How Wiper Blades Affect Aerodynamics Of Your Car

Though you may not realize it but the windshield wiper blades you use can affect the aerodynamics of your vehicle when it is in motion. Wiper blades that are not streamlined or well in contact with the surface of the windscreen will cause more drag while moving and decrease the overall efficiency of the vehicle. The implications of this includes more fuel consumption and a reduced driving experience.

WindLift – The Cause Of Drag

The increased drag caused by wiper blades can be attributed to the Windlift phenomenon. This is due to the moving air getting under between the wiper blades and the windscreen surface. It provides an upward force on the wiper blades, thus pushing it away from the surface. By having the wiper blades jutting outwards will affect the overall aerodynamics of the vehicle. It causes a distortion to the flow of air and add to the resistance of the car moving forward.

Causes Of Windlift

Windlift is just the reason that caused the drag of the car but what are the factors that cause windlift? There can be a few but we will highlight the more prominent ones. Firstly, this could be due to design of the windscreen of newer cars. As more manufacturers design windscreens that are more curved to improve the aerodynamics, the downside is that conventional wiper blades will not be able to have a full surface contact. Just imagine placing a straight pole against a curved surface, there is definitely space allowance on either end. So ironically, this new windscreen design will cause more air to deflect off it and push the wiper blades outwards. This has in fact reduced the efficiency rather than improve it.

Secondly, the problem could also lie with the design of the wiper blades. Older framed wiper blades are very rigid and stiff. The latest wiper blades in the market are designed aerodynamically that will mold itself to the windshield.

The spring tension at the arms of the wiper blades will also affect the amount of contact with the windshield surface. If there is not spring tension, it may not hold the blades in place and consequentially, loosen the contact with the glass surface.

Choosing the right wiper blades to fit your car is a small but important task, If possible, spend that premium to get better designed wiper blades that will resist windlift and give good wiping performance. Safety is paramount compared to aerodynamics.

Comments are closed.