• Vas Comblas

DO CLEAN CARS GO FASTER?

Updated: Mar 18

DO CLEAN CARS GO FASTER?

By Vas Comblas.


Did you know that a clean and well-maintained car attracts more women - and for those of us who want some speed - that it’s been proved plausible that a clean car does actually go faster!


In theory, a clean car will allow air to move freely across the surface giving less resistance. When it comes to better aerodynamics, having a clean car can not only increase speed it can also save you money.


Simply put, a dirty car increases fuel usage, due to drag caused by dirt particles on your paintwork (of course this depends lots of factors such as what type of dirt, where its placed and how much is on the car in the first place!). Research shows that a very dirty car returns worse fuel economy than one that was clean - to around 5% (going highway speeds). A clean car averaged 0.9km/l more fuel efficiency than a dirty one. However, if you are averaging a 3-digit speed mark on a racetrack your aerodynamic drag and surface skin friction may mean a hint of a second less – and that could make or break you.


Even after washing your car it still has dirt and grime on the paintwork, so cleaning products that don’t cause drag might be a better idea - some waxes are very heavy so by using slippy cleaning products it could help make the aerodynamics smoother, leading to a faster speed and better fuel economy.


Saying all this, your paint work is probably weighting down the car more than the dirt - take Merc F1 cars, they stripped off all their paint to save weight (that’s why they’re silver).


But in this competitive world it may only be less than 0.01% drag generation and sometimes it’s that miniscule drag that could also be taken into consideration if you want to win a race (or win that woman!).


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