Air Dam / Front Valance / Spoiler
A front valance, air dam, and spoiler are components,which can be attached below the vehicle's front bumper,in order to provide better performance, and make the vehicle look more appealing. These components are all commonly used on sportier cars because they give the vehicle a meaner look without having to completely redo the vehicles body styling. Since these pieces are supported under the bumper, they lower the clearance of the front of the vehicle which is the main reason why they are not very common in everyday vehicles that are constantly going over large bumps and parking in front of high curbs.
A front valence is mainly used to conceal other structural detail in the vehicle such as certain engine components. A valance is also commonly used if cars that are built for off road use because they protect internals components from mud and dirt that is being kicked up in front of the vehicle by other cars. The valance can be made out of many materials but on most vehicles, it will match the original body styling and paint on the rest of the vehicle. There are many aftermarket valences available that come in a chrome or aluminum finish.
Front air dams are common on almost all cars but the design between a front dam on a sporty car will vary greatly from one that is found on a regular car. This dam is used on almost all cars because it directs air into the engine compartment to help cool it as well as provide better vehicle stability at high speeds. Air dams on sportier cars will most likely be bigger and curvier to provide better aerodynamics as well as more air to cool the engine which is working harder than a regular engine. Front air dams may also be used to direct large amounts of air into the intake to increase engine performance. This high flow of cool air will increase the engines performance because more air in the engine will create larger explosions in the combustion chamber which means that more power is being created.
The use of spoilers in the front of a car is common on very high performance vehicles that are designed to go fast both in a straight line and in a turn. A front spoiler is very similar to a rear spoiler in the fact that it is meant to provide more down force so that the tires have increased grip at high speeds. The effects of a front spoiler are most noticeable in turns because every ounce of down force is needed on the front tires as they try to turn a 2500 pound vehicle at high speeds. Front spoilers are normally only a few inches off the ground which means that the vehicle they are installed in must have a tight suspension that won’t roll and cause the spoiler to scrape the ground. The material used to make most spoilers is carbon fiber because of its strong and light design, but many other cheaper spoilers that are made out of silicon, fiberglass, and plastic are available.
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