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Aerodynamic Fuel Saver or Mileage Killer?

Randy8026

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City, State
Nanaimo, BC
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 explorer limited
My 97 Explorer came with this wind deflector on the back, first I’ve seen of something like this.

Would this be aerodynamic or would it create drag? Better or worst for gas mileage?

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I can’t see a way in which that wouldn’t increase drag.
 






My 97 Explorer came with this wind deflector on the back, first I’ve seen of something like this.

Would this be aerodynamic or would it create drag? Better or worst for gas mileage?

View attachment 437184 View attachment 437185
i mean it redirects air down.... how does it not hurt drag? probably it provides downforece :p beat em civics with it!
 






It’s meant to keep the rear window cleaner. You’re driving a brick, it won’t matter. The truck is its own mileage killer, not a piece of plastic.
 






It’s meant to keep the rear window cleaner. You’re driving a brick, it won’t matter. The truck is its own mileage killer, not a piece of plastic.
true, i suppose if you bought an explorer gas mileage wasnt the primary concern
 












I can’t see a way in which that wouldn’t increase drag.
Me neither, I’m getting 13mpg on average so I guess I could just take it off and see if the there is any improvement, noticeable or negligible.
 






Me neither, I’m getting 13mpg on average so I guess I could just take it off and see if the there is any improvement, noticeable or negligible.
which gears do you have? sohc or ohv? usually these get a bit better than 13, depending on how you drive
 






It’s meant to keep the rear window cleaner. You’re driving a brick, it won’t matter. The truck is its own mileage killer, not a piece of plastic.
For sure, LOL. And yet we all got one! Vehicle type aside, buying another car right now is rather pricey! I can buy a LOT of gas for the price of a car payment.
 






If you took that and the roof rack off, you might gain 1/2 MPG on the highway.
 












Did the Saleen Explorer come with a similar wing?
 












I would argue that it would improve mileage since it reduces size of the low pressure zone which follows the vehicle at high speeds, kind of like the dimples on a golf ball.
 






i thought of that, energizing the boundary layer and all that…but you’ve still got tons of air spilling off the sides. I dunno, someone needs to break out some CFD software and see what the diff is

For science!
 






My 2¢…

I would say it is reducing MPG. Any spoiler area above the roof line is blocking airflow. How much, I dunno. How much MPG loss, I dunno. Is it affecting airflow, yes.
 






I would argue that it would improve mileage since it reduces size of the low pressure zone which follows the vehicle at high speeds, kind of like the dimples on a golf ball.
i can see that, but then i think it'd be better if it was moved down a tad to "round off the edge" of the hatch, as opposed to being positioned above. i think the negatives outweigh the positives imo. but as c420 said, we need the software to confirm for us ;)
 






I suspect that reduction of the low pressure zone, is only significant if it's the vehicle itself that tapers down in back, like you see in many CUVs, but then you lose cargo area for large objects.

If diverting air down across the back increased fuel economy, wouldn't everyone be doing it considering how inexpensive a piece of plastic can be? It just seems like we'd see it on every car on the road after the point where fuel economy became a concern, if it helped.
 






13 miles to gallon Thats A steep hill lol

Should be 15-18 Mpg
I'm lucky to get 13MPH on my '98 because not my primary driver, I mostly short trip it and live in a very convenient area where I don't have to drive far for things I'd use it to haul, but that also means that traffic and stop lights are 2/3rds of the drive, so the majority of the time I'm either speeding up or coasting down.
 



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At highway speeds, probably does very little +/- on the mpg. Back in the day Ford designed some cars with functional wings on the back. My XR4TI has one and at high speeds it will provide about 50 lbs of down force.
 






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