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A car splitter is a modification to the body of the car that is usually found at the front, attached to the bottom of the bumper. Splitters look like a flat scoop that extends out from the bottom of the front of the car. Splitters sometimes have support rods that are attached between the splitter and the bumper, which keep the splitter parallel to the ground since the downforce on these can be extreme. Some high-performance cars actually have splitters that are located on the side of the bumper as well.
So how does a car splitter contribute to the car’s performance? Well, when a car reaches high speeds, air pressure builds up at the front of the car. A lot of this high pressure, low-speed air ends up underneath the car, and with only low-pressure air above the car exerting itself on top, the car experiences lift, with the front of the car lightening up. This results in reduced traction on the road, especially for the front tires.
A car splitter acts like a wedge that forces the high-pressure air upwards where it builds up around the bumper and migrates up and over the car. The high-speed, low-pressure air passes underneath the car. Combined with the high-pressure air that is passing over the car, the lift is reduced, resulting in a net positive downforce. This gives the car more traction as it hugs the ground.
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