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What do you guys think about this? Decreasing Drag

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Apr 2, 2008, 10:21 AM

Post #1 of 4 (1832 views)
What do you guys think about this? Decreasing Drag Sign In

We bought these attachement to the front license plate. The idea is simple.
Very good looking design and everything makes sense.
The only problem is that it is very difficult to measure how much we improved the mpg.

But we figured even if it is 3%, it is quite a money saver and at least something we can do.
Afterall, it cost a few dollars and 3-4 minutes to put it on. Actually I like the way it looks on the car.

Take a look and let the form know what you think:

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Apr 2, 2008, 5:17 PM

Post #2 of 4 (1825 views)
Re: What do you guys think about this? Decreasing Drag [In reply to] Sign In

Interesting they picked a Massachusetts car dealer for the demo! Can it help - marginal at best and might cause airflow problems at higher speeds on some cars. It's certainly not the biggest area of aerodynamic engineering in anything I've seen but a Vette perhaps. Not that I care but I bet it's not legal for all places!

I'm about sure 3% it's not giving you at reasonable speeds. Wind resistance is exponential and isn't really a factor at all for speeds at or below 45 or so which would be more than a cars overall average speed in most cases. If it was round it would be more effective - just look at the nose of aircraft,

Long retired now

New User

Apr 3, 2008, 2:35 PM

Post #3 of 4 (1820 views)
Re: What do you guys think about this? Decreasing Drag [In reply to] Sign In

I thought about the curve in the nose. This design does make sense.
Poor license plate does not have the luxury of covering the entrire frontal area of the vehicle. Technical term for this in aerodynamics: "Boundary Area". What it is doing is to initiate the "Laminar Flow". The important thing about the License Plate is that it is right at the very front of the vehicle. Therefore, its location is faaaaaaaaar important than almost any part of the car.

Additionally, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall mpg ratings are calculated on "pre-sales" coefficient of drag, which is not audited by EPA and does give lots of room to auto manufacturers cheat and not pay attention to the aerodynamics.

If you don't believe me, check out the tail spoilers of cars. In general and scientifically, there should be only one type for SUV's; but they come in all shapes and forms. Why, why, why?

Here is the guts and science of this: Total Vehicle Technology: How Do We Get the Innovation Back Into Vehicle Design by West Virginia University.

The guys who are behind this sent me the link above. They are not idiots at MIT.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 4, 2008, 1:08 AM

Post #4 of 4 (1811 views)
Re: What do you guys think about this? Decreasing Drag [In reply to] Sign In Check out that link and note the Europeon tag moulded to the car's shape. Every extra rivot anywhere starts to matter a lot for top speeds.

License tags are not well thought out from the get go with manufacturers. Air flow does need to be channelled to radiators and A/C condensers which is highly considered. I agree that no stone should be left unturned for efficiency and this would be an important area being right up front as you said. It would make a good argument for eliminating front tags alltogether as many states once did but only to save money on making tags not for any other reason.

I don't know what the average speed is for all motor vehicles for the miles driven. I'm pretty sure it's not as fast as we might think. Air flow now is poor enough that we need to power air to cool the rad and condensers even at higher speeds! Classic "Catch-22"

Rolling resistance is probably the easiest and most effective way to reduce drag on vehicles for everyday assorted use.

Personally I hate front tags but they are increasingly important for vehicle identification. If they could engineer less drag even 1% it's worth it and a cheap way to save. My thoughts are that there would need to be a few different configurations for the assorted vehicles in use.

It's changing the subject but I'd like to see energy efficient lighting available then mandated. Seems we all forget how much energy is used electrically in vehicles and you directly pay for that as the alternators work hard to produce it.

MIT: Two of my best friends went there. Amazing brilliance comes out of that place! Scary!

Long retired now

What do you guys think about this? Decreasing Drag

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