What Does the Front Air Dampner do on a Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport?

You may or may not have noticed this long piece of black plastic as it hangs beneath the front bumper on the 3rd generation (2016 to current day), SR5, Limited and TRD Sport.

Front Bumper & Air Spoiler

At the moment I’m obsessed with aftermarket accessories, one of those being the front bumper. As I would like to also acquire a winch to fit inside it. The thing is I still like the esthetics of the lower bumper as Toyota designed it therefore I’ve been looking at slimline or hybrid front bumper upgrades.

What this means is the light weight front bumper area which is around 40lbs will be replaced by 125lbs of metal between the new aftermarket bumper (75lbs) and winch (50lbs).

Also by installing these new aftermarket parts you will be removing that long piece of plastic known as the “air dampner” or “front bumper spoiler” which in turn creates more drag at the front of the truck.

More air under the Tacoma means poorer fuel mileage. As I am a curious person, last Saturday afternoon I went into the garage and removed the air dampner.

Front Air Spoiler Removed
  • Baseline
  • TRD Sport spec is 13.8/100 city and 11.7/100 highway
  • Testing Route
  • One way
  • Driving home to work
  • Total distance is 20 kms (12.5 miles)


  • With Front Air Spoiler
  • Sept 5 to Sept 12
  • Driving at speed limit or under
    • 9.5/100 litres
  • Driving 5kph over speed limit
    • 10.4/100 litres
  • Driving 6kph or more, over speed limit
    • 10.5/100 litres to 14.5/100 litres
  • Without Front Air Spoiler
  • Sept 12 to Sept 19
  • Driving at speed limit or under
    • 10.5/100 litres
  • Driving 5kph over speed limit
    • 12.4/100 litres 
  • Driving 6kph or more, over speed limit 
    • 12.5/100 litres to 16.5/100 litres

Overall results

Although I did appreciate the more “off-road” esthetics to the Tacoma’s appearance, the numbers did not lie. Its advantageous for a Tacoma owner to keep the Front Air Spoiler on the vehicle for better fuel economy!

2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport