Air Dam on Truck: What Are They and How Does It Work?

Air dams on trucks are usually installed on the front bumper, and you might have noticed this on different vehicles. But what are they, and how does it work? You might also be wondering whether they have any effect on the gas mileage of your vehicle.

Air Dam on Truck ~ Ran When Parked

In this article, we will take you through everything you should know about air dams on trucks, including their benefits – so read on.

What Are Air Dams on Truck?

Air Dams are basically aftermarket front bumper extensions that aid in improving the aerodynamics of your truck. This not only improves the acceleration but also plays a role in helping you get a better fuel average. This comes in different kinds of materials.


Basically, if you are looking to enjoy a better performance on your vehicle, you should consider improving its aerodynamics. As earlier mentioned, the air dam is a feature that improves your vehicle’s airflow. It is basically a vertical piece made from different materials, including plastic, carbon fiber, and metal.

They usually extend from below the grill to the front fascia of the vehicle, and this is to divert the flow of air. Today, all manufactured cars come with air dams on them, and it is not only restricted to trucks and SUVS alone. It is a black plastic strip that sits below the front bumper and is not always noticeable.

When it is located on hatchbacks and sedans, it is usually located on the front bumper. If you are also looking for the best performance, you might want to install an aftermarket air dam. This is because they are generally designed to provide better aerodynamics.

Advantages of Air Dams

Air dams help to lower the front end of the vehicle, and this causes less air to go below the car. Eventually, it will flow to the side of the vehicle, causing a reduction in the pressure under your car and increasing the pressure above the car.

Advantages of Air Dams ~ Ran When Parked

The pressure differences cause the production of a downforce on the vehicle, eventually pushing it to the ground. This also helps to increase the tire grip on the road surface. In general, increasing traction between pavement and tires is only achievable with the aid of an extra weight, but this has its own disadvantages.

Air dams create a downforce that will keep the mass low and increase the vehicle grip. It also helps to increase acceleration and enhances vehicle handling. The air dam plays a key role in diverting the air by going below the engine bay. This helps in enhancing the flow of cool air through the cooling system and radiator.

Disadvantages of Air Dams

Even though the performance of air dams is great, it’s worth noting that there are a few drawbacks You’ll notice that some vehicle manufacturers like Toyota don’t include this accessory on their Toyota vehicles. This is due to the drawbacks linked with the air dams.

Disadvantages of Air Dams ~ Ran When Parked

Even though low ground clearance is a great concept for the aerodynamics of your vehicle, especially when on a smooth and well-maintained road, that is not always the case because roads are not always smooth.

If your air dam sits up to two inches in the ground, the aerodynamics will be amazing. However, they are not great in regions with many potholes and in offroad cases.

Even in regular vehicles that feature a normal air dam, there is the possibility for it to cause issues. With air dams, you may not be able to pull up in a parking space because it can cause your vehicle to scrape.

Another disadvantage to note is the risk of damage, which is common with air dams. It’s worth noting that the aerodynamics of your vehicle were designed to be sustained without an air dam of your vehicle.

Therefore, installing a different air dam can have different effects on the aerodynamics of your vehicle, and in some cases, this may be unpleasant.

Types of Air Dams

Apart from the advantages and disadvantages of air dams, you also need to consider the different types of air dams available. The first type you should know is the air dams that are installed in front of the bumper.

Types of Air Dams ~ Ran When Parked

It is mostly located on the grille opening of your vehicle. These are the types of air dams that you will mostly find on older vehicle models and trucks.

The next type of air dam that you should know is one that is extended over the grille opening. In some cases, they extend to the bottom of the car’s front fascia. This is a common type you will find on sports cars and model vehicles.

Another improvement you might have noticed when you drive on highways, or interstates is that the air dam is usually located on the front bumper of the vehicle, and the goal is to enhance the aerodynamics of your vehicle. This is also vital in reducing the drag on your vehicle.

Regardless of the type of vehicle you own, what you should note is that it is likely to have a factory-fitted air dam. They are usually made of plastic or fiberglass and also come in different sizes and shapes. The key thing to understand is that there’s always an air dam that suits your needs.

Why Are Air Dams Installed on the Front Bumper in Trucks?

Air dams are usually installed on the front bumper of trucks for many reasons. The most obvious reason that most people don’t recognize is the fact that it improves fuel efficiency and gas mileage. This is particularly applicable if you drive your vehicle at high speeds.

Spoilers and front air dams are usually attached to the front of vehicles, and the goal is to improve the aerodynamics of your vehicle. Performance is also enhanced because the air dam helps in deflecting air away from the vehicle.

Another reason why air dams are installed in addition to increasing efficiency is that they help to reduce drag on vehicles.

To Improve Aerodynamics

One of the main reasons for air dams is because of the effect it has on the aerodynamics of your vehicle. In general, trucks aren’t aerodynamic, but increasing the aerodynamics of your vehicle will go a long way in improving its stability and control.

Air Dams To Improve Aerodynamics ~ Ran When Parked

Installing an air dam is not the only way to increase the aerodynamics of your vehicle and gas mileage. For example, there are different products that can be used when installing the truck’s grilles. This includes a wind deflector or an air scoop. These devices help in pushing air to reduce the drag you feel on your truck.

In a case where you may not feel comfortable with the current appearance of your truck, you can simply lower your truck by having an air dam. However, this approach is not usually explored because it affects the clearance of the truck.

Tips for Improving MPG

Apart from improving aerodynamics, air dams also help to improve gas mileage. However, there are also other ways you can improve the gas mileage of your vehicle. Some of these methods are expensive, while others are a lot more affordable.

Tips for Improving MPG ~ Ran When Parked

The most cost-effective approach to consider is to get an aftermarket part that is designed to help you improve the gas mileage of your vehicle. An example of some of the parts you can get include a computer tuner, cat-back exhaust, and cold air intake.

As mentioned earlier, improving aerodynamics is also a great way to improve your vehicle’s gas mileage. There are many things you can do to improve aerodynamics, but the most common approach for most people is to install rear spoilers or lowering kits.


Do All Cars Need Air Dam?

Not all cars need an air dam, even for aerodynamic purposes. However, you can enjoy better benefits by installing one on your vehicle. Most cars today feature a factory-fitted air dam, but you can also find some other cars that have.

If you don’t have an air dam on your vehicle, you can always install an aftermarket option to enjoy all the benefits they offer.

Will Removing Air Dam Void Your Warranty?

No, your warranty will not be voided when you remove the air dam on your vehicle, but this is only if you don’t cause damage to the bodywork of your vehicle. This is one of the very few aftermarket parts that do not affect the warranty.

You can always check the user manual of your vehicle for tips on how you can remove the air dam without causing damage to the air dam. Alternatively, you can consult with your local delay to help you remove the air dam.


Air dams on trucks serve different purposes, among which include increasing mileage and the aerodynamics of the vehicle. However, in most cases, the importance offered by air dams is usually experienced after driving on the highway. Here’s an overview of everything above:

  • Air dams are designed to enhance airflow on vehicles, and they ensure that your engine doesn’t run too hard, which further increases gas mileage.
  • There are different types of air dams, including those installed on the front bumper and at the bottom of the cars.
  • Installing air dams helps to improve the aerodynamics and gas mileage of your vehicle, but there are other ways you can achieve this.

There are other options to consider if you want to improve your vehicle’s aerodynamics and gas mileage. Approaches that you can also consider include installing aftermarket parts like cat-back exhaust, cold air intakes, and tuners on your vehicle. You can also consult a professional mechanic for tips to guide you further.

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