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A wind deflector is an automobile accessory that typically is attached to the front hood, sunroof and window areas of the vehicle. Deflectors attached to the front hood generally protect a vehicle from damage caused by flying debris. Wind deflectors attached to the window and sunroof areas are generally used to allow fresh air ventilation while keeping the occupants of the vehicle protected from the elements.
The front of a car is extremely susceptible to damage from debris in the path of the moving vehicle. The speed at which a car travels intensifies the amount of damage that rocks, sand, salt, dust and bugs can cause when hitting a car. The impact from debris can cause damage such as dents, chipped paint and cracked windshields. These, in turn, can expose the metal of the car to the elements, increasing the risk of rust and corrosion damage. A cracked windshield can impair a driver's vision and can be costly to repair.
A front hood wind deflector is specially designed to fit at the front hood line, where debris is most likely to strike the car. Instead of hitting the car directly, debris strikes the wind deflector and bounces off without hitting the vehicle, reducing the likelihood of damage. A wind deflector might be a smart investment for drivers, especially those who often drive in conditions that are likely to cause damage, because it can be a relatively inexpensive way to prevent expensive repairs.
Deflectors for car windows and sunroofs are installed to fit over a small portion of the area exposed by the open window. The deflector allows fresh air to enter the cabin while preventing snow, rain, dust and excessive wind from entering. A large benefit of a wind deflector is that it can reduce the frequency of air conditioner use because occupants are able to open the windows for ventilation. This can decrease energy use and increase fuel efficiency.
Wind deflectors are common automotive accessories and can be found in most auto parts stores. Deflectors are designed to fit specific makes and models, so the buyer should take the time to make sure that the part being purchased is right for his or her vehicle. Car dealerships also sell deflectors for the vehicles they sell. Although parts at a dealer are often more expensive than they would be at an auto parts store, many buyers prefer purchasing parts approved by the car's manufacturer. If a buyer chooses to have a dealer add a wind deflector to a new car at the time of purchase, it might be covered under the vehicle's warranty plan.
Wind deflectors for convertibles help reduce wind buffeting when the convertible roof is open.