My son’s 2013 Dodge Avenger’s front air dam has been damaged to the point that he had to remove it. Does this air dam perform any real purpose (directing air to the radiator, better handling, etc) or is it just cosmetic?
It directs air to the radiator and reduces fuel consumption a small amount.
If the car has full coverage insurance see if the repair is more than the deductible and decide whether to claim or not. It is only 4 years old why not fix it ?
If you mean a lower air deflector near the bottom radiator support then yes it does serve a purpose and needs to be replaced.
A missing air deflector can cause overheating at highway speeds but will have no effect at idle and a negligible effect at lower/ in town speeds.