Are Engine Splash Guards Really Needed?

Messages
349
Location
Tennessee
Thread starter
I just realized today that my 2012 Prius C at one time had dual splash guards under it to keep water and debris away from the engine area and to aid in aerodynamics. Many people throw them away so they can save a few minutes when they change the oil and filter, etc. Should I bother with buying a pair of them and installing them? They would cost about $70 and are not original OEM. They seem to have about 20 screws holding them in place. I live in upper East Tennessee. We seldom get salty roads here. Most of my driving is local and up to 4 or 5k miles a year. I easily get about 50 MPGs with my car.
 
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3,899
Location
Canada
Originally Posted by OVERKILL
They provide an aerodynamic benefit and also keep stuff clean
+1 Years ago we had Volvo 240's in our family. One particular shop didn't re-install the front belly pan (splash pan) on the car after doing some maintenance/repairs. During the next few years the car would inexplicably have town steering rack boots and when on the highway would wander all over the road. So yes, IMO they are worth it.
 
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7,672
Location
Hudson, NH
Seems like every used car I buy is missing them. In the rust belt they really help keep the salt off the bottom of the engine, subframe, front radiator support.
 
Messages
349
Location
Tennessee
Thread starter
OK, I'll probably buy it. My car doesn't have any belts in it, but still. smile The previous owner was probably never even told that the service people removed it and threw it away. So the cars get traded in that way and the new owner has to pay $50 to $75 to buy a replacement, and that doesn't even include the screws, while the OEM removed ones get buried at landfills. I would have been mad if some shop had thrown mine away without telling me. That's why it pays to be familiar with the undersides and under the hood of your car and the work these shops do to your cars if you don't DIY.
 
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42,964
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by Mr_Luke
OK, I'll probably buy it. My car doesn't have any belts in it, but still. smile The previous owner was probably never even told that the service people removed it and threw it away. So the cars get traded in that way and the new owner has to pay $50 to $75 to buy a replacement, and that doesn't even include the screws, while the removed ones get buried at the landfills. I would have been mad if some shop had thrown mine away without telling me. That's why it pays to be familiar with the undersides and under the hood of your car and the work these shops do to your cars if you don't DIY.
thumbsup
 
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14,448
Location
...
That's assuming what happened. I could think of a number of reasons why they are not there.
 
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1,739
Location
Cincinnati, USA
I'd pull them used at a junkyard and before installing them, cut out an access panel for the oil changes and put it back on as a hatch with stainless hinge, clasp, and fasteners. You could also use an oversized piece of new material for the hatch, to overlap then throw a gasket around it if you want to get fancy smantzy. wink
 
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Messages
42,964
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by Dave9
I'd pull them used at a junkyard and before installing them, cut out an access panel for the oil changes and put it back on as a hatch with stainless hinge, clasp, and fasteners.
Good idea.
 
Messages
79
Location
Sioux Falls
I like having a fully functioning one on my vehicles. Where I live there is a lot of snow and salty slush. I think it helps not splashing all of that muddy gravely brown slush four months out of the year. If I have one that is ripped off on a used car I buy, I go to Ebay and purchase one and replace it, along with putting mud guards on the car.
 
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1,033
Location
Minneapolis
I notice that my oil temp struggles to get up there when I don't have the pan on. And it's a lot messier. I just had one shipped for $80 with shipping - hopefully it fits!
 
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5,442
Location
MTL, CANADA
Are they plastic push clips? OEM clips are pricey. Ive had success with aftermarket ones on my corolla. I never lost the pieces themselves but during our winters with high snow the clips break leaving the shields to drag when driving. You wont have that issue so if you replace them, they will likely last.
 
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Messages
4,838
Location
VA
I would replace them. What I have been told is they are there more to protect engine components from water splashing up on them.
 
Messages
2,959
Location
Western S.C.
On the C, the underpanel is probably attached mostly with plastic push-pins (as on my regular Prius), not with screws. Those things can be frustratingly balky when they get dirty. You can find them on-line less expensive than dealer prices. Part of the (less extensive) under-engine paneling of my Mazda, as well as some of the rubber skirting between the engine and the wheels, was destroyed over the years by road junk. When I later got into a snow storm, snow thrown off the wheels ended up on top of the engine, where it got on the ignition cables and distributor, causing the engine to misfire badly. The misfiring caused a(n otherwise rare) backfire, which blew off a hidden vacuum hose, making the engine run even worse and stall. Incidentally, that never happened in hard rain, only with snow. Getting stuck in deep snow is even more fun when the engine barely runs.
 
Messages
1,698
Location
British Columbia, Canada
I found the belly pan on my Volvo 740 Turbo dragging on the pavement after a 500 km trip. I must have unclipped it and thrown it in the trunk because I wouldn't have had tools with me. It was fine, made of really tough stuff. One of my buddies either lost or had the belly pan heavily damaged (due to a dragging episode) on an almost new Lexus. I don't recall which. He was some annoyed. All that to say a belly pan can get lost "honestly".
 
Messages
2,883
Location
Chicagoland
My 300's splash guard/aero includes scoops to direct air to the front brakes. You may also notice the car runs a little hotter or struggles to warm up without those in place, depending on the vehicle.
 
Messages
1,028
Location
Athens, GA
Originally Posted by Skippy722
My 300's splash guard/aero includes scoops to direct air to the front brakes. You may also notice the car runs a little hotter or struggles to warm up without those in place, depending on the vehicle.
Yep, he touched on it. They also duct air to places it needs to go and needs to get out of. Probably won't make a huge difference unless you're in a blistering hot climate, but it could.
 
Messages
7,939
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
My '05 new-to-me Ranger came with one on the engine's right side and none on the left. I'd love to trace a "real one" as I have stiff plastic which'd work just fine. Looks like I'm going to have to break out paper and cardboard and make a template. These are the splash shields which you lift to gain access to the sparky-poos directly through the wheel well. TASK from the PAST: Sis' '88 XJ (Jeep Cherokee) had ripped and sagging runs of splash shield akin to roofing paper but more plasticy and stronger. I riveted, grommeted, sewed and employed plumber's strapping. It made me proud when done. Never fell.
 
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