While it is not possible to yield a significant fuel economy boost overnight, vehicle owners are always looking for quick, innovative ways to improve fuel mileage while on the road. Custom-fit wind deflectors are one of the proposed solutions, but do they actually work?
Turborevs addresses this question below.
What Is the Function of Wind Deflectors?
Wind deflectors, also known as rain guards or wind visors, are plastic panels that can be installed on the hood, sunroof or side windows of a vehicle. Those mounted on the front are usually used to protect the exterior from any debris coming in its way due to wind or a passing vehicle, while those fitted on the windows or roof help in ventilation — all without the wind turbulence. They, hence, protect the car’s interior from getting damaged by outside elements.
While these may seem minor inconveniences, they can develop into bigger issues over time. For instance, the body of a car would be at higher risk of rust and corrosion without the protection of wind deflectors. Similarly, the windscreen can also get cracked, which will not only impair your vision while driving but also be costly to repair.
A wind deflector works by changing the vehicle’s aerodynamics and ‘re-routing’ the draft flow around it, thus protecting it from rain, snow as well as dirt.
Another advantage is that they can easily be installed; you do not require specific tools to attach them to your window frame.
Do Wind Deflectors Improve Mileage?
So do wind deflectors help you squeak out some extra miles per tank?
The answer can vary, depending on the make, model and design of your car — but there is no denying that they do bring about a marked improvement in fuel mileage. If properly mounted, wind deflectors can reduce aerodynamic drag, thus improving fuel efficiency. Since they let in fresh air inside, they keep the interior space cool, which reduces the amount of times you would need to turn on the air conditioner — thus, decreasing the amount of fuel that is used.
Apart from minimising wind resistance, they also allow you flexibility in their angle adjustments, which improves aerodynamics and, in turn, mileage.
However, there are also several other factors involved here. For instance, the speed of the vehicle also affects results. Aerodynamic drag is not a major issue if the car is travelling at a lower speed. Hence, there would not be a noticeable change in fuel economy as such.
Secondly, if the deflector is of poor quality, and has been designed without conducting wind tunnel tests, it is likely that it would not produce positive results. In fact, there are still many brands that tend to skip the latter.
The Bottom Line
It is important to keep in mind that wind deflectors alone might not be able to bring about a significant change in fuel mileage. Thus, you can try making modifications in addition to improve the performance of your car. For example, regular maintenance or the installation of quality side steps, coupled with wind deflectors, can help in redirecting the airflow around the car more efficiently.