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

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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
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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]
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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!!
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twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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

Of course not.
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WilhamClouse
Champion Author Calgary

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

I have never even thought of it
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ray44512
Rookie 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.
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RacksnSpurs
Sophomore Author Raleigh

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

No
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WEDDY
Champion Author Phoenix

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

No
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GBMAX
Champion Author Phoenix

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

no
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Mikeyy1960
All-Star Author Cape Coral

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

nope
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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.
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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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

No way Jose!!
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Camry05
All-Star Author Indiana

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

no
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BigHorne1
Champion Author Missouri

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

no, I know first hand
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jay93LA
Champion Author New Orleans

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

no
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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.
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RalphHightower
Champion Author South Carolina

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

not worth it
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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
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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

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

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

no
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agrico
Champion Author New Orleans

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

crazy idea
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Aug 22, 2013 8:39:49 PM

That one mod is sort of like cutting one spoke from your bicycle wheel. Try that and see if its easier to pedal thus saving some energy, you won't need to ride 200 miles to find out. I can't explain why VW doesn't use radio antenna wires in their windshields that was done years ago on USA vehicles.

Note only downhill will you be able to test the spoke removal advantage at speeds of 55-62 mph. Thinking so. LOL "GL".....
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ricebike
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Aug 22, 2013 8:10:29 PM

no
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lyanMI
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2013 11:37:06 AM

No
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BigHorne1
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2013 10:04:40 AM

no
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2013 8:46:36 AM

Please let this ridiculous thread go the way of the Dodo!
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jay93LA
Champion Author New Orleans

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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2013 7:25:17 AM

no but who still has regular antenna
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GLM4205
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2013 6:48:09 AM

No
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2013 6:27:53 AM

That is a crazy idea.....who thinks these crazy ideas up anyway......
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Boyrr
Champion Author Allentown

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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2013 6:26:52 AM

Duh! Of coarse it is!
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dvc2
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2013 5:27:24 AM

They are removable so you can take them off when you go into a car wash so they are not damaged, it has nothing to do with mpg.
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citizen1
Champion Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2013 7:23:17 PM

You should ask the Mythbusters
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GBMAX
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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2013 12:55:48 PM

no
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2amy
Champion Author Fresno

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2013 10:00:47 AM

I kind of doubt it. there isnt that much resitance on it.
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pt1KY
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2013 9:20:35 AM

no
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WilhamClouse
Champion Author Calgary

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2013 7:51:42 AM

I would say no
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DJRIO
Champion Author Miami

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2013 2:46:10 PM

get rid of excess wieght that you leave in the car.
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DJRIO
Champion Author Miami

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2013 2:44:42 PM

Put in front spoiler and real low clearance side skirts.
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CptSteve
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2013 1:26:29 PM

Uh...no.
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d_clark
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2013 6:45:58 PM

no
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ace12012
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2013 4:11:08 PM

no
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Glasman
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Aug 17, 2013 4:05:03 AM

hahahahahaaaaa !
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Aug 10, 2013 7:20:44 AM

Crazy idea.....who thinks these crazy ideas up anyway......
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OilerFan
Champion Author Tulsa

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Message Posted: Aug 9, 2013 10:04:03 AM

I don't believe you'd see a measurable difference, but I'd wouldn't mind seeing someone test it out to see if there's a measurable difference.
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RalphHightower
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Aug 9, 2013 6:07:20 AM

No. I want my XM.
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cv
Champion Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: Aug 9, 2013 5:22:40 AM

In my opinion, no.
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BartandLisa
Champion Author Newfoundland

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Message Posted: Aug 8, 2013 6:45:31 AM

No
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Aug 7, 2013 9:26:46 AM

That would help stop the commercials/jargon bombardment, you might get bored....... If driving alone....... Realize that more concentration on things ahead can save fuel with right foot cooperating nicely... Skills is the answer! really! I know many books have been written on Skills... LOL
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pt1KY
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Aug 7, 2013 9:04:12 AM

no
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