Driving a brick into the wind

Another very… interesting… aspect of Jeep ownership is driving into the wind. The Jeep is the least aerodynamic vehicle in existence. They couldn’t make it less aerodynamic, in fact, if they tried. The new JK looks like they tried to streamline things somewhat, and the TJ has *some* smoothing in some kind of effort to decrease wind resistance, but for the most part it’s like driving a brick around.
Bricks don’t move fast. My speed literally fluctuates (significantly) depending on whether I have a tail or head-wind. I’m talking about fluctuations in excess of 10mph. If I get a cross-wind, that’s when things get *really* exciting. Depending on the strength/speed of the wind and the speed of the Jeep, you’ll get anywhere from a half to full lane change, quite spontaneously. There’s several disadvantages to this, of course, not the least of which is the fact that there might be other cars in those lanes, and they rarely appreciate it when you suddenly drive over them every time there’s a gust of wind. Thing is, I don’t even have a full soft-top… all this crazy movement is being caused by the soft windows (and the square body) acting like a huge sail. Can’t wait to see what happens when I have more square footage of sail-cloth material to *really* catch the wind.
Head-winds are pretty exciting too. Loss of speed, gas mileage, and even (to a much smaller extent than cross-winds) steering control are all joyous effects of driving your brick straight into a strong wind. I think it might be less obvious if I had a 6-cylinder, but I’m not so sure – the brickyness of the Jeep is pretty freakin’ compelling.
All this combines to make Jeeps difficult to control at higher speeds. Luckily, Jeeps don’t go very fast; mine has a top speed of about 70-75mph without wind helping out… about 80mph or so with a tail-wind, and about 60-65mph with a head-wind. And when I say ‘top speed’, that’s pedal to the floor, engine screaming, gas mileage down to 10mpg, not ‘cruising speed’ which is considerably lower. It also makes you look like you’re drunk as hell. Can’t wait for a cop to stop me for that. Devin’s right: for some reason, cops *love* to stop Jeeps. Great.

One Reply to “Driving a brick into the wind”

  1. Since I've gotten a grandma's car I haven't even cared about speeding or running through a yellow light at the last second. With my Jeep, I got pulled over for doing 5 over.

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