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Old 01-11-2010, 10:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hub cap drag versus weight and heat

A few hubcap questions...

It's pretty intuitive that creating a smooth cover for your wheels reduces drag.

What's the energy cost of the weight of used to cover the outside of the wheel?

Would it be better to remove any hubcap entirely, reducing wheel weight at the cost of extra drag?

How about heat dissipation? If you drive near mountains and/or drive aggressively, is the reduced air flow by the front brakes significant?

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Old 01-11-2010, 10:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wheel/tire combos have more weight variability than cap/no cap.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I live in the mountains and that's where I drive I use the brakes as sparingly as I can, and have never had problems with heat. I've bicycled across Colorado, and I've bicycled across Iowa, and I'm pretty sure that what I call mountains are more intense than anything in Iowa.

If you drive aggressively, you're at the wrong website anyway.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan11 View Post
What's the energy cost of the weight of used to cover the outside of the wheel?

Would it be better to remove any hubcap entirely, reducing wheel weight at the cost of extra drag?

How about heat dissipation? If you drive near mountains and/or drive aggressively, is the reduced air flow by the front brakes significant?
1) immesurable, in cost of weight.
2) leave on the cap, unless it's creapy shaped, get smooth caps.
3) no significant

try pizza pans. use GE outdoor caulk to apply.
i would do it, but i already have smooth caps.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I had full caps for a while. Heat is not an issue. At the end of a drive in the Texas summer, I reached in and touched the brake rotors. They were barely even warm.

I now have some nearly smooth hubcaps that are more "normal" looking. They're plastic, so don't weigh very much.
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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seminars

The seminars cover the relationship between a change to a vehicle's
mass,and its relationship to a change in mpg.
You can measure the weight of your hubcaps,do the gravitational conversion to mass,plug that into the relationship and answer your own question.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Seminars? Where are they located? I tried entering 'seminar' in the search, but it finds nothing.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan11 View Post
Seminars? Where are they located? I tried entering 'seminar' in the search, but it finds nothing.
You need to search in the Aerodynamics forum (where you posted this thread) and use the "Search this forum" button. I came up with 17 threads with the word "seminar" in it...

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