Vehicles are designed for good aerodynamics, but unless you drive a high-performance sports car, it is likely that the aerodynamics of your vehicle can be improved further. Improving your vehicle’s aerodynamics can maximise
its fuel economy and overall driveability.
Modern Tire Dealers explains that when it comes to tire design, “one thing is certain: There is a trend for better fuel economy in vehicles, and tires play a significant role in the equation. Less rubber on the road means better rolling resistance, less noise and less wasted energy.” Narrow tires are more aerodynamic than wider tires for a simple reason; narrow tires have a smaller surface area than wider tires. This small surface area creates less of an obstacle for wind to interact with as you are driving.
Lowering a vehicle lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity and also reduces the amount of air that contacts the tires of the vehicle. Even with narrow tires, the tires produce the biggest drag because of their blunt, unstreamlined shape. Tires also create a force of lift that slows the car down. Quora says that lowering the body of the vehicle negates the lift and drag effects from tires because it “[reduces] the amount of air hitting the tires. Many cars come with deflectors to steer air away from the tires, but lowering the entire car is more effective.” This effect, however, can only be experienced if the vehicle has a properly designed underbody.
Wind deflectors are pieces that are usually mounted on windows or on the hood of a car. These deflectors serve two purposes; to deflect wind and deflect debris or rain. Wade Auto says that “Wind deflectors and in-channel vent visors are another excellent way to improve aerodynamics for a relatively low cost…They can be installed on the edges of your side windows and even on your sunroof. Wind deflectors will decrease drag and improve airflow to make your car more aerodynamic.” This is because wind deflectors break up the air passing around a vehicle and redirect it. Window deflectors work best for cars that usually have open windows. The open windows can disturb the way that air travels around a car, and window deflectors redirect the air around the windows that are open, allowing the air to travel around the car rather than into it.
It is very important to do your research whenever you decide to fix up your vehicle, and especially when you are attempting to change the aerodynamic properties of your vehicle. Changing the wrong part or changing something too much can worsen the aerodynamics of the vehicle. Many manufacturers design vehicles so that they are as aerodynamic as possible for street use, while also allowing the vehicles to be safe and comfortable. If you decide to make your vehicle more aerodynamics, aim to purchase parts that are high-quality. These parts will often have undergone thorough research and testing to ensure that they do not harm your vehicle.