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Car Spoilers - How Many Types Are There?

Educational  ·  May 30, 2023

Car Spoilers - How Many Types Are There?

People who have no idea about car spoilers view these accessories as nothing more than cosmetic parts. The truth is that spoilers offer plenty of performance benefits for the car, like improved handling and increased fuel efficiency.

There are various types of car spoilers out there, like pedestal, lip, active, front and roof spoilers. Each of these types works by ‘spoiling’ or manipulating the air flowing past the car. This increases the downforce on the car’s tyres, adding more traction.

Car spoilers are worth understanding, so this guide will teach you everything you need to know about them. By the end of the article, you'll understand how they work and more about each type that you can choose from.

Let’s get started.

What Does a Spoiler Do on a Car?

Let’s refresh our understanding about what a spoiler does before we dive into the various kinds of car spoilers and how they achieve the same goal using different designs. 

A car spoiler “spoils” the air to lower drag and raise traction, thus, improving aerodynamics, fuel efficiency, and performance. Not only that, but spoilers also add to a vehicle’s overall aesthetics with their shapes and colours.

You can learn more about car spoilers by checking out the in-depth guide we posted a while back.

For now, let’s move on to more important things you need to know about car spoilers.

Does a Spoiler Use More Fuel?

There are some misunderstandings in the automotive world about spoilers and their effects on a car’s fuel consumption. The answer is no, spoilers do not cause cars to use more fuel.

On the contrary, a spoiler will make a car much more fuel efficient by redirecting the airflow around the vehicle as it moves.

Besides much-improved fuel efficiency, it also offers other benefits, like making a car more stable while braking, particularly at high speeds.

How Many Types of Spoilers Are There?

There are many different types of spoilers, and there are no hard and fast rules about categorising them. However, we've picked out five general types that you should be aware of, especially if you plan on buying spoilers for your car.

Here are the 5 kinds of spoilers you should know about:

1. Pedestal Spoiler

Pedestal spoilers are some of the most common ones you'll find on cars. Like most other spoilers, these go on the back of your car and mount on top of the trunk or boot.

Pedestal spoilers extend from one side of the trunk to the other, and they have mounting legs that keep them raised above the boot (hence the name ‘pedestal’).

Given their position on the rear, pedestal spoilers redirect air passing the back of the car and causing it to produce a stronger downward force on the back wheels.

As a result, the back wheels have more traction and improved fuel economy.

2. Lip Spoiler

Lip spoilers are another popular kind. Unlike pedestal spoilers described earlier, lip spoilers are mounted flush on the trunk lid. In other words, there are no openings underneath the spoiler through which air can flow; air can only flow past the top of the spoiler.

Lip spoilers come in various shapes, such as the ducktail spoiler popular on race cars for its functionality.

Given that these spoilers don't have an underside, air can only pass on top or sides. That helps increase traction so the vehicle can remain stable, even when speeding around tight corners.

3. Active Spoiler

So far, the two spoilers described above have one thing in common: they’re fixed in place. Sure, you could adjust them by hand, but you’ll still have to get out of the car to make those changes.

That’s why some applications require active spoilers, i.e., spoilers that can be adjusted from inside the vehicle. You’ll mostly find these as race car spoilers on high-performance sports cars that need to change spoiler positions on-the-fly.

The driver can adjust the spoiler to hide completely, retract, or extend upwards depending on their speed. This means that the driver has the precise aerodynamics they want when they want them.

4. Front Spoiler

Spoilers exist not just for the vehicle's rear but also for its front. You'll find the front spoiler, also known as an 'air dam', in or under the front bumper.

As you might’ve guessed by now, air dams manipulate the airflow at the front of the vehicle. They offer the same benefits as the ones you saw earlier (e.g., increased downforce) but at the car’s front instead of its back.

5. Roof Spoiler

Last but certainly not least, you have the roof spoiler. More specifically, it’s a spoiler that goes on the back of the roof directly above the rear windshield.

Although roof spoilers offer the same performance benefits as the others listed above, many people install them purely for appearance.

Undoubtedly, roof, front, and rear spoilers all work together to make a car look sportier and slightly more aggressive than models without them.

Can You Add an Aftermarket Spoiler?

Yes, you can add an aftermarket spoiler to your car, but make sure you get it installed correctly to enjoy its full benefits.

Ideally, you should purchase a spoiler explicitly designed for your car's make and model to get that perfect fit and functionality.

That said, you’re free to choose from the countless aftermarket universal car spoilers many companies sell.

Again, it's best to let a professional install it for you to guarantee it's done right.

If you want to find car spoilers for sale, start by checking out the Marketplace at CarPartAU. Search through new and used parts to find the ones that fit your car the best!


By Ray Hasbollah

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