2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee - does it really need heat shield?

Gas tank heat shield rusting away, dealer says piece obsolete here in Canada, do I really need to replace it or can I run without one, if I need it any ideas where to locate one, can’t seem to obtain here in Canada

My take is that it wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t necessary. You might try a junkyard or if that doesn’t pan out an independent shop might be able to fabricate something.

19 year old vehicle parts availability doesn’t get any better in the USA.

A used part from a dry area or find someone to make you one. Keeping exhaust heat from a cannister holding flammable liquid is a very good idea. That is why Jeep put one there.


Where in Canada? I live in Montreal and I have no difficulty finding parts for older vehicule.I use a part locator finder from about 100 junkyards in Quebec and Canada.

The corporate beancounters would not authorize the expenditure of even a few cents on something that wasn’t necessary.

If the mfr thought that it was a good idea to shield the gas tank from exhaust heat (a truly radical idea… :wink:), then I think that the OP should also consider that piece of sheet metal to be important.

If comparable part isn’t available from a junk yard, then I think that the OP should try to have one fabricated by a sheet metal shop.

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It’s not a heat shield.

It’s a skid plate.

If you’re not going to be doing rock crawling with your jeep, it’s not required.


Thanks for reply. It is the heat shield I need, not skid plate, part #55136160AE.

Thanks for link to auto recyclers, I will give them a try. I live in Northern Ontario so hopefully they can help

You might try a muffler bender shop, they may have a generic version they can weld on.

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You will need that heat shield when towing a 7,000 trailer up a grade.
In Canada during the winter it will only collect snow and ice, that is why it rusted off.

Is this it?

YES, that is it exactly, thank you for locating, I placed order but was advised seller will not ship to Canada, am trying to figure something out, my daughter has friends in US, hopefully can work it out. Again my thanks for your research.

The hotter a piece of metal gets, the more reactive it gets, that is the faster it rusts. If it rusted off, then it was getting hot and therefore probably needed. If it wasn’t there to take the heat, then your gas tank would have had to take the heat and that would have rusted instead.

If heat heat shields were absolutely necessary, they’d made out of stainless steel, and not made out of cheap sheet metal that rusts away.


So there is no hope of finding a used one in Arizona?
Tail pipes don’t get hot enough to accelerate corrosion.

Funny how the “professional” mechanics call others amateurs and hacks for suggesting using a wire nut on a low voltage/current wire but those same “professionals” are more than willing to leave off a heat shield designed to prevent a gas tank fire. Proves getting paid to do something doesn’t mean you’re actually a professional…

The shield is there as a hazard mitigation. Just like you may never need that airbag you’re riding around with, if the need arises you’ll be glad it’s there. Kudos to the OP for not believing some “mechanics” know more than the people that designed and built the car…


Yes they do. The they are usually aluminized or stainless steel, but have you ever seen a tailpipe last the life of a vehicle?

My 03 trailblazer had the original exhaust system until it was totaled in 2020, and it was in fine shape, so I assume it would have lasted longer, but is 17 years and 200k miles close enough?

“Life of the vehicle” can be subjective, my 1973 Plymouth has the original tailpipes and the surrounding metal surfaces have not rusted away from the heat.

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