When you think about it, cars take a lot of abuse. Many of them travel hundreds of miles a week, and that can cause a lot of wear and tear on components such as the steering wheel, breaks and gas peddle. However, one thing you might not think about is what all that driving is doing to the underside of your car. There are rocks, pebbles, puddles, and other debris that hit the bottom of your car and clog important components.
Fortunately, you can get an engine splash shield for your car if it does not already have one. A splash shield, which is also called a skid plate or the under-engine cover, can help protect your car from debris on the road. Splash shields are made of either plastic or metal and it attaches to the bottom of the engine.
A skid plate is a very important component of a car because it protects the engine from rust and corrosion. It can save an automobile owner a lot of money on repairs to the engine.
There is an upper splash shield that can protect your belt, fans, sensors, and radiator. It is designed to give enough of an opening for airflow to go into the intake. There is also a lower shield that protects the transmission of the vehicle as well as the exhaust.
As you can imagine, the splash shield can get damaged very easily. Its entire job is to make sure that the rest of the car is safe. If you live in a state in which the weather gets cold, you should know that the plastic shields may become cracked and that can make it weaker. If you drive over a snowbank or an icy speed bump, it can also cause damage to the shield. The shield can also become corroded over time.
The fasteners that affix the splash shield to the car can also become damaged. If they wear out or fall out, your shield may end up falling off. Sometimes it will not fall off completely and end up dragging on the ground. Some splash guards are designed for easy removal. Unfortunately, the fasteners of shields that can be easily removed are also more susceptible to damage.
What kind of engine splash shield is the best?
The average splash shield will be made out of fiberglass or plastic. Fiberglass is reinforced plastic which is composed of glass fibers rooted in a resin matrix. Fiberglass is much stronger than plastic even though it is lighter. Plastic is made up of myriad organic polymers.
There are also shields that are designed specifically for the make and model of certain cars. You should also consider the airflow of your car and how well it will work with your shield before selecting which shield to get.
When your engine splash shield begins to show signs of aging, it is a good idea to replace it or have someone replace it for you. Unlike some other car parts, it is fairly easy to tell when an engine splash shield needs to be replaced. If you do not see it dragging on the ground, you will be able to hear it.
Replacing Your Splash Guard
A new splash guard should cost somewhere between $40 and $75. If you have the appropriate tools and a little time, you can replace the shields yourself.
How to Replace an Engine Splash Shield
In order to replace the shield, you will need to have a 10 mm socket and ratchet. You will also need both a Phillips head and a Flathead screwdriver. You also need the new splash shields. It is helpful to have two jacks to lift up the car so that you can see what you are doing a little better.
You should make sure that you have purchased shields that will fit the shape and contour of your car. You can get information on the correct shields for your car online. Or you can purchase them in an auto parts store and the clerk should be able to help you find the right ones.
You will remove and replace the shields one at a time. The first thing you want to do is get under the front of the car and locate all of the bolts on the left front end shield. There may also be push clips. If there are push clips, pop those off first. You may need your flat head screwdriver to help get them off. You then want to remove the bolts with your socket and ratchet or your Phillip’s head screwdriver.
You will then pop in the new shield. You will want to fasten the push clips in the new shield first. Then you will secure the new shields with the bolts that it came with using your socket and ratchet or Phillip’s head once again. You will want to repeat this with the remaining three shields.
Is It Safe to Drive Without a Splash Shield?
It is probably okay to drive your car without a splash shield for a short period of time. You should just avoid going off of the main roads. Your car will never be undrivable just because you are missing the shield. However, your car will be much quieter if you have a shield and they do keep mud off the engine.
If you drive without a shield for a long time, your engine may get debris in it. Dirt can hurt many of the components of your car. If dirt gets into your oxygen sensor, it can cause your car to burn too much gasoline. A mass airflow sensor (MAF) is a component used to gauge the mass flow rate of air entering a vehicle’s engine. If your mass airflow sensor gets dirty it may begin to run too rich or too lean.
Dirt and rocks can get into engines and cause damage to critical components. Whenever any part of an engine gets a hole in it, that part will not function properly. Hence, if your engine is not protected from dirt, it can cause your vehicle to have major damage. If your car experiences such damage, you will have several options for getting it repaired.
Where to go for Repairs
If you don’t have the time or know-how to work on your car, you will have to take your car to a professional for repairs. You can take it to an autobody shop or too a dealership to be fixed.
If your vehicle’s engine has been damaged by dirt, repairs may cost anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars.
Taking your car to a dealership for repairs can be twice as expensive as going to an auto body shop. However, a mechanic at a dealership will be certified in your specific brand of car. They will have the parts on hand, so you will not have to wait very long for repairs. They will also charge you by the job as opposed to by the hour. Being charged by the job will make the final cost of your repairs less of a surprise.
Most drivers greatly prefer going to an independent auto body shop for repairs. They will not charge you anywhere near as much money as the dealership. They will also be able to give you more personal attention. There are many independent auto mechanics that are certified in repairing specific makes and models of automobiles. If you do your research, you will be able to find an auto body shop that specializes in your type of car or truck.
AAA offers a list of approved auto body shops. Angie’s List is also a great resource when looking for recommendations of independent mechanics. You should always ask for references and get a price quote and time estimate for repairs.
What to do if it is Time for a New Car
Sometimes dirt in the engine of a car can lead to such serious problems that you will need an entirely new vehicle. If you must get a new car, you will have several options for unloading the old one. Each of these options has advantages and disadvantages.
The internet has become a popular place to get rid of old cars. You can advertise the car online, and if you do you will pay a monthly fee to a car sales website. You will be competing with a lot of other sellers.
If you sell your car yourself, you may have to meet with many potential buyers before you actually sell the vehicle and you may end up unable to sell the car at all. If you part out the engine, you will still have the old clunker in your driveway for a long time and you will probably have to meet with even more people. Potential buyers may try to haggle with you and you may end up selling your car for much less than you originally wanted.
Selling your car online can be dangerous. Remember that you will have people that you do not know coming over to your home. There have been more than a few crimes associated with sites such as Craigslist. There were so many crimes associated with Backpage that it is no longer in existence. It is best to meet someone who has contacted you online in a public place in broad daylight.
If your car was totaled as the result of an accident, you may be able to get an insurance company to pay for it. There are two insurance rules in the United States, fault and no-fault. In a fault state, the person who caused the accident will pay for all of the accident-related bills. In a no-fault state, a person’s own insurance company will pay any accident-related bills no matter who caused the crash.
If your car was totaled in an accident, the insurance company will have to give you whatever the car was worth one minute before the crash. However, you should know that the insurance company will determine what this amount is. In most states, there is no set standard for determining a price for the car. This can mean that your old car may be undervalued. It will also take a long time to get the money. In many cases, the insurance company may not tow away your old car and you will be stuck with a non-running or poorly running car on your property.
You can always use your old car as a trade-in when you buy your new car. Be aware that a dealership may give you what seems like a good trade-in price for your car, then tag the amount of the trade-in right back on to the final price of the new vehicle. They may also offer you far less money than the car is actually worth in the hopes that you will be too lazy to explore other options for selling the vehicle.
Sell the Car to Us
Cash Cars Buyers will give you a really good amount of money for your junk car. We accept most any car that was manufactured between 2002 and 2018. In most cases, we do not even need the title, just so long as you can prove that the car was registered to you.
Our process is very simple. Just fill out our online form and we will get right back to you with an offer. We ask you to provide your name, email address, and phone number. We need basic information about your vehicle such as the VIN number, make, model, and year of the car.
If you accept our offer we will schedule a time for pick up. Our team member will perform a fast inspection of the vehicle , pay you in cash, and tow the car away for free. Click below to fill out our form and get started.