Whether you drive an Audi, Porsche, Mercedes Benz, BMW or Volkswagen, all German automobile manufacturers incorporate aerodynamics to improve handling and road grip. Today’s vehicles have lowered body and trim panels to help reduce the amount of air traveling under the vehicle that creates lift, while increasing the amount of air traveling over the top of the vehicle increasing overall down force. By increasing down force while reducing lift, today’s performance vehicles better grip the road surface by increasing the effective weight of the vehicle.
Air traveling under the car effectively reduces the weight of the vehicle on the road surface, (lift) directly effecting the ability for the vehicle to grip and stay on the road surface. Although many design factors are involved in aerodynamic engineering, one of the most obvious is the design of the front bumper and its lower proximity to the ground. Although it improves performance, this lower profile creates challenges when parking in the Austin metro area where parking curbs are commonly used. The standard parking curb in Austin is 5 ¼ inch high. Most Audi, Porsche, Mercedes Benz, BMW and Volkswagen front bumpers (including the factory valance) range between 4 inches and 6 inches off the ground. The problem becomes obvious.
Due to the design of these bumpers, most vehicles will drive up on the parking curb with no noticeable noise or warning. The damage most often occurs when backing up off the parking curb. This often results in the mounting clips and brackets being strained and possibly damaging (tearing) the bumper skin. The Audi, Porsche, Mercedes Benz, BMW and Volkswagen experts at German Auto Center of Austin can typically reattach the bumper skin and repair curb damage on your vehicle for relatively little cost. In cases where the bumper skin is torn (repeated curb encounters) more expensive paint and body repairs will be required.
How to prevent curb damage:
By far the simplest prevention is to back into parking spaces that have parking curbs, thus avoiding this issue entirely. If you find yourself on top of a parking curb, back off very slowly allowing the bumper and valance to slowly stretch, preventing further damage.
Seek reliable Austin service for Mercedes Benz, Mini, Porsche, BMW, Volkswagen, and Audi to ensure your vehicle is operating properly. If you have any questions, simply come by and visit Austin German auto repair experts at German Auto Center. We will be happy to assist you!