Can You Drive Without An Air Dam?

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  • Post last modified:December 27, 2021

Air dams can help the aerodynamics of your vehicle when driving at high speeds. However, can you drive without an air dam on your vehicle? We have taken the time to research this question to provide you with the answer.

Technically speaking, you can drive your vehicle without an air dam. However, you may have a drop in fuel mileage due to decreased airflow. If your air dam is damaged or removed, it is a good idea to have it replaced. 

You would like to know more about air dams and their functions, then continue reading. We will discuss how important an air dam is on your vehicle. In addition, we will take a closer look at the costs to replace an air dam!

A Chevy Camaro parked on the side of the street, Can You Drive Without An Air Dam?

How Important is an Air Dam?

Air dams are important to the aerodynamics of your vehicle. They help improve airflow and decrease drag. In addition, when you drive at high speeds, your car will be more stable with an air dam.

An air dam is usually found in the front grille of the vehicle. The function is to push aside debris from the road and prevent it from being sucked into the engine.

If your air dam is not working correctly, it may not be easy to control the airflow. Not only will this decrease fuel mileage, but you may find that your car becomes more unstable. In addition, without an air dam on your vehicle, you will face additional wear and tear on your engine due to increased drag.

An air dam is an integral part of your vehicle that is easy to overlook during routine maintenance. The most common damage done to a car's front end comes from hitting a curb or pothole. In this case, you may need to replace your front bumper cover along with the air dam.

One exception to not having an air dam is when you are off-roading. The air dam may get caught on rocks or other terrains when driving. As a result, the air damage can become damaged and need to be replaced.

Do Air Dams Increase Mileage?

Air dams can help increase fuel mileage at higher speeds. This is because air dams provide a smooth airflow that allows the engine to run more efficiently.

However, if your air dam is damaged, then your vehicle may begin to experience turbulence instead of smooth airflow. This can decrease fuel mileage and increase wear on the engine.

How to Increase Mileage?

There are a few things that you can do to increase fuel mileage on your vehicle.

  1. Keep your car well-maintained: Make sure that all of the parts on your car are working correctly. This includes the air dam!
  2. Drive efficiently: Avoid hard braking and acceleration. Instead, try to maintain a consistent speed throughout your drive.
  3. Use the correct fuel grade: Make sure that you are using the correct fuel grade for your vehicle.
  4. Keep your tires inflated correctly: Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure level. This will help decrease drag on your car.
  5. Remove excess weight from your car: Remove any unnecessary items from your car. This will decrease drag and help your car to run more efficiently.

Does Removing the Air Dam Void the Warranty?

If you are worried that removing your vehicle's air dam will void the warranty, then consider some things. First off, you need to check your vehicle's warranty. Every vehicle has a different warranty, so it is essential to check the fine print.

Looking at Jeep forums for examples, several Jeep owners say removing the air dam will void the warranty. However, other vehicle forums say otherwise.

It is essential to contact the dealer personally before making any modifications to your vehicle.

An orange Jeep Wrangler parked on a sandy beach

How Do you Fix an Air Dam on a Car?

The easiest way to fix a damaged air dam is by replacing it. However, if you are not comfortable with this, it would be wise to contact a car repair shop.

Replacing an air dam varies depending on the vehicle and the damage done but typically requires cutting out the old one and welding in a new one.

If your front bumper cover has been damaged, it may also be necessary to replace the bumper cover and/or grill assembly.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace an Air Dam?

The cost to replace an air dam can vary widely depending on what needs to be replaced. For example, just a plastic air dam replacement may cost around $200 with installation.

However, if you have a damaged front bumper cover or grill assembly, the price can be much higher. These parts tend to be sturdier material and are often more challenging to replace.

In addition, it will depend on the type of vehicle you own. For example, a truck will have a bigger air dam than a compact car. As a result, the price may be astronomically higher than a car owner.

How to Prevent Future Damage to Air Dams?

Preventing future damage to your air dam is relatively simple.

Make sure that you check for any obstructions or objects when driving. If your air dam gets caught on something, it may become damaged, even driving on flat terrain.

Keep your tires properly inflated at all times. Over-inflated or under-inflated tires can cause your car to drag and increase the chances of your air dam becoming damaged.

Check your car regularly for any damage that may have been done. If you notice a problem, then take it to a mechanic as soon as possible.

It is also essential to be aware of any road conditions that may risk your vehicle. For example, if you live in an area with lots of large potholes, then it would be wise to avoid those roads as much as possible.

Does Removing the air Dam Increase Performance?

Removing your vehicle's air dam will not improve your gas mileage or engine performance. Instead, there are certain modifications that you can make that may help with these factors. For example:

An open car air filter in an open car engine

High Octane Fuel System

A high octane fuel system can help improve a vehicle's performance by providing more compression. This allows the fuel and air mixture to burn more completely, which in turn creates more power.

Cold Air Intake

A cold air intake replaces the factory air box and filter with a free-flowing unit. This removes restrictions from the intake system and allows for more airflow. As a result, this will increase your vehicle's horsepower and fuel economy.

Carbon Fiber Vented Bonnet

Carbon fiber is a strong and lightweight material often used in automobile racing. By installing a carbon fiber vented bonnet, a hood has been made from this material. The design allows more airflow to the engine, which in turn helps to improve performance.

Performance Cat-Back Exhaust System

A performance cat-back exhaust system can work in two different ways. First, it can vent the exhaust gases out of the system more quickly, improving power and reducing lag time. Second, they are often made from larger piping, which allows for more airflow to your engine.

Short Ram Intake

A short ram intake is an air intake system that replaces the factory air box and filter. It is designed to be less restrictive than other intakes, allowing for more airflow. This will improve your engine's performance and throttle response.

Alloy Paddle Shifter and Short Shift Kit

Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, it may be equipped with a manual transmission.

This means that you have to manually change gears when accelerating or going up hills – unless you have an alloy paddle shifter and short shift kit. These upgrades will allow you to quickly switch through gears which can help improve your gas mileage.

Performance Computer Chip

A performance computer chip is a small device inserted into your vehicle's computer system. It can be used to change the way your engine operates, which can improve performance. There are many different types of chips available on the market, so it is essential to do your research before purchasing.

Final Thoughts

A Chevy Camaro parked on the side of the street

If you choose to remove your air dam for one reason or another, then be sure to weigh the pros and cons. Check that your vehicle isn't under warranty, and if it is, check to see if removing the air dam will void it. At the end of the day, the only time it makes sense to remove the air dam is if you use your vehicle for off-roading purposes.

For more articles like this one, check out:

Rattling Noise In Car When Accelerating—What Could Be Wrong?

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