What is the purpose of a spoiler on a car

Spoilers on cars: types and best models

Install spoilers on the car on different places of the body. Depending on the place of installation, the functions of the dodger are also different.

What is a spoiler on the car and what is it for

Not all car owners know what a spoiler on the car and what it is needed for. This attachment is created to improve the aerodynamic characteristics of the body and to decorate it.

How the spoiler works

When doing tuning, a car spoiler, or aerodynamic dodger, is often installed. A car spoiler is an element or set of elements installed on the body to improve aerodynamics and appearance. The hulls redirect air flows, reducing aerodynamic drag. They give the body a more aggressive appearance, the model acquires the features of a cool sports car, similar to the “Paris-Dakar” race cars.

The spoiler and the antifender on the car perform similar functions. The antifender is a device similar to an airplane wing. But unlike the latter, it does not lift the car in the air, but presses it to the ground. The higher the speed, the stronger the air pressure will be. An antifender is never small, it is never mounted close to the body. And this is its main difference.

Installing an antifender also has its disadvantages. When moving at high speed, the load on the wheels increases, which leads to rapid wear of the tires. The wrong installation of the antifender will lead to the fact that it will “brake” the car, increasing the aerodynamic resistance.

The purpose of the spoiler is to redirect air flows. The details are installed close to the body. The antifender in the general sense is the same spoiler, but with a narrower set of functions. The purpose of the spoiler depends on the place where it is installed and what shape it has.

Spoiler on the roof with their own hands

Spoiler on the roof with his hands

Spoiler on the car at the back is needed to prevent the lifting of the stern of the body. The device creates a barrier in the way of air flow, those pressurize the part, increasing the stability of the car.

Additionally, the installation of aerodynamic dodger allows you to slightly correct the shape of the body on hatchbacks and minivans. Behind the roof of such cars creates turbulence, which slows down driving and increases fuel consumption. By installing a spoiler, you can somewhat reduce this effect.

But many drivers believe that spoilers on the car are needed to improve its appearance. This opinion has the right to exist, since the installation of additional equipment changes the shape of the body.

Factory-made products, designed for a specific model and installed in accordance with the regulations, improve driving performance and reduce fuel consumption. You can have your car tuned by going to a professional shop which offers factory-made aerodynamic dodgers. But in order to save money, some drivers prefer to buy a “universal” spoiler in an auto store and install it by themselves. Such an approach may lead to unpredictable consequences and the improperly installed elements worsen the driving performance.

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Types of spoilers on cars

There are several varieties of hinged aerodynamic equipment. It is classified according to the place of installation and application.

Installing the antifender

Getting acquainted with the types of spoilers on a car in advance, it will be easier to choose the right device.

By place of installation

Install spoilers on the car on different places of the body. Depending on the place of installation, the functions of the dodger are also different.


These are models installed not on the hood, but on the bumper. They are often referred to as “bumper skirts”. The purpose of the front element:

  • Reducing air pressure on the front of the car;
  • increase downforce;
  • reducing friction by reducing resistance to air flow.

Installing a bumper skirt has a good effect on the cooling system, reducing the load.


The most common variety. The device is mounted on the trunk. Its main functions:

  • Increases air pressure on top of the car;
  • reduces the pressure under the bottom;
  • reduces turbulence at the back.
For the roof

This type of attachment is recommended on crossovers and hatchbacks. The name is not quite correct, as it is not placed on the roof, but on the rear door above the window.


A diffuser is a device that contributes to the proper distribution of airflow under the underbody. The device consists of parallel channels, which accelerate the passage of air flow under the car. Particularly effective are diffusers in a set with an antifender.


Overlays are attached to the sills of the car, they are often called side skirts. The purpose is to improve air permeability: the flow begins to move faster, which increases the stability of the car. The device works well in a set with other attachments to improve aerodynamics.

By Material

In stores there is a large selection of spoilers. For the manufacture are used:

  • fiberglass – material with the addition of glass fibers and resin components;
  • ABS plastic – an inexpensive material, but inferior in strength to other materials;
  • Carbon fiber – carbon fiber, which is fully compliant, but carbon fiber body cladding is quite expensive;
  • Silicone materials – a novelty that has good performance properties.

The device must necessarily be strong, lightweight and resistant to wear and tear.

By application

Produce special models of aerodynamic dodgers, designed for certain car brands. But there are also universal models.


This option is good for its affordability, such a model can be purchased in any auto store. But there are still no fully universal models of spoilers. Equipment for cargo “Gazelle” is not suitable for VAZ. Therefore, the model will have to pick up by size.

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Equipment designed specifically for a particular car model. Mounted and painted at the stage of assembly.

It is possible to make a spoiler to order. This way of tuning is interesting because a unique design can be developed. After all, many people do not want their cars with a spoiler to look standard. After the installation of the spoiler is followed by painting, the selection of paint to the shade of the body, sometimes the part is painted black or drawings are applied.


There is a large selection of mini spoilers on cars in auto stores – this auto product is needed to give the car a cool look. They have almost no effect on the aerodynamic qualities.

Spoiler types

The best universal models:

  • Mini spoiler on the rear trunk lid, there are three color options.
  • The covers, attached to the side fenders, are made of ABS plastic.
  • R-EP is a universal trunk liner for sedans, made of carbon fiber.

The aerodynamic performance upgrades are made for a specific car brand, they are chosen not by a picture, but by their purpose.

Sometimes these parts are called “spoiler”, but it is still correct with a “y” – from the English spoil, which means “to spoil”. Whether to install an additional spoiler (or spoiler) on the car is a personal matter. Only correctly installed standard models have positive effect on aerodynamics. All the universal fairings are just a decoration, which in the best case will not affect the car’s running properties. If you choose and install aerodynamic fairings incorrectly, you can only worsen the situation by increasing the load on the car.

Why do we need a spoiler

Example of spoiler and antifender

Initially the spoiler appeared in motorsport, it was supposed to improve the aerodynamic characteristics of sports cars. However, over time, this external dodger, largely losing its purpose, mainly became an element of car decor. However, if you want, such detail can still be a great help in improving handling, comfort and overall safety of the vehicle. We are talking about the so-called antifender, which is installed on the trunk. Therefore, before classifying spoilers, it is necessary to understand how they differ from antifenders.

Antifender VS Spoiler

In fact, the spoiler is an external element of the car that protrudes beyond its dimensions. That is why it is called an external dodger. However, any “plastic”, installed on the hood and sides, does not give any aerodynamic effect. Such details are just designed for visual effect. That is the lion’s share of car owners, calling themselves technical tuners because a spoiler appears on their sweetheart, are deeply wrong. In fact, technical tuning is a modification of car’s construction, which improves its tactical-technical characteristics, and in this case there is no such effect.

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So for most drivers the question, why do we need a spoiler on the car, is an elementary change of external design of the vehicle. No one disputes that if you have good taste and money and due to properly chosen dodgers you can make an original car with aggressive appearance from a budget car. But, we repeat, it does not reach any functional effect.

And antifender is quite another matter. It is a spoiler too, but assembled usually on a trunk’s edge. Its main task is to increase downforce at high speeds by redistribution of air flows around the car roof. Due to this the car becomes more stable and controllable, as the influence of the lifting force under the bottom decreases. And it happens without changing the clearance – the clearance between the road and the bottom of the vehicle.

And if you can competently pick up the design of this body element, in addition it will take away the dirt and sand from the rear window. This is the answer to the question of why you need a spoiler on the trunk. Moreover, unlike a decorative detail of this kind, which can be installed independently, the development of the design of the antifender and its installation is highly recommended to carry out with the participation of experienced professionals. In fact, an amateurish approach can lead to the fact that the downward force of air will not increase, but will decrease, as a result of which the car will “fly up” while moving at high speed. Certainly, in such cases it will be impossible to avoid an accident.

HOW DO I DEFINE a spoiler and an antifender on my car? Firstly, an antifender has a profile reminiscent of an airplane wing, only inverted in the opposite direction. Secondly, the active spoiler – sometimes so called antifender – necessarily has a gap between its own plane and the plane of the body panel on which it is mounted. Thirdly, the decorative spoiler has no such feature, that is, its height in relation to the plane of the body is the same. In addition, the usual spoiler, mounted on the trunk, is made at the same time as its panel. As an option – flush with the roof line.

Disadvantages of spoilers

Cars with spoiler and antifender

Despite the obvious usefulness of active rear anti-wing spoilers, they have weaknesses, which often discourage tuners from installing on the trunk lid. And then everything is limited to the installation of decorative external dodger on the front and side of the car. However, it is a matter of personal choice, but for this choice, it is necessary to tell what awaits the owner of the car with an antifender.

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Corrosion processes. To install an active spoiler, you need to drill the body panel – otherwise it will not be possible to reliably fix the detail. At the same time, only quality fasteners should be used, as at high speeds the antifender experiences serious loads. Naturally, over time, rust can appear at the drilling points, which is very difficult to prevent further spreading. Professionals always treat the places of drilling with rust-preventive compound, but it is not superhero against oxidation processes.

Labor-intensive car wash , as spoilers need to be thoroughly cleaned by hand. In fact, it is not recommended to direct a powerful water pressure on them, as it may cause damage of constructional elements. And in this plan most often suffer not sports aprons – they are made of high-strength materials, more resistant to mechanical damage – but the “civil”, that is decorative. But both those and the others are hard enough to wash.

Probability of the opposite effect. Due to the fact that any car model, regardless of the automaker, has individual characteristics – and aerodynamics is one of them – the selection of spoilers should also be carried out individually. After all, you have to reduce lift in one part of the car and increase it in another – that’s how you pick up a safe balance. For this reason, the tuning studio practices package installation of external dodgers, after which each of them must fulfill the “correct” function. And it is quite another thing – the amateurish methods, practiced by the mechanics-customers: due to unprofessional actions, the stability of the car and its steerability decrease.

Difficulty in reversing . If a high and voluminous antifender is installed on the trunk, it worsens the visibility when using the rear gear. Certainly, rear-view cameras along with a parktronic, displaying a “picture” on the screen in the cabin, solve this problem. However, not every car is provided with such electronic assistants.

The possibility of breakage while driving. If the installation of spoilers engaged in professionals with dubious reputation – and they usually use unreliable mounts, and in general the correctness of the process does not withstand criticism – the outer hull can break off and fly away to the side or back. In any case it creates emergency situation for neighbors and cars going behind, the guilty party of which will be definitely recognized the owner of the car with spoilers.

On what principle spoilers are chosen?

Spoiler on BMW

Since automakers offer more and more variants of external dodgers, very different in design, mounting methods and used material, there is no clear classification of spoilers. And yet it is possible to allocate some basic indicators, based on which the choice is made.

Decorative – the most common type, which does not affect the aerodynamic properties of the body in any way. In fact, it is an element of external tuning, which does not require a special financial cost, allowing you to visually transform the car.

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Sports, improving the aerodynamic parameters of the car. That is, active spoilers – antifenders. They are preferred to use on powerful vehicles and sports cars, as their functionality of such elements of tuning begin to show at speeds above 100 km / h. Accordingly, most motorists hardly need them.

Universal and model ones . For the fans of tuning specialists create individual spoilers, which are suitable only for a particular car model. They are usually more expensive than universal ones, which, in theory, are suitable for any car with suitable dimensions. But the cost of buying the model parts is always justified because they either perfectly match the body’s design or improve the car’s performance. The universal bodykits can only justify their name partially, and that is why it is recommended to check whether they really fit the car’s dimensions before buying them. In addition, when installed on the body, such parts also need to check the possibility of reliable fixation.

Type of mounting . There are only two of them – hard and soft. The first requires drilling holes in the body panel and using a bolted connection, the second is a “landing” on the glue. Needless to say, for the installation of the antifender is used exclusively hard variant? And question #2: why do you need a spoiler on glue, which is highly probable to fall off while driving? With all due respect to modern car chemistry, the pressure of air flow combined with shaking can nullify all the efforts of amateur tuners…

Material . Usually for the production of spoilers are used composites based on polymers and plastics, which have no problems with installation. Yes, and their price is quite adequate. Carbon dodgers, though durable, but very expensive. Besides with all their hardness there is the other side of the medal – fragility. It is enough to hit even a pebble on the car bodywork, while driving at high speed – and such spoiler is scrapped at once. It is also better to avoid cheap fiberglass due to its low quality. According to the specialists, the ideal option in terms of price and durability is ABS-plastic dodgers.

PS: Why we need a spoiler – it is a rhetorical question, because everyone answers differently. In fact, only one thing is clear: in the decorative variant it changes the external perception of the car, and in sportive one it only slightly affects the car’s behavior on the high speed. In fact, the basic design, as well as the characteristics of the car, are laid down at the stage of design and testing.

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