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Old 11-05-2010, 12:35 AM   #1
Idahotom
 
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Low drag mirrors

Am I the only one to fold the side mirrors back? I'm talking middle of Wyoming, and into a 30 mph headwind. I was always in the right hand lane, (interstate) traffic was very light, like none. My neck still can turn, and I have a rear view mirror. As I neared a town, I'd flip them back out. Safe enough, probably not legal. I havn't done it since, just that long stretch with the headwind and it was getting real boring. Can't say I could see a difference on the scangauge, and I only did it for a couple hundred miles.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:22 PM   #2
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I'd rather have full visibility than be obsessed over the drag, if any, they add.
I'd think the envelope that the front of the car creates going through the air at highway speeds extends out past the side mirrors. If it didn't, wouldn't the manufacturers see this in the wind tunnel and tune the mirror size/shape accordingly???
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:20 PM   #3
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Tune the size accordingly? You would think but then they can't even come up with a quality waterpump.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:56 PM   #4
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actually mirrors are tuned for visibility first, and drag is accepted in that area.

You can buy racing style mirrors if you'd like, they are much smaller. Garm has a set mounted on his yaris.

and so a few waterpumps aren't perfect. That stinks, but there are always a few stupid problems with cars. Thank God the Yaris is one of the best in this category.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:02 AM   #5
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After hearing about guys who remove the windshield wipers for less drag, folding back the mirrors seemed pretty minor. A one time deal for me, though I do like how they hold their adjustment through the folding process. Maybe the next time I'm driving through Wyoming I'll do it again!

During that leg of the drive, I saw a state trooper had pulled over a Prius, and I had to wonder for what, too fast, too slow??? Drafting semi's maybe?
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:09 PM   #6
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prius drivers are usually snobs who forget the rules apply to them as well.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:56 PM   #7
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I would like ti see some smaller rear view mirrors that not only have less drag but generate less "wind noise"
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:48 AM   #8
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prius drivers are usually snobs who forget the rules apply to them as well.
Oh, please. When I was coming home from Georgia, one of the fastest cars I drafted before the VA border was a Prius with the Virginia plate SAVN GRN. She averaged 95 mph and had a Greenpeace sticker on the back of her car.

...yeah, that's totally what you're supposed to do in a Prius. Floor it the whole way home to save gas.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:46 AM   #9
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Tune the size accordingly? You would think but then they can't even come up with a quality waterpump.
hahahahaha x's 2

62k miles on mine and I just went through my first waterpump
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:32 PM   #10
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:26 PM   #11
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i dont see how adjusting the mirrors will make a difference at normal driving speeds. sometimes drag is even beneficial. for example, the antennae, which seemingly produces unnecessary drag, helps to trip a turbulent boundary layer for higher efficiency and lower overall drag.
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:08 PM   #12
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i dont see how adjusting the mirrors will make a difference at normal driving speeds. sometimes drag is even beneficial. for example, the antennae, which seemingly produces unnecessary drag, helps to trip a turbulent boundary layer for higher efficiency and lower overall drag.
What...you wind tunnel testing the Yaris with smoke streams or something?
The antenna is drag, though not much. As are the mirrors, less so when folded but who wants to drive around with no mirrors, besides me, one time!
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:14 PM   #13
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i use a water tunnel in my lab. i've been thinking about this. with a properly designed rear wing on the hatchback, it may be possible to increase fuel economy.



the top picture is similar to a stock yaris, air swirls in vortex patterns, which means that not only does the yaris need to propel itself forward, but spend considerable energy into moving air. with the correct rear wing, there could be less separation in flow at end and less movement in the air, similar to the bottom picture. i found this picture online, the second picture is misleading because it represents an ideal case with virtually no separation in flow.

the antennae will disturb how the eddies are shed, reducing wasteful swirling of air (reduce a little). similarly, if a wing is designed to reduce the size and number of eddies from forming by increasing turbulence at the rear of the car, the car will have less drag and overall better efficiency.
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:13 PM   #14
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What about the Sedan?

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Old 01-08-2011, 05:10 PM   #15
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can't say for sure. it would seem that a sedan will have separation in the back as well, however it may not be as defined. since the wing might help reduce the effects of separation, i'm not sure how much benefit you have if the separation is already less than the hatchback. however, i dont have much experience on aerodynamics of cars, i work on fish.
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:36 PM   #16
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Really? Fold the mirror in to save on drag?

If you a rocket scientist for NASA, I would understand.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:37 AM   #17
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What does rocket science and NASA have to do with drag? Aerodynamics can be a hobby as well as a science: more than once I have been involved in tufting a car in order to find a source of gas-eating turbulence, it ain't that hard, and the results are worth the time and effort.

Re the sedan: just the mud patterns on a sedan give you a hint, ie, there is far less mud on the back of a sedan after driving in crappy weather. This means that the air stays stuck, and the turbulence and rotors are smaller, ie, less drag. I consistently get better fuel mileage than my buddy's hatch, and we both drive about the same.

Folding in the mirrors may or may not make a difference, depending on the shape presented by the folded mirror, and the turbulence generated. Somehow, I don't think the difference would be easily measured. Now, skinning the underside should change things a lot, but not always for the better...
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:44 PM   #18
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Aerodynamics can be a hobby as well as a science:

I don't think the difference would be easily measured.
Sentence number 2 is why sentence number 1 is false.

I think what he is trying to say is, unless you have access to a wind tunnel, the difference is near impossible to measure, kind of defeating the whole point of trying to become more aerodynamic. Its just like VG's - sure the theory is there and you can experiment, but unless you have wind tunnel data to back up that they are decreasing drag by stopping flow separation, you could be hurting your drag as much as you are helping.
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