You are enjoying a nice walk. The weather is nice enough to justify rolling down the windows. Then you experience a clunking noise similar to that of a helicopter inside the car while driving. So what is this annoying noise and why does it happen more often with newer cars?
Deafening and annoying noise
According Erie Insurancewhat you feel when you roll down your car window on the highway is called wind blowing.
Wind buffeting is caused by what is called Helmholtz resonance. According Car and driver, it’s the same phenomenon that makes a glass bottle buzz when you blow on it. It happens when the air in a container with an opening interacts with the air passing over that opening. In the case of a car, the car is the container and the window is the opening. The air inside the vehicle collides with the air flying outside the window.
When these two air masses collide, they compress and decompress again and again. This causes small vortices of wind, and these cause annoying thumping and throbbing noises.
There are a few factors that can affect your wind blowing experience. More aerodynamic cars have a louder noise than older, boxier models. The speed of your car also affects the shake. The faster you move, the stronger the tremor will be for you. Finally, the wind blowing is worse when the rear windows are open. The front windows have side mirrors that help deflect air and reduce buffeting. Side mirrors are placed and explicitly designed to redirect airflow to minimize airflow through the front windows.
Wind buffeting is worse in newer vehicles
According Family handyman, wind jolts are worse in newer cars. Why? This is because new cars are more aerodynamic. The shape and design of these vehicles help them move through the air much more easily, reducing drag. This means that the wind can pass very efficiently.
On the other hand, older vehicles were much boxier and less efficient. Air gets into cars all the time. This air leak would relieve the pressure caused by the wind. Newer vehicles are designed to keep air inside rather than escaping or entering. Blocking air from entering or leaving the vehicle helps improve fuel economy, among other things.
When you open a window, all the air that was tightly hugging the vehicle is disturbed. This disruption of smoother airflow causes an annoying dull noise in your ears.
The solution to wind buffeting is simple
All you have to do to stop the wind blowing is open another window. Shaking occurs when you open a window and disrupt the airflow. Opening a second window stabilizes the pressure inside the vehicle. In the evening, the pressure allows the tremor to stop or at least minimize it.
There are also cars with deflectors on the front edge of the side windows. These deflectors help direct air out and away from your car. Your sunroof or sunroof may also already have a wind deflector.
So if you like to drive with your window down, look for a car with wind deflectors to reduce wind buffeting. Also watch out for aftermarket roof racks. Roof racks can contribute to buffeting by reducing your vehicle’s aerodynamics.
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