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What is a front lip and why would you want one?

What is the reason for all the interest in this part of a car?

There are two main reasons. One is practical and the other cosmetic.

From a practical point of view, a vehicle moving through the air sometimes acts like an airplane. That is, the airflow under a car or truck travels a slightly shorter distance than the airflow over the top of the vehicle. This difference causes a pressure difference, with low pressure at the top of the vehicle.

This means there is more pressure trying to lift the car than keeping it on the road. The weight of the car is sufficient in most circumstances to overcome this tendency to lift. However, move the car fast enough and thus increase the air flow and interesting things can happen. Like a plane taking off, enough speed equals enough lift and you are the air terminal.

What is good for an airplane is a disaster for a car. If you ever see car racing footage, you might see an image of a fast-moving racing car suddenly lifting up on its front and sometimes flipping over completely.

The front wing or lip or air dam is designed to stop this dangerous flow of air, in a race car or exotic car that is capable of very high speeds.

The second reason these devices are added to cars is for style. People like to feel like they are driving a fast car. They want the look even if they will never push the car at speeds that require an aerodynamic device like this. If you look at most new cars, you will see some kind of extension under the front bumper. It is there for the design and not to hold the front of the car.

Since not all cars come with this look, there is now a huge aftermarket that designs and builds lips, spoilers, or air dams for people who want to disguise their pride and joy.

Is it all positive? No. There are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, this is additional weight at the front of the car. It shouldn’t make a difference, but if you add a very heavy weight to the front end, you can change the handling characteristics of a car. Second, you have now reduced the distance from the front to the pavement. On a level road, there should be no problem. However, hit a slope, or a tall parking block, or even a steep driveway and your front end may drag on the ground.

The last precaution is installation. Most aftermarket products like this require some experience to fit properly. If you do not have this experience, seek a professional for installation.

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