Finally, and most importantly, the (top-to-bottom) depth of the front end and grille assembly looks to encourage rubbing of the front components if I use the towhooks and the boats don't extend beyond the nose of the car. I don't want the line(s) abrading the plastic grill over time.

FE, I am SO happy I made my straps before watching your video. I might not have ANY fingers left had I followed your lead and used a single blade razor and not scissors, which worked just fine, tho' it was done one strap at a time. And I might have burned myself had I used your pliers-holding-nail setup instead of a wood-handled awl, to make the bolt holes, which worked equally fine. However, I used my cigar torch to seal the frayed ends, not a soldering iron, and it worked quite well.

And thank you much to the others who assuage my hood deformation concerns. Hopefully, I'll also refrain from other hood -and body -deformations as well.

Though experience suggests otherwise...

Tomorrow I'll install the straps under the hood. And then we'll literally be good to go -and double securely tote the boats -whenever we head out to


-Frank in Miami

Who knew?? Now I feel really dumb for not reading the manual on my own “new” CX-5, which I have had for two weeks short of a year. I’ll install those “towing eyelets” tomorrow.

Agree with you, Frank.
Yes, the eye hook looks kinda lethal when installed. A mini hole-puncher as it protrudes out. I’d have to remove it at the end of each paddle out of fear I’d misjudge when parallel parking and damage someone else’s vehicle.

Seems like a lot of steps, so I did purchase a pair of hood loops. The loops sound like they’ll be easier to set up and I like easy.

1 or 2 front straps ?
We use 2…tornado winds.

For your light hood look over the latch area, prob stronger there with no bend cspability. One or one strap each side.

Hood corners, straps intended area would prob be adequate on the front hood area of the hood corner. Test in trying a bend moment.

Anyway you are a rack guy right ?

So where’s the beef, Bags ?

Your muy dinero rack moving backwards as your new ride rips up MilWay at 4G’s ?

Tow Hook Strength
Don’t worry about the lateral strength of the tow hooks. Your kayak is light as a feather compared to the weight of a car, but more to the point, you don’t want a whole lot of tension on the front and rear tiedowns. Just enough so that it is snug, semi-taut, but with a little bit of play. One thing that often gets lost in these discussions is that the front and rear tiedowns are there to prevent hobbyhorsing of the hull due to the boat’s overhang beyond the relatively short distances between the roof rack mounting points. That sort of hobbyhorsing at 60 mph or more (that’s hurricane wind speed, if you think about it) would put enormous strain on any hull, as well as your car’s roof. But you do want a little bit of play because if you snug the front and rear tiedowns too tight, then every little bump in the road will translate into a hard yank on your hull from the end points – not good. Which is why you want a little bit of give.

You really have to understand that it is your rack, properly affixed, and your tie down straps around the hull, that secure your boat safely to your car. Do that properly and you will all but eliminate any possibility of a catastrophic failure. Check your rack points, check your straps and buckles for wear, etc. But don’t assume your front and rear tiedowns will be a reliable backup. If a whole rack with a boat or two on top flies off your roof at highway speeds, the front and rear tiedowns may or may not be enough to keep it attached to your car. Minimize that possibility with a proper rack and hull straps.

Owl or Hawk ?
I’ve had both plow into my car going after prey in my headlights.

I mistakenly used guys in describing the bow and stern tie-down lines.

We have carried any of our nine boats, most often two at a time, for thousands of miles throughout South Florida and the Keys, with other forays throughout Florida, and a few up the east coast. Through five vehicles, we have always relied, and continue to rely, upon good racks and double straps, to transport our kayaks.

As noted in my second post, we doubly secure them with fore and aft tie-downs. But I unfortunately used guys to describe them, which led to your misinterpretation. I should have specified stabilizers.

We prefer the added margin of safety these confer on our transport rig as we haul our boats, “doubly securely”, to and from our destinations to


-Frank in Miami

Hi Frank
Those front and rear tie downs should not be tight.


Why not tight ?
Or snug ?

Snug, so there is no slack in the line, is ok. Tight is not, you can very easily over stress the boat, that was never intended to have big loads at the ends.

The bow and stern lines are safeties anyway, not intended to hold the kayak/canoe to the roof, only there in case something breaks so the boats stay attached to the car.

Bill H.

Deformation, no

– Last Updated: Mar-21-16 7:17 AM EST –

but those under hood tie down straps will rub the paint off where they exit - at least that's been the case on my last two trucks. Not something you want to unknowingly do to a brand new vehicle. Nothing a bit of touch up paint every couple years won't remedy, of course.

I should add, it doesn't bother me much because I drive beaters and there is no salt water anywhere near me. I might be more concerned about it if I were driving a new vehicle and if salt spray from parking near ocean surf were part of my normal routine, as it might be for you. Don't want to give that demon rust a foot hold, y'know...

Padding or

– Last Updated: Mar-21-16 7:21 AM EST –

sheathing rope/cord/strap with vinyl 3M 33 or HD electrical tape saves paint leaving a sacrificial smear of vinyl. Tape has colours styles for your paint.

Vinyl removes with deodored thinner.

We assume paint was waxed.

3M sticks to 'itself'

Also useful are rectangles of cut poly jug bent in L corners with or not 3M.

Poly tends toward working loose in the airsteeam without something adhesive reducing vibration: bźzzzzzzzzz

Inside compartment paint is not as durable ss outside. If new, clean n wax or immediately brush repaint esp inside fender walls(spray) Take a visual on where the A/C compressor is dripping.

Always file clean both sides drill holes, prime n topcoat. Requires patience. The asembly can be dissed painted and re'd.