Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Measure Your Car's Drag Coefficient!

You know you're a true physics geek (that's a good thing) when even a trip to the Quickie Mart is an opportunity to do a physics experiment.

It's still better when the experiment tells you whether those bangin' new fender skirts on your Honda CRX and the monster wing you bolted on are holding you back in your own private version of The Fast and the Furious 4. Or, even worse these days, burning a hole in your gas card.

Click the pic to check out an Instructable that tells you how to measure your car's drag coefficient.

A low drag coefficient is crucial for both high fuel efficiency and high speed cruising. It's also very hard to calculate for anything other than a really simple shape. So experiment is the way to go.

If anyone out there has a Scion xB, I'd love to know what sorts of measurements you get in real life driving. It can't be good. On the bright side, the slower you go, the less the drag affects your mileage -- and xB's look best when they're slow cruising.

1 comment:

  1. Using a GPS device would greatly simplify the whole thing.