How important is the engine bay underguard?
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This is a discussion on How important is the engine bay underguard? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I have a 2009 WRX with about 40k miles on it. More than once I've had the engine bay underguard ...

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    How important is the engine bay underguard?

    I have a 2009 WRX with about 40k miles on it.

    More than once I've had the engine bay underguard (or whatever you call that big plastic protective piece you need to remove before doing an oil change, etc) come loose, in one case on the highway to the point where it disintegrated before I could figure out pull off the road and figure out what was going on.

    The dealer replaced that underguard under warranty, and now the new one has found its way loose (could be when I scraped it going up a buddies driveway the other day). As soon as I heard the tell-tale wind noise combined with an occasional scraping noise (when the guard would contact the road) I pulled over and removed the damn thing myself.

    Anyway, went into the dealer for some routine maintenance and they noticed the guard was gone. They want me to bring it in next time so that they can put it back on for me, free of charge. They seem to think it is important enough to keep on (vs. leaving it off, which I'm otherwise tempted to do).

    My question is, how important is that underguard piece? Does it really protect the underside of the engine bay from rocks and such enough to warrant messing with it? Better aerodynamics?

    I know it catches spilled oil/coolant/etc, should there be any of that (fortunately on my car that isn't (yet) a problem, not to mention I park it in a public garage most of the time).

    I'm really tempted to leave it off unless someone can point out a good reason to keep it on.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

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    Registered User nofear6235's Avatar
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    Not only it protect engine bay from dust and moisture, but it's actually improve air flow while driving, pointing fresh/cold air with greater pressure under and around the engine venting hot air out, therefore make engine cools better.
    If installed correctly it is very secure unless it deformed , etc..
    I never had mine fails in almost 5 years.
    Alex

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    Quote Originally Posted by nofear6235 View Post
    not only it protect engine bay from dust and moisture, but it's actually improve air flow while driving, pointing fresh/cold air with greater pressure under and around the engine venting hot air out, therefore make engine cools better.
    If installed correctly it is very secure unless it deformed , etc..
    I never had mine fails in almost 5 years.
    Alex
    +1
    '02 WRX 4EAT, 311,000KMs/194,500Miles, Sold. Best car I ever had. '09 STi stage 1, hope this one will be good too...

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    Registered User mudferret's Avatar
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    Also offers some protection for your oil filter, would suck to take a rock to the filter and lose your oil.
    ...Rob.
    MMVI WRX - VF43 Airboy Tuned @ 3500'

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    Registered User dbya rx's Avatar
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    i see you live in chicago. the engine shield will keep all the gunk from the winter out of your engine bay. all the salt, oils, and general grossness that there is on the roads. that stuff will eat away at your engine parts if exposed for long periods of time

    if they are going to replace it for free, why not
    Stink-eye Mob #814004
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    DUB
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    It also keeps water from splashing up onto your hot exhaust manifold when it rains.

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    Registered User hunter20ga's Avatar
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    I can't speak authoritatively about the effect of the guard, but I have to believe that the engineers at Subaru must have felt that it's important...and convinced the bean counters. If Subaru didn't put them on the tens of thousands of cars they sell, they'd make just that much more profit on each vehicle. After all, this is not an accessory that any buyer asks for, so it doesn't help "sell" the car. I'd put it back on...and I'd want the dealer to figure out why you've had it come off twice. That's not normal.

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    Yes to all above responses including the spot on bean counter comment.
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    Moderator T0rque's Avatar
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    I had mine off for a long while... Body shop told me it was backordered.. Made no difference to me, but my car never drove in moisture...


    Lead Wrench @ WTF Tuning, LLC

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    I am convinced the guard is a good idea, and had it reinstalled by the dealer today.

    They are aware of the issues I've recently had with it, and have assured me it is now secured. I plan to check their work by driving the entire way to work tomorrow at 140MPH.

    Thanks again for your help.

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    I was having an overheating problem and wanted a quick fix while I was waiting for my Mishimoto stuff to arrive so I pulled the undercover off, it sort of worked. Keep in mind, it was overheating while I was stopped. So I guess it may direct airflow well when the car is moving, but when your car is stopped it does not do anything but insulate the heat. I've seen some tuners take it off when running the car on the dyno, just so they can get some more airflow into the engine bay since the car is not moving.

    I never put it back on and have never really noticed anything different, keep in mind though I do not daily drive my car.
    Last edited by profall; 09-01-2010 at 07:05 PM.

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