The Engine Splash Shield Instructions. Every year, as more people commute on public roadways, the roads deteriorate further. Sadly, this implies that dust, trash, and other risks are increasing. As a result, automakers began installing an engine splash shield to protect the car’s undercarriage from road debris. Engine splash shields are especially useful for off-road vehicles that face more road hazards due to the terrain.
This article will teach you all there is to know about engine splash shields. We’ll go over their function and purpose, if they’re necessary, and how to repair a damaged engine splash shield if you find yourself with one. We will additionally pay for the replacement of an engine splash shield. Let’s get this party started.
What is the difference between an engine splash shield and a skid plate?
The engine splash shield, also known as a skid plate, is a piece or pieces of steel, metal, or plastic that protects your vehicle’s underside. Every car has its own splash shield that is custom-made to match the shape of the vehicle. Some engine splash shields just cover the front of the vehicle, while others cover the entire underneath.
You may have also heard an engine splash shield referred to as a skid plate, underbody cover, undercarriage cover, or a variety of other names that all pertain to the same thing. Splash shield and skid plate are the most commonly used terminology. Generally, the phrase skid plate refers to a metal or steel item, while engine splash shield refers to a plastic piece.
The splash shield, whatever you call it, works by preventing road debris, dirt, water, snow, ice, mud, and pretty much anything else from hitting any essential parts under the car or in the engine compartment. It also improves aerodynamics and minimizes road noise.
What is the function of a skid plate?
As previously stated, the major purpose of the skid plate is to keep anything from the road from entering the engine area. This isn’t confined to the elements such as rain, snow, and muck. Roads in major cities are frequently littered with cracked asphalt, odd bits of debris, and even fallen car components from prior drivers with less-than-ideal vehicles. Any of these could be kicked up by your tires and collide with something on your engine, causing significant damage.
Every engines are constructed and configured differently, and some engines have extremely important components such as oil filters or turbochargers positioned on the engine’s bottom. For example, the 2015+ Subaru WRX has a low-mounted turbo that lies beneath the engine. Needless to say, it’s critical to keep pricey parts like those safe from harm.
Engine splash shields also contribute to a cleaner engine bay. The bay is kept cleaner by preventing dirt, snow, rain, muck, and other elemental detritus from splashing up. Keeping the engine bay clean and free of dust and grime extends the life and cleanliness of your air filter. It’s critical to maintain the intercooler bay free of dust and grime in cars with intercoolers. If it becomes too dusty, some of it may enter the intercooler, causing it to perform inefficiently and reduce cooling.
They also aid in aerodynamics and noise reduction. Splash shields assist make cars more aerodynamic by providing a smooth route for air to follow rather than allowing it to become stuck in the engine compartment. The shields help limit the amount of road noise that enters the cabin, resulting in a more enjoyable driving experience.
Is an Engine Splash Shield required?
Is an engine splash shield required? It depends. Skid plates are not entirely necessary, but they are extremely useful. Most likely, you will not drive over any objects that would hurl up into the engine area and cause damage during your typical commute. Furthermore, the minor aerodynamic enhancements and noise insulation make little impact.
There is, however, almost no reason not to have a skid plate. They add only a small amount of weight and have the potential to save lives. They also keep the engine cleaner, which, as previously said, aids in the longevity of the intercooler and air filter. Engine splash shields also keep water out of the engine bay and intake from below, potentially preventing hydrolocking. There are almost no disadvantages to having a properly working engine splash shield.
If you enjoy mudding or off-roading, you should absolutely keep your skid plate intact. When off-roading, you are far more likely to encounter pebbles and other things that may become lodged in your engine. Being lost in the mountains or woods is a bad situation, and splash shields are inexpensive insurance. If you damage your splash shield, we strongly advise you to replace it as soon as possible.
Engine Splash Shield Replacement and Repair
Let’s speak about what to do if your engine splash shield is damaged and has to be repaired. While this is not a regular problem, it can occur on occasion depending on road conditions and off-roading. As previously said, if your splash shield is damaged, we strongly advise you to replace it as soon as possible.
Identifying a Damaged Skid Plate
A damaged skid plate is usually noticed when doing work beneath the automobile, hearing it scrape on the ground while driving, or seeing the engine splash shield hanging down from the car. The majority of the time, the damage is caused by a foreign object, such as a curb or road debris.
It’s simple to identify a damaged engine splash shield. If you suspect damage, simply jack up the car and inspect the skid plate if you can’t already fit under it. It’s time to replace it if it’s broken, has hanging or missing components, or has lost structural integrity and is flopping around. Keep in mind that plastic underbody coverings will be flexible, but they should still be rather durable.
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Repairs for Damaged and Hanging Engine Splash Shields
If you inspect your skid plate and find it damaged, it’s time to replace it. Fortunately, the repair is simple and does not require a high level of mechanical aptitude.
The first step is to assess the extent of the damage. Because you’re unlikely to have a spare engine splash shield on hand, check if you can make a temporary repair to keep it running until you can find a replacement. It won’t be attractive, but duct tape on a plastic shield might suffice for a few days. If the damage is too serious, you may always remove the shield for a few days while you wait for a replacement; just be careful what you drive over.
After you’ve purchased a new skid plate (more on that below), you can begin removing the old one. Screws, push clips, or torx screws are commonly used to secure splash shields. Remove all fasteners and the splash shield, depending on what you have.
Then, using new fasteners, attach the new splash shield to the car. If your replacement is not a direct match, you may need to make some adjustments to ensure correct fitting for your vehicle. That’s all there is to it; you’ve successfully mended your broken or dangling engine splash shield. We told you it would be simple.
Costs of Engine Splash Shield Repair
Let us now discuss engine splash shield repair prices. If at all possible, we recommend performing this repair yourself. That is incredibly simple and will save an hour of work, which can cost up to $150 per hour. Depending on vehicle size, a direct OEM replacement will generally cost between $50 and $150. Aftermarket skid plates can be purchased for as little as $15. If you can find Original parts, we recommend going with them because they are less expensive and will fit perfectly. Nonetheless, skid plates are rather minor, and perfect fitting is not required for them to work.
A $15 skid plate is probably fine for road use as long as it works, but if you do a lot of off-roading, you might want something more heavy duty. And speaking of which…
Skid Plates for Off-Road Vehicles
If you intend to take your truck or automobile off-road in hazardous locations on a regular basis, we strongly advise you to inspect your skid plates on a regular basis. Broken tree branches, stumps, pebbles, and just about everything else in the backcountry can puncture them, even if you can’t hear or feel it.
If you intend to conduct more advanced off-roading and backcountry driving and your engine shield is plastic, you should consider replacing it with a steel or metal one. Reinforced skid plates can withstand a lot more abuse and defend against hazards significantly better. The last thing you want is a damaged radiator or a crushed oil filter when repair services are either unavailable or inconvenient.
Summary of Engine Skid Plates
While the engine splash shield may not be the most appealing feature of your vehicle, it is nonetheless essential. Will your car collapse catastrophically if you don’t have one? Although unlikely, it has the potential to prevent undesired risks from banging into your engine and causing catastrophic harm. In addition, the absence of dust and debris will result in longer air filter and intercooler life.