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Stop Driving With Your Spoiler Permanently Up

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author photo by Will Kinton October 2017

A plague has befallen the world: people driving around with their retractable spoilers locked in the extended position. It's been happening ever since retractable spoilers first appeared, and frankly, it's gone on long enough.

It's time to stop.

Keeping your spoiler locked up takes away the entire point of a spoiler. The spoiler is made to retract for two reasons. The first reason is that it lowers drag when air flow isn't sufficient to create downforce. This helps the car get better gas mileage, which helps your wallet out a bit. You can't really make downforce when driving around at 25 mph, nor do you really need downforce at that speed.

The second -- and arguably the most important -- reason why automakers use retractable spoilers is because a spoiler often ruins the aesthetic lines of the car. For example, I saw a guy driving an Audi A7 with its spoiler up in 10 mph traffic outside of Washington, D.C.. That extended wing ruined what is arguably the best part of that car: the beautiful sloping rear roof line. Instead, it had this piece of what looked like industrial machinery sticking up at the end of the slope. Because most retractable spoilers aren't supposed to be seen unless the car is blasting past, most retractable spoilers don't actually look very elegant at all.

So why on earth do people do this? Do they think that the spoiler looks cool? If so, these people are just the richer versions of people who stick fake chrome vents sourced from Pep Boys to their Civics and Corollas, proving once again that money does not buy taste.

But really, why do automakers even allow for spoilers to be locked in the upward position? They should know better. Make those spoilers automatic-only -- and if they do ever need to be raised while the car is at rest, put the button somewhere that's not accessible from the driver's seat -- like the trunk.

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Used 2017 Audi A7 3.0T Premium Plus
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Stop Driving With Your Spoiler Permanently Up - Autotrader