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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I removed my air dam.
I live in a city (Gothenburg, Sweden) which has a firm belief in speed bumps. On my way out to the freeway I have 13 bumps to pass either direction and driving in silent and suddenly alarming walkers by a strange scraping sound , often both going up and down the bump got me really pi--ed.
Then four more when I get close to work.

But now, ahhh, it is silent as intended.
 

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If most of your driving is "city" with little highway travel there is no downside. But know that you lose some range at freeway speeds. And if your daily commute can be driven on the battery and you can re-charge at work, your lucky.

Enjoy the silence.
 

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Something that isn't mentioned often is the actual function of air dams on ICE cars: to create a low pressure area to draw air through the radiator. Many modern cars are bottom breathers, and the air dam is what they rely on for proper cooling. On the Volt, it's not only the engine coolant that is being cooled up front. If the car didn't need it, it wouldn't be there...
 

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Whenever the air dam scrapes, my wife now pre-emptively says "it's supposed to do that." I'm too addicted to EV range to intentionally do anything that might reduce it.
 

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Something that isn't mentioned often is the actual function of air dams on ICE cars: to create a low pressure area to draw air through the radiator. Many modern cars are bottom breathers, and the air dam is what they rely on for proper cooling. On the Volt, it's not only the engine coolant that is being cooled up front. If the car didn't need it, it wouldn't be there...
GM spends hundreds of hours in the wind tunnel, if there was NO need for that piece of RUBBER GM would not have installed it. GM is all about saving a "buck". So if it's there, there's a reason. But like I have discovered as a long time Corvette owner, owners are better engineers than the designer/manufacture.
 

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Yesterday I removed my air dam.
I live in a city (Gothenburg, Sweden) which has a firm belief in speed bumps. On my way out to the freeway I have 13 bumps to pass either direction and driving in silent and suddenly alarming walkers by a strange scraping sound , often both going up and down the bump got me really pi--ed.
Then four more when I get close to work.

But now, ahhh, it is silent as intended.
It looks like you have a 2012. Later Volts (2014 and up?) came with the shorter air dam, which may be worth looking into. It's a relatively easy self-install if you are comfortable with working on cars.
 

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Mine scrapes badly entering and leaving my driveway. I can attack the driveway a little on the oblique, and this reduces the scrape. But, really, the thing is designed to be scraped without damaging it. I take it to be the sound of cleaner air!

I also believe it is an essential part of the car. The thing, after all, is just butt ugly, and seems out of place on an otherwise svelte car. If it wasn't functionally essential, GM surely would have not installed such an ugly, out-of-place looking chunk of recycled rubber.
 

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I took mine off this past week too, couldn't be happier. Finally, no more embarrassing scraping driving in or out of parking, my driveway, or even crossing intersections on the street. I imagine any benefit from it is pretty minimal, especially since it gets separated at either end. I will drive it on the highway to see if I see a noticeable difference, but I imagine it will be too small to adequately detect. The weather cooling from about 70 F in the morning to 45 F in the morning already knocked 10 or 20% off my range, at least until I can get my car back into the garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
GM spends hundreds of hours in the wind tunnel, if there was NO need for that piece of RUBBER GM would not have installed it. GM is all about saving a "buck". So if it's there, there's a reason. But like I have discovered as a long time Corvette owner, owners are better engineers than the designer/manufacture.
Wow, didnt imagne such a response on my little note.

Having worked, and still am, at Volvo cars developing I am fully aware no manufacturer spends one extra penny on something that isnt needed. But, and its a quite big but, there is also a very important marketing side of a car projekt. If they can claim that the car makes 35 miles on one charge that is a lot better and more impressing than 34 miles. It seems they also realized their "misstake" when the new shorter dam came out a year after.

Heat is not a problem anywhere in Sweden where the temperature rarely goes over 80 F maybe twice per year.

The extra mile I might lose does not bother me since it takes me back and forth to work with a decent margin. Should I want to go far in an electric vehicle I can always take my Think which gives me about 110 mileson one charge.
 

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Somewhat related.... The Jeep Commander I currently drive as a front air dam that hangs down a couple of inches. In the owners manual it tells you to remove it before going offroad. It has a couple of hand screws then it slides back and out. The manual states it is there for MPG reasons and will not effect cooling. So mine has been off for a couple of years now. I still beat the EPA estimates of mileage. Granted, the thing is still a big heavy box that probably never saw a wind tunnel, but I would not worry about operating a Volt without an air dam from a reliability perspective.
 

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I have a 2012 Chevy volt, I had driven for 2 years with no air dam and saw on this forum that it should be replaced, I replaced it and my ev and fuel mileage has dropped, before replacement I had driven at highway speeds and in 100 degree weather and saw no signs of a heat problem either by ice or ev battery, I am going to remove it again. Peter
 

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I have a 2012 Chevy volt, I had driven for 2 years with no air dam and saw on this forum that it should be replaced, I replaced it and my ev and fuel mileage has dropped, before replacement I had driven at highway speeds and in 100 degree weather and saw no signs of a heat problem either by ice or ev battery, I am going to remove it again. Peter
The air dam creates a better airflow under the car for eeking out a bit more mileage. I suspect your testing methodolgy suffers compared to wind tunnel tests. The extra cost of the dam would have been removed by the accountants except GM was looking at tuning the car the get the most range. I'm surprised they did not add rear wheel well covers given how much they sweated the other details (like the air dam). But it's your car, do what you want. :)
 

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2014 Volt with NO air dam in Savannah Georgia, very hot summers, it never got overheated after 6 years! No significant electric milage penalty and no hitting road kill (possums ,cats and other unfortunate creatures) in the highway.
 
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