For years, a debate has raged over Internet forums and from bar stools.
Some insist that drivers in pickups should drive with the tailgate down to maximize fuel economy—if there's nothing back there. Others say it don’t make no difference. (Bar stool talk)
It’s been a topic of discussion with our professional service technicians too.
Maybe that idea is a simple matter of aerodynamics—you don't want a wall perpendicular to your direction of travel. Common sense says the tailgate will act like a sail to catch the wind, which will make it harder for your truck to move forward.
The truth may surprise you.
Truck manufacturers such as Ford use wind tunnels to test vehicles’ wind drag. They have demonstrated that when the tailgate on trucks is up, air flows right over the top of the truck bed, creating a protective bubble of air in the back. This is a better aerodynamic option than putting the tailgate down—which causes air to turbulently swirl behind the cab. Watch the video here
In fact, in an episode of Mythbusters, scientists found that a truck with its tailgate up traveled 30 miles farther on one tank of fuel than the truck traveled with its tailgate down.
Mystery solved. They’ll have to find a new topic to argue over Internet forums and from bar stools.
Come visit us at Fiesta Motors of Lubbock to talk with us about myths and gas-saving tips. Be sure to check out our used vehicle inventory
while you're here and schedule a test drive. When you’ve made your choice, we’ll walk you through our budget-friendly financing