Air Deflector

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Air Deflector

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What is a front air deflector and where is it located?

A front air deflector, also commonly referred to as an air dam or lower valance, is a plastic or metal panel located at the front of your vehicle, under the bumper. In many cases, the part is just a cosmetic piece of the vehicle, with no function other than appearance and to conceal what is behind it; some also come with provisions for things like fog lights. However, this is not always the case; there are some applications where the deflector helps to control the flow of air around your vehicle, channeling air around the bottom of the engine compartment. This makes the front of the car more aerodynamic, and adds downward force that keeps your tires firmly attached to the ground at highway speeds, equaling more grip and better control/stability for your car or truck. The air dam also channels air into the engine compartment to aid in the radiator’s cooling process. 

The term “air deflector” is also commonly applied to other types of deflectors as well, such as those found on side and rear windows, sunroofs, and even trunk lids, which function a bit differently than an air dam. Some vehicles also come with an air deflector mounted on the hood. This piece, which is made of plastic, is sometimes called a wind deflector or a bug deflector because it controls airflow to keep bugs, rocks, and other pieces of road debris from hitting the hood and windshield. Wind deflector is also a general term commonly applied to these other types of deflectors as well.

How do I know if my front air deflector needs to be replaced?

Your front air deflectors can get hit with lots of debris in their lifetime. Small rocks, for example, can strike and damage them. Over time, the plastic deflectors can crack and break. Lower air deflectors are particularly vulnerable to parking mishaps. Every time you scrape the curb while parking, you’re scratching the air deflector and pulling it loose. A particularly bad run-in with the curb may pull your air deflector partially or completely off. Another reason they may get damaged is from worn out or lowered suspension. The closer the vehicle is to ground the more likely it will get damaged when getting in and out of driveways, hills, speed bumps, etc.

Due to the reduced aerodynamic efficiency, a damaged air deflector might reduce your fuel mileage slightly. Frankly, though, the difference may not be immediately noticeable. You may be more strongly compelled to replace a damaged valance panel in order to improve the appearance of your car. New air deflectors can help restore your vehicle to its factory appearance. 

Some drivers do report that their engines are more likely to overheat without the lower air dam present. You might look at a loose air deflector and think “what do I need that for?” We would recommend against just driving around without it, though. If your car or truck came with an air dam, then the manufacturer put it there for a reason. 

Can I replace an air dam myself?

Since an air deflector is mounted on the outside of your vehicle and doesn’t have a lot of complicated moving parts, it will be easy enough for even a novice do-it-yourselfer to replace. For a lower air deflector, you’ll just have to unfasten the old one and fasten on the new one. 

A hood air deflector is attached with adhesive as well as screws or bolts. To remove one, you’ll have to loosen the adhesive. Heating it with a hair dryer will help. Rubbing alcohol can also dissolve the adhesive. You’ll want to use rubbing alcohol to clean the mounting area so that the new adhesive will apply smoothly and firmly. Office bracket clips can help you hold the new wind deflector in place as you install the fasteners. 

Need a replacement air deflector for your car or truck?

Air deflectors for your car, truck or SUV, add an element of style and are also a great way to enhance and protect your vehicle. Has your car or truck's front air deflector seen better days? Are you tired of the lackluster front end on your car or truck? Replace that damaged or missing auto front air deflector with a great looking replacement from 1A Auto and bring back the original personality to your vehicle! We carry a large selection of air dams for many makes and models, and at great prices.

At 1A Auto, we make shopping for a replacement air deflector for your car, truck, SUV, or van easy—we're here to help you select the right part for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our lower valance panels, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online.

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