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I was showing off my new Prius to a neighbor. He comments on the rear spoiler not matching up flush with the rest of the car. I hadn't noticed it until then. Off on both sides about 1/4 ". I'm assuming this is a defect.

Can anyone confirm this?

Thanks,

Bill
 

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I tried to get the body shop to line up the rear edge of the spoiler, thinking the mounting was deformed some when I damaged my spoiler with the garage door.

A few months later, I came across another Salsa Red Prius parked at the Wendy's I was patronizing. Turns out his was off too. I had parked a little ways so the owner thought I was admiring his Prius, not knowing I owned one too.

So, yes. Some productions do have the spoiler a bit off.
 

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Hi Orange...

My car Prius is just like that too. I believe they all are, and its an aerodynmic treatment. It helps to keep air spilling sideways over the tail, which helps to keep the airflow on the side of the car smooth.

I am thinking an aerodynmic mod to the Prius might be to put some fins in that area, to reduce spillage more. There is a guy who has a Beatle TDI, which with its design has a serious problem with the air going turbulent down the side of the car. He has massive side fins he added, besides a rear spoiler. Check out this: hashttp://www.max-mpg.com/html/tech/main.htm . Ernie says his fins and spoiler result in a 5 to 8 % improvement in highway fuel economy.
 

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Hi Romad,

Thanks for the fix. I hear this allot about the Prius around here. It seems everything designed for the thing its supposed to do people find ugly. I find such things elegant, and in sobeing, beutiful.

Now fins on the Prius would not need to be nearly as big, as its already decompressing the flow over the top of the car in twice the distance as in the Beatle.
 

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Fins on a car? Who would have thought?

Apparently most of you aren't old enough to remember when fins were stndard equipment, starting with '56 Chevy (just bumps, really), and reaching their high point (pun intended) a less than a decade later in Caddy and Desoto. These cars only wanted to go straight.
 

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Hi Rusty,

Nope, I was born about then. Those 1950's fins were non-functional, and would have only added parasitic drag. The fins are needed where the air comes down off the roof. And those 1950's fins were all the way back at the rear of the car, and were thick. There were no fins right where the roof came down and met the trunk, or where the trunk tailed off to the bumper.
 

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I have an 06 which also has that slight misalignment of the spoiler.

For what it's worth, I think it looks kind of cool this way (and would probably say the same about it being aligned, if mine was like that instead).
 

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Pinto_Girl said:
I have an 06 which also has that slight misalignment of the spoiler.

For what it's worth, I think it looks kind of cool this way (and would probably say the same about it being aligned, if mine was like that instead).
If it looks like the photo above, the spoiler is not misaligned. That's the way it was designed.
 

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Actually, no, it doesn't.

I don't have a picture, but (adding to the previous descriptions) if you imagine the spoiler as a loose piece, with pivot points centrally located on each end, it's like mine was lifted up slightly at the back (relative to each quarter panel).

I know this is reaching, but I'm wondering if perhaps this is a tacit admission on Toyota's part that there may be some issues of excessive lift at the rear of the car.

A few pieces of (admittedly antecdotal) evidence:
1. Addition of that little black lower spoiler on the front of the car, presumably to reduce airflow under the vehicle
2. The 'kicked up' rear spoiler may be a running change, perhaps to add a bit of downforce back there
3. Have you noticed how the rear wiper doesn't flip vertically out of the way when you wash the car, like the front ones do? This is where I really begin to reach, but I used to drive a '97 Porsche Carrera (famous for its aerodynamic lift issues in the rear) and the back wiper also didn't flip up all the way...presumably for the same reason?
4. Low drag shapes often suffer from excessive lift...doesn't the roof of the Prius look kind of like a wing, with the center of lift towards the rear of the car?

All of this leads me to believe that the spoiler isn't actually misaligned, but aligned that way intentionally to address lift issues without actually admitting that there's an issue in the first place. And doesn't the new Touring edition have a bigger spoiler? Bet that becomes standard across the board in '08 (if there is a Prius for '08).

Only an educated guess, tho...
 

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I believe the back of the spoiler (by back as in facing rearward of the car) is supposed to be at the same level as as the hatch end. Mine is misaligned, and I observed another Prius was also this way, but I still don't think it was intended to be this way.

As for the wiper, it does have a lift limiter because the wiper is against the airflow. If the wiper were to fold down horizontally when not in use, as the front ones are, I don't think you'd have or need the limiter, nor if the wiper was attached to the top end of the hatch window instead of the bottom.

By the way, you can remove the plastic cover at the pivot, then you can lift the wiper all the way up for cleaning. The cover simply snaps in and out.
 

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What's got me thinking that this is a running change is that I live in the SF Bay Area and have the opportunity to observe a LOT of Prii; four or five regulars just in the BART (public transit) parking lot where I park every workday.

The thing that catches my eye is that the '06 has the little emblem on the fenders, and so every time I recognize an '06 in this manner, the spoiler is 'misaligned.' And usually, (but not always, though), the spoilers on the cars w/o the HSD emblem on the fenders seem to be aligned.

Also, I looked at my car this morning, and the bottom of the spoiler seems to follow the line of the quarter panels, as they curve up...so, it seems that bottom is aligned, but top misaligned.

Wonder if the physical thickness of the piece has increased...?

Honestly, it really doesn't matter to me one way or the other...although the car seems so clean, to my eye, that a bit of surface excitement is a welcome addition (but no, I won't be putting a 'whale tail' on her!)
 

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Posting problems this AM...

Took a closer look at my car this weekend. I do think it's simply an issue of poor fit and finish.

Looking from the underside, there's a strip of foam which is attached to the spoiler, and between that and the window, there's a bit of a gap.

When I pressed down on the spoiler, the gap closed and -- voila -- the top of the spoiler also came into alignment with the quarter panels.

That other stuff I postulated, about running changes for the sake of areodynamics...? Forgetaboutit!!
 
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