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Author Topic: is removing the radio antenna for long highway drives worth it? Back to Topics
Sal30
Rookie Author
Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Apr 12, 2013 11:30:57 PM

My 2002 VW Passat 1.8T Tiptronic has an unscrewable antenna.
What really surprises me is that the 42 mpg Chevy Cruise Eco has the same type of antenna.
It is swept back, but at my usual 55-62 mph driving speed with all windows closed, would it make any difference on a 200 mile all highway trip? My car has a 0.27 coefficient of drag, would removing the antenna lower it to something like 0.2695 or something?
What if I lowered my cars, got rid of my heavy 15" alloy wheels, replaced them with light 15" steelies with moondisc hubcaps, and got a more aerodynamic sharkfin antenna?
Would those 3 mods be enough to lower my coefficient if drag to 0.26 and raise my EPA highway fuel economy from 28 mpg to 30 mpg?
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Mar 12, 2015 5:03:21 PM

If your really concerned about the force of aerodynamics on the metal shaft type antenna; try cutting a piece of wire from a metal coat hanger cut it the length of the OEM vehicle antenna only a bit longer.

Curl the one end into a small circle at the tip, the curl should be about the size of a nickel and be looking like a near circle. Just then hold the wire out your window at the travel speed you want to know about testing the wind/air resistance. Angled or not unbraced, and just the correct exposed amount into the air flow.

Just hold it carefully at the circle tip only to realize the pressure exerted when into the air stream flow. Your thumb/first finger may get tired/stressed Quickly. Often a simple test reveals a lot, Careful!
twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Mar 10, 2015 8:31:26 AM

A waste of time.
RalphHightower
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 10, 2015 6:17:27 AM

no
BlueberryFocus
All-Star Author Rochester

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Message Posted: Mar 9, 2015 3:21:54 PM

no
ricebike
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Mar 9, 2015 2:36:13 PM

no
xmstr
Sophomore Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Mar 9, 2015 6:56:19 AM

No
GLM4205
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Mar 9, 2015 5:37:40 AM

I do'nt have antenna..
RalphHightower
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 4, 2015 8:07:50 AM

No
hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Mar 4, 2015 6:35:02 AM

Not if you want to listen to the radio!!
BCNU
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Mar 4, 2015 6:05:44 AM

Sal30 has 60 posts since 2007.. Wonder if the other 59 are just as intellectual.
RalphHightower
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 20, 2015 9:01:18 AM

no
redfish67
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2015 1:44:28 PM

How much money would it cost you to make all these changes and how long to it get back at 2 miles/gal? Slow down 5 mph and get the same results; it's a lot cheaper.
Nuzan
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2015 1:15:49 PM

No, you would never know the difference.
Floridaman2013
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2015 8:35:49 AM

Really? You're comparing a 2002 VW Passat to a Chevy Cruise ECO? A POS! Those are just stupid ideas from someone who has too much time on their hands. Just trade the Passat in for a VW Diesel Jetta/Golf or gas if that almighty MPG is that important.
8_Ball2014
Champion Author North Dakota

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2015 6:18:22 AM

Sell your car if you're that concerned.



[Edited by: 8_Ball2014 at 2/19/2015 6:19:26 AM EST]
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2015 8:55:08 PM

Tape with scotch tape two equal 28--30" wires coating or not into a horizontal wing formation to your inside windshield at the top. With the center dropping down at the mirror center. Hook the lead ends to a piece of regular automotive radio antenna coax, let it hang or tape it down the center and plug it into your radio ant jack.

Ugly set up but you can then unscrew the factory antenna for the hoped mileage improvement. The DIYed wire can be very fine gauge, placed up high from sight line, through windshield. really I wouldn't do any of this for the meager fuel savings of a skinny/fat stock antenna removal.
jameskel
Rookie Author Washington

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2015 5:12:08 PM

Really? You sit around thinking about stuff like this???

Your 3 modifications: 1. Lowered your car 2. new wheels 3. sharkfin antenna

Conservatively, those would cost you a couple of thousand dollars.

At your presumed savings of 1 mpg, presuming your car gets 30 mpg, it would take you a few hundred years to recoup your costs.

Why not just using a lighter foot on the accelerator and brakes and save 5 mpg for FREE?

James
twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Feb 10, 2015 3:42:12 AM

Gee, I'm impressed with all the science talk. If your antenna is causing you to lose that much mpg, you must have a really fat antenna.
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 10, 2015 2:41:05 AM

If you are trying to fine tune your vehicle for highway economy, and your car battery is say 4-6 years old, then just replace it with a new one. That benefit of having a premium condition battery would allow your alternator to relax more of it's required load for balancing a better non aged battery source.

When the efficiency of the aged battery lowers, the alternator works harder at using more engine HP. energy to sustain the vehicle's nominal voltage/amp relationship = (balanced electrical)Harmony! Purring! Happy!

The fuel savings will probably be hidden, even if you find/know what your warmed up battery nominal voltage is or the cold reading. Check your old battery readings first, before replacing with a new one. Radio antenna~~~?
outlaw329
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Feb 10, 2015 1:08:20 AM

I doubt that it would make a difference in mileage.
Tucsonhomes
Champion Author Tucson

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Message Posted: Feb 9, 2015 12:00:55 PM

Don't know
ShortyT2014
Sophomore Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Feb 9, 2015 8:35:28 AM

No
LibertyGuardian
All-Star Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Feb 9, 2015 8:19:21 AM

Anyone so hard up or strapped for cash they feel compelled to do stupid things to save a penny here or there aught to think about finding a job they can walk to work at and get rid of their car altogether...hell, think of the savings in not having to pay for insurance, tires or maintenance...

xmstr
Sophomore Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Feb 9, 2015 7:46:31 AM

I seriously doubt it! The cost of all that stuff would greatly outweigh the assumed 1 mpg improvement you’re hoping to get.
hoofharted
Champion Author Wyoming

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Message Posted: Feb 9, 2015 6:47:31 AM

My antenna's in the windshield.
WilhamClouse
Champion Author Calgary

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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 11:14:23 PM

Is this a real question?
hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 6, 2015 6:21:16 AM

What are we talking about here? Maybe saving $1.00 of gas over 10 years if you're lucky? Life is too short!!
MertieMan
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Feb 6, 2015 4:17:57 AM

I changed the one on my truck for a flexible rubber one.
drydem
Veteran Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jan 27, 2015 7:53:27 PM

No. Radio antennas have very little impact on a vehicle's MPG. The biggest aerodynamically impact to the Cd factor wrt fuel efficiency is the frontal surface area which cannot be changed. The ecomodder website analysis on value of aerodynamic vehicle chassis/body modifications identifies a *boat tail* as the most significant body change with the highest MPG value. A boat tail tapers the end of a vehicle much like a fish's body and it removes the drag caused by rear end wind turbulence generated at high speeds. I've seen photos of it being done but it looks awful strange when it is done. The easiest way to lower aerodynamic drag is to lower the speed of your vehicle.



[Edited by: drydem at 1/27/2015 7:58:03 PM EST]
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2015 2:59:27 PM

Go for it and stay Happy! Check wind direction for a benefit also. Get hot on timing those Green/red traffic lights, that's cheaper, really!
rrtruck
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2015 1:06:54 PM

You can certainly do all those things but it won't save you any money. Steel wheels will way much more than aftermarket alloy wheels, too. Still won't be saving any money. As for the antenna, ah, no. No savings for that. The antenna unscrews so you can take it through the car wash.
PhilnTX
All-Star Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2015 10:41:43 AM

Only if your antenna is a dish.
hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2015 7:29:03 AM

Doing this to save gas is bordering on insanity. Some will even remove their wipers & rear view mirrors to save gas. I'm all for saving gas, but please!!

Life is too short!!
twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2015 6:41:39 AM

Of course not.
WilhamClouse
Champion Author Calgary

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2015 1:46:17 AM

I have never even thought of it
ray44512
Veteran Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2015 8:32:24 PM

No, the highway is the best place to listen to the radio.
RacksnSpurs
Veteran Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2015 11:28:22 AM

No
WEDDY
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2015 10:46:54 AM

No
GBMAX
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2015 3:10:13 AM

no
Mikeyy1960
Champion Author Cape Coral

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2015 7:29:27 PM

nope
dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2015 8:22:15 AM

One could save more fuel just by keeping their cabin comfort blower speed on medium or med-low for heat or cooling. Better yet would be in off mode if possible, driving highway.

I've noticed that some vehicles are fitted with the plastic wheel covers that have spoke type designed fins rather >>>(angles), probably to fan the rotors with a small amount of extra air for additional cooling.

Cooling by forward wheel rotation, that may be a slight motion air drag, I never ever noticed this before. Probably only on certain vehicles, I did see this while parked in a lot waiting for the Wife to return. Saying check the design of your covers for the angled fin effect(spoke design)?

No I have very little antenna air drag, but keep close track on hot tire pressure driving highway, during Summer.
hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2015 6:30:41 AM

No way Jose!!
Camry05
All-Star Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Sep 19, 2013 6:03:00 PM

no
BigHorne1
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 9:31:02 AM

no, I know first hand
jay93LA
Champion Author New Orleans

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Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 8:42:01 AM

no
Glasman
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 8:36:15 AM

and take the wiper blades & arms off the windshield-too much drag.
RalphHightower
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 6:05:59 AM

not worth it
waynecz
Champion Author Mississippi

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Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 12:08:48 AM

Not sure that will make a significant impact
contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2013 11:27:17 AM

Crazy idea........
dgsteven
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2013 3:18:35 AM

no
agrico
Champion Author New Orleans

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Message Posted: Aug 22, 2013 9:30:47 PM

crazy idea
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