This section is more applicable to large vehicles such as trucks and SUV’s. It is more difficult to apply drag reduction to smaller cars as it is not easy to improve the aerodynamics of most vehicles from the factory without doing serious, costly modifications to the bodies. Drag at highway speeds is a major contributing factor to slowing down a vehicle and decreasing gas mileage. Speeds above 50 miles per hour can slow a vehicle down requiring more throttle to keep the car moving along. Eliminating any restrictions to airflow over or under the vehicle can help to reduce the drag and increase fuel economy, albeit it may be a small amount.
1. Truck Tips
Trucks are the vehicles where the most gain can be derived regarding fuel economy and aerodynamics. Large, open truck beds will wreak havoc on vehicle drag and fuel economy. Just by adding a truck bed cover some manufacturers claim fuel economy gains of up to 7% It is advisable if you are not hauling any loads to cover your truck bed with a cover. They range in materials, but the most common units are aluminum and fiberglass. Retractable units are also sold for convenience.
2. SUV Advice
SUV’s have some of the worst aerodynamic profiles of any vehicle aside from Mack trucks. The colorful terms “box on wheels” and “rolling bricks” come to mind. When attempting to reduce drag on SUV’s focus on removing accessories from the roof including but not limited to bike racks, and top cargo holders. You may save a few percent in fuel economy at high speeds be streamlining your gas guzzler.
3. Car Advice
There is not much that can or should be done to most passenger cars to reduce aerodynamic drag. Do not remove the air deflector underneath the vehicle in the front. The purpose of this item is to deflect incoming air into your vehicle’s radiator to cool off the radiator fluid as it circulates through your engine. This is a vital component and should not be modified in any way. That being said, if you do happen to have a luggage rack installed on the roof of your car remove it when not in use. This will most definitely improve the aerodynamic profile of your ride at no additional cost to you.
We have not tested any modifications to trucks or SUV’s regarding aerodynamics. Stay tuned for updates.