What is the real reason a splitter will FAIL?
Splitters....such a topic of controversy and toxicity. Facebook groups, blogs and anyone you speak to at events whom have had a bad experience with a splitter will all say "they're s&@t. They never stay on. I'm on my 3rd one this year so i just buy a cheap one to save money".
For those readers whom are unaware of the reason splitters were designed,
A splitter is designed with aerodynamics in mind. For the most part, BMW or Mercedes will be reluctant to sell you a splitter unless you have a rear diffuser to compliment it. Why? AERODYNAMICS! The powers that be at the manufacturers spend millions on design, testing and implementation of all aerodynamic packages in order to bring out the best in your chosen car.
Now, to contradict this you might ask "so why do some models come with an aerodynamics package and some do not?" Simple answer is affordability. Does this make your 'lower spec' car without this package any less aerodynamic? Of course, however, the manufacturers still ensure streamlined aerodynamics for the base model vehicles in the interests of economy and affordability.
It is the end users decision to attach aftermarket aerodynamic parts to their car, mainly for aesthetics. Now herein is the issue with aerodynamic performance parts failing. Many owners want that "sporty" look. Why?.. To edge towards looking similar to the higher spec performance models, which is absolutely no issue and is the end users prerogative. Unfortunately a great percentage of owners are tempted by the £70 ebay splitters. Pay online and get them delivered ready to throw them on at the weekend on their driveway. Keep this in mind for a moment...
The purpose of a splitter is to redirect airflow between the bottom lip of the bumper and top edge of a splitter thus creating downforce on the splitter. In turn this pushes the front of the car to the road (at speed) increasing handling and grip. Now let's think about this for a moment. You are asking this new aerodynamic part you purchased from ebay to push nearly 2 tons to the road. With this in mind, would you say this item should be fitted by professionals or by someone whom has never performed any type of body styling on a car before?
This brings us onto the actual topic of this blog, what is the real reason splitters fail. FITMENT! Yes, fitment is the real reason why splitters fail. Here at KITS UK we get a great deal of corrective work from body styling parts which are falling off or fallen off. The majority of splitters which have failed are down to lack of knowledge on how these parts behave on the car. Self tapping screws are the most common fixings used by amateurs. Why? Because you can make your car look like that desirable performance model in less than 1 hour. Unfortunately what these types of fitters fail to realise is that they're now asking self tapping screws which have been driven into an extremely thin bumper skin to pull nearly 2 tons to the road. End result? The downforces in the centre of the splitter (the most dense area of airflow) have ripped the self tapping screws through the thin plastic bumper skin pushing the centre piece of the splitter to the road. The centre piece of the bottom lip then catches, breaks and folds underneath the car. In turn, this splits the bumper skin, likely damages the belly pan and highly likely flies off under your wheels and into a poor unsuspecting motorists wind screen, causing a collision and possibly causing injury to the innocent party. Worth it for £70 right?
This is a trend which will never go away due to the attitude of "how hard can it be" and "it's got holes in it so i'll just use those".
Here at KITS UK, our methods of fitting allow us to transfer the downforce created by fitting a splitter back onto the structure of the vehicle, which in this case is the bumper. This takes all of the strain away from the splitter and is dealt with by the bumper.
So now we know why splitters really fail, let's address some of the methods amateurs use to fit them.
The top areas of the splitter which attach to the top of your bumper do require some adhesion. Now just remember that this is still the car you have just spent 20-40k on. By allowing an amateur to fit your splitter, it is highly likely they will lather the tops of your splitter in Tigerseal. We have also seen this done with gorilla glue, kitchen sealer and no more nails. End result? They have just destroyed 20% of the paint on your front bumper and taken your hard earned money to do it. Some owners on social media groups will say "oh well these areas are covered up. You can't see it". This is like saying "I don't mind washing my car in nitro mors". IT MATTERS! We have customers come to us with failed splitters which require removal. Fitted with Tigerseal, there is not only a charge for the new splitter with fitting, there is also labour charges for removing the Tigerseal and getting the bumper to a state whereby it can accept the new splitter correctly. In some cases this requires body shop intervention and repaint. So the £70 splitter now costs nearly £400, if you're lucky. Not to mention any damage done to the underside of the vehicle.
Now we are sure some of you are saying, my splitter didn't fall off, i hit it on a kerb parking up. This may be the case and 9 times out of 10 you will break the splitter by doing this. This still does not change the fact that if your splitter has been fitted by amateurs, it will be fitted using some if not all of the methods above.
It a nutshell, don't skimp on your body styling. Have it done properly by professionals and get a warranty with the parts and fitting. Ask how the parts are to be fitted before they fit them and most importantly do your due diligence!
It was only last week we had an owner come into us for his kit completely removing and refitting which was fitted by an actively advertising company on social media. It took this company 1 hour to fit the entire body kit, which right there is a RED FLAG!
We would love to hear your thoughts on our blog so please do get in touch with us with your views and experiences. It's great to hear and share stories!
Tel/WhatsApp: 01977 704798/07754 267565
Order Online: www.kits.style