The engine compartment is protected from water and debris by a plastic engine splash shield (under cover, under shield). It reduces aerodynamic drag to a minor extent and so improves highway fuel economy. The engine splash shield redirects air flow over components that need to be cooled, such as an oil pan or an alternator, in some vehicles. A metal splash shield is found on some trucks.
A fender liner (inner fender) is a plastic cover that is fitted between the wheel and the fender inside the wheel well. The car body, as well as the wiring and other components fitted inside the wheel well, are all protected. There is a fender liner for each front wheel.
These parts are frequently damaged due to their position. It’s a typical issue for many drivers, especially during the winter. When driving over packed snow, road debris, or parking over a high curb, plastic parts become fragile and break easily.
Some car manufacturers build their vehicles so that an engine splash shield must be removed every time an oil change is performed. As a result, some of the fasteners eventually wear out and become lost. You might notice a splash shield hanging down and scraping the road if fasteners are missing or broken. When driving, a loose splash shield might generate a flapping or scraping noise.
Is an engine splash shield standard on all cars?
No, some older vehicles lack it. Under the engine, modern automobiles and SUVs have at least one splash shield. It could be made up of various components. Other portions of the undercarriage are protected by extra shields on some cars.
What happens if you don’t have an engine splash shield?
Splashing water and sand can cause some engine bay elements, such as an alternator or drive belt, to wear out faster if it’s absent. A missing splash shield can also result in some electrical issues. Problems with the windshield washer pump or fog lights, for example, or rust inside fuse boxes and transmission wire harness connectors are all examples.
The usage of road salt during the winter months is especially harmful to electrical components. If an engine or transmission oil pan is composed of stamped steel, it may rust through if not properly covered over time.
Water will splash inside the wheel well and on the back of the headlight assembly if one of the front fender liners is partially cracked or missing. Corrosion and other issues with the headlight wiring and connectors, as well as other electrical equipment in the wheel wells, are common as a result of this. In an older Dodge Caliper, for example, the relay box is under the left headlight unit, immediately in front of the left front wheel. Corrosion inside that box will cause a slew of electrical issues.
Your mechanic may be able to re-secure a loose splash shield or fender liner. If a loose shield or fender liner is partially shattered and can’t be properly fixed, it should be replaced, since a loose shield or liner might pose a safety hazard if it separates while driving. If the part isn’t available, your mechanic may suggest temporarily removing it if driving without it is safe.
What is the cost of replacing an engine splash shield?
For a typical automobile, a large center part costs between $45 and $190. Check costs online before ordering from a dealer; aftermarket components are less expensive. Some automobiles come with a front shield and side guards that can be purchased separately for $15-$50 apiece. Because old clips break quickly, you may also require hardware (fasteners) such as clips and bolts. Depending on the complexity, labor costs range from $35 to $160. For an ordinary car, replacing a fender liner (inner fender) will cost $45-$120 for the item + $20 for the hardware, plus $55-$120 labor.