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Old 05-05-2011, 11:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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micro "mud" flaps spotted

what are they

aero? mini mud flaps?

just like dams in front of the tires started appearing a few years ago and now all cars seem to have them, i recently spotted somethig interesting in several cars

it's a small tab on the rear wheel arc behind the wheel... it looks mostely like a mini mud flap, but it's location and size makes it a little suspect



even the new mercedes C class coupe has it, as does the new ford fiesta and the Citroen C3 and C4

they're basically very little bulges that sit high on the wheel arch, sometimes molded as a part of the plastic bumper or as part of the inner wheel well liner.

so their place and size make me wonder if they're really there to stop rocks or whatever but perhaps they have something to do with watter spray, wich can be really annoying.

any ideas on what they are for?

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Old 05-05-2011, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Very interesting!

I can't find any hi-res pictures of that area through Google, so I'll have to take a closer look next time I see one in a parking lot. It's too bad that I usually don't have a camera with me (In the spirit of waste reduction I still have a stone age cell phone).
My first uneducated guess would be that maybe that bulge somehow controls turbulence in the wheelwell. Sort of like a 'virtual' wheelskirt.
But it may just as well control water spray. These two ideas aren't even mutually exclusive.
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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On the Fiesta and the new Merc C Coupe there's definitely something there.
See :



On the C4, it may be sloppy photoshopping or workmanship mounting the bumper - I can't find a pic illustrating it a bit better.
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My car has them and it's a 1996 chrysler, perhaps it's just for looks? Aesthetic purposes maybe.
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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There is a Ford Fester in our parking area, its got them on. I wonder if its usually the first bit to scrape the wall when some one parallel parks into it...

Otherwise, I'll stay posted until someone comes up with a proper answer...
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
Very interesting!

I can't find any hi-res pictures of that area through Google, so I'll have to take a closer look next time I see one in a parking lot. It's too bad that I usually don't have a camera with me (In the spirit of waste reduction I still have a stone age cell phone).
My first uneducated guess would be that maybe that bulge somehow controls turbulence in the wheelwell. Sort of like a 'virtual' wheelskirt.
But it may just as well control water spray. These two ideas aren't even mutually exclusive.
Get a smart phone. Reduce your overall energy consumption. Betcha never heardsomeone advertising the green aspect of these wretched contraptions, eh?
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll err on the water sparay side. Happy to be proven wrong.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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From Ford's website:

"The subcompact Ford Fiesta is available with a Super Fuel Economy (SFE) package that enables the car to achieve 40 mpg highway. This package features cruise control, low rolling-resistance tires and several additions to enhance vehicle aerodynamics, such as underbody shields, side air deflectors and lower grille blockers."

Maybe the "side air deflectors"? Kind of a vortex generator?
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Here is a screen grab of a Youtube video of a Fiesta. Looks like micro vg's on the top of the mirror. Interesting.

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Old 05-06-2011, 04:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moorecomp View Post
Here is a screen grab of a Youtube video of a Fiesta. Looks like micro vg's on the top of the mirror. Interesting.

to help fill the hole left by the mirrors maybe?? i wonder what that looks like in a wind tunnel test. i would expect them to be just like the ones the Evo MR has above the rear window, proof of concept, but not enough to actually make a difference

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