Car Aerodynamics | How to Improve Your Aerodynamics
How to Improve Your Car’s Aerodynamics
When it comes to your car, you spare no expense. You get your oil changed every 3,000 miles, you stay up to date on all of your servicing, and perhaps you have even invested in a few valuable aftermarket upgrades. You want to maximize your fuel economy, eliminate blind spots, and ensure that every journey exemplifies style and comfort, but have you given any thought to your aerodynamics? This is one important upgrade that even savvy car owners commonly overlook, but it can make a world of difference.
Car Aerodynamics - You Have More Control Than You Think
As NASA sums it up, aerodynamics is defined as “the way air moves around things.” Notice the contoured shape of airplane wings and rockets. These designs aren’t implemented for the sake of looking cool. They are specially optimized for maximum aerodynamic benefit. Even cars are designed with aerodynamics in mind, as you may notice by all of the streamlined shapes that comprise the vehicle. From the flat floor to the sloped windshield to the rounded front end, everything is designed to maximize the vehicle’s aerodynamics.
Without these features, your car would suffer from aerodynamic instability, especially at high speeds. It would be subject to excess drag, wind noise, and less reliable downforce, which can consequently reduce traction and create unsafe turning conditions. As you can see, quality aerodynamics is absolutely critical for any vehicle, but even if your car or truck is already built for speed and performance, you can always make improvements to get the most from your aerodynamic design.
Why Improve My Car Aerodynamics?
There are many reasons to consider optimizing your aerodynamics, but the biggest one is fuel economy. Drag places additional strain on your engine and causes you to burn more fuel, but aerodynamic improvements will reduce drag by enabling your vehicle to navigate against the airflow with less resistance. As a result, your gas mileage improves and you save money at the pump.
But fuel economy isn’t the only reason why motorists pay special attention to aerodynamics. Perhaps you have a need for speed, and are looking for a faster ride. If you have spent any time in the racing scene, or have ever spent a Sunday at home watching NASCAR, you know that racing cars are built for aerodynamics above all else. That’s because if you want to be competitive, every square inch of your vehicle must be aerodynamically sound. If even one facet of your car is creating unnecessary drag, your competition will leave you in their dust.
Perhaps you have heard of drag coefficient, which is a mathematical measurement of a vehicle’s aerodynamic smoothness. Racing car designers work tirelessly to build vehicles with the lowest possible drag area, in order to push the boundaries of speed and performance. So if you’re looking to achieve any sort of speed advantage, it’s definitely important to examine any aerodynamic improvements that you can make.
Finally, improved aerodynamics simply results in less noise and a smoother ride. You don’t have to be a racing aficionado to experience the benefits, and in fact, anyone can take simple steps to enhance their own aerodynamics, no mechanic required. Next we’ll examine just how quick and easy it can be.
Improve Your Car Aerodynamics
First, consider anything that may be creating unnecessary or excessive drag on your vehicle. For example, a roof rack can have a negative impact on aerodynamics, so eliminate it if you don’t need it. Even protruding accessories like flags can impact drag, so be mindful of any attachments that may be impeding your airflow. Do you drive a pickup truck? Your truck bed may be the biggest hindrance to your aerodynamics, but you can easily and dramatically improve the situation by installing a tonneau cover.
The next tip is extremely simple: roll up your windows, particularly if you’re on the highway or traveling at a high rate of speed. An open window undermines the aerodynamic design of the vehicle by establishing an entry point for airflow, thereby increasing drag. We all know how good it feels to have the wind in our faces as glide across an open interstate, but consider the amount of drag you’re creating as a result.
Do you have wide tires? Consider replacing them with narrower alternatives. Narrow tires are much better for aerodynamics, and they also offer additional benefits -- like being better for snow travel. Of course, there are pros and cons to choosing narrow tires, so before making this particular aerodynamic upgrade, consider your options.
The Best Kept Secret in Car Aerodynamics
Finally, we have one of the easiest and yet most effective aerodynamic improvements: the lip kit. By adding an aftermarket lip kit like the Universal Lip Kit from All-Fit Automotive, you can reduce drag and maximize airflow across your entire vehicle for just a few dollars. Anyone can install the kit in a matter of minutes, and it also offers striking aesthetic advantages. If you have been considering ways to improve the aerodynamics of your vehicle, check out the All-Fit Universal Lip Kit today.
Experience the Difference of Improved Aerodynamics
However you decide to improve your aerodynamics, remember that every step -- no matter how seemingly small -- can make a noticeable difference. By catering to the aerodynamic needs of your vehicle, you can improve gas mileage, enjoy a smoother ride, and perhaps even increase the life of your car. Try it for yourself, and experience the many benefits.