Car Advice

Where Have All The “Wing Vent Windows” Gone?

While some may have no idea what a “vent window” is, many of us remember them as standard on just about every four door car. A vent window is a small triangular shaped window that was in the front doors just in front of the main door window.

The vent window was hinged so that it could be rotated outward and could angle from slightly open to about a 45 degree angle. The purpose was to catch the air flow and direct outside air onto the passengers inside the car.

It’s easy to forget that in those days, many cars were not equipped with air conditioning, it was an expensive option. Instead, many relied on this external air flow to keep the interior of the car as comfortable as possible without air conditioning. Almost every modern car sold is already equipped with air conditioning making the wing vent obsolete.

In addition, engineers have determined that cars are more fuel efficient with the air conditioning compressor running than they are with the resistance provided by an open window. Hard to believe, but that’s’ what the experts say. This applies even to the regular windows being open on modern cars. It destroys the carefully engineered airflow dynamics. The higher the speed, the less fuel efficient the car will be with the windows down. Just imagine the loss with the resistance of a wing vent being open to redirect air flow into the interior. That’s why you are not likely to ever see a modern car with the long lost wing vents as even an option, much less as a standard “feature”.

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