OK all you sedan drivers try this. Find a nice safe stretch of road and
take your Civic up to around 30-35 mph. The engine can be anywhere from
1500 to 2000 rpm. Now here's the "fun" part. Open the right rear window.
What you should hear, if your experience is anything like mine, is a loud
oscillating wind buffeting sound.
Now if you never intend to drive with the rear windows down forget the
whole thing. Otherwise get some ear plugs...the noise will drive you nuts
otherwise. Oh by the way my dealer had me try this with another Civic.
Same noise. That's why I consider this a design flaw.
So far I can not find any TSB's or recalls that pertain to this issue.
Maybe Honda doesn't think it's a problem. Other than this I think the car
Most sedans and some coupes will do that (station wagons and hatchbacks are
much more resistant). It is called "aeolian oscillation" and effectively
turns the passenger compartment into a giant subsonic whistle. The '64 Dodge
I learned to drive in was crazy with it, and I've never had a sedan that
didn't do it on at least one pair of windows. For best window ventilation on
the road, opening the driver's window an inch and doing the same with the
right rear window will get you quiet, controlled air flow.
Awww, you beat me to it! *I* wanted to use that term! It sounds so
For the record, my 1991 Integra and my 1976 Coronet all do/did the same
My '74 RX-4 and both my early-'80s Corollas didn't, but that was due only
to the fact that they were all hardtop bodystyles. My '75 Corolla didn't do
it either, but that was because the rear windows were tilt-out designs.
I had an '81 and '93 civic sedans that both did this. It used to drive me
nuts on road trips because the kids would always try to crank down the back
window just enough to maximize the oscillation.
On Tue, 18 Apr 2006 23:30:26 GMT, "Richard Kuroski"
Heck, my Chevy truck will do this also. Either the window has to be
all the way down, or all the way up. About half-way and the
buffetting is terrible. But I live in Texas, so most of the time the
AC is on anyhow. Bottom line: no big deal.
This is one of my pet peeves, and nearly every modern car does this with
one or more windows. I call it the Coke Bottle Effect, because it is
similar to what happens when you blow across the lip of a soda bottle.
It is a consequence of slippery aerodynamic design.
It's not a problem if the AC is used. I rarely see anyone with the windows
down or the sunroof open--regardless of the outside temp. The closed
windows mean that we solve the "loud sound" problem and we also keep out
the pollution such as the odor of diesel fumes.
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Hey, Accord Ex sunroof does the same thing.
I've meant to try putting some deflectors or vortex shedders or
dilithium crystals or eolian transmogrifiers on the leading edge to
prevent it, but so far haven't actually bothered.
Thank you all for your responses. Now I know I'm not nuts and can quote
scientific terms to explain the issue. Of course I'm still stuck with the
vibration problem at 1500 rpm. Thought is was the right rear tire, and it
may still be, however the exhaust system now has me on a different path.
Then again maybe I should just turn up the radio and get over it.
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