lost plastic belly pan under engine compartment due to stuff in the road. problem if it stays “lost”?
I’d replace it
It was there to protect the car from road debris
It has done its job and is now gone . . . the next time you encounter road debris, the damage might be more costly than the cost of the plastic belly pan
In addition to db4690’s comment, I’ll point out that it might keep water from splashing up into the engine compartment during heavy rain and it might help direct airflow through the engine compartment to keep things cool. I also vote for replacing it.
Honda put it there for a reason. You bought a Honda at least in part because you had a good opinion of Hondas. Therefore, you should respect Honda’s decision and replace the pan.
but, not much says you have to replace with brand new. Check and auto recycling yard near you to see if they have any 2015 Honda Fit’s that you could get one of these off of. Nothing wrong with buying used for a plastic shield- as long as it is in good shape.
I think it would be hard to find a wrecked car that age. They will find one across the country, but by the
time you pay the shipping…you ,ay as well buy from the dealer.
Agree, replace it. One blew off my Olds once but I was lucky enough to see it in the mirror and stopped to pick it up again. They use those push pin type connectors a lot and they can come loose.
That piece also aids on fuel economy, however small the difference may be. Look how smooth and sleek the topside of your car is. There’s air flowing along the underside as well, and in the wind tunnel every little bit helps.
Depends on how much it costs to replace it, in my opinion. Our 2013 Highlander has a plastic belly pan under the engine. I assume it’s there for an extra .005 mile per gallon more than anything else. If it fell off, I’d want to replace it just because it came on the car and I’m funny that way. But I wouldn’t spend very much money on it. It won’t hurt to drive without it. Cars have been on the road quite a while without plastic underneath and avoided overheating, underbody damage, etc. The Toyota dealership must not have thought it was very important. They left part of it off (oil filter access panel) when I got the first free oil change after we bought it. I drove to the dealership and asked for it. They had several used ones on hand, presumably that they left off of other people’s cars lol. So your choice, really.
When I hit a raccoon and wrecked my air dam and radiator, I think the part was about $150. So they aren’t cheap and would suspect you’d pay more going in retail to a dealer.
I remember an incident at the dealership, concerning plastic belly pans
Customer came in with damaged belly pan, engine was running fine. The belly pan was essentially destroyed
They declined to pay for a replacement. Labor would have been free, because the customer was also there for a regularly scheduled service, which requires putting the car on a rack, removing the plastic belly pan to drain the oil, etc.
The customer returned a few months later, on the hook.
The engine now had a physically damaged engine oil pan, and the engine was wrecked . . .
Yeah, but was the oil pan wrecked because the plastic pan was gone, or because the owner was a terrible driver who drove over stuff without paying any attention?
All I know is the engine wouldn’t have been wrecked, if the plastic belly pan had been intact and able to do its job
The rest of the car was in great shape, and showed no signs of a bad driver
Being a cheapskate wound up being a costly mistake . . .
Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, it’s impossible to avoid driving over road debris
A few years ago, I was forced to drive over a fiberglass ladder in the middle of the freeway, lengthwise
There were cars to the left and right, and the guy behind was tailgating so badly, he would have clobbered me, if I had slammed on the brakes or even slowed down
the car I was driving did have a plastic belly pan, and it did its job. No damage to the car, except for the plastic belly pan showing some scrapes
Yep sometimes just hard to avoid road debris.
I hear you but also consider that every year, they make designs with less margin for error to save costs. That nice to have pan years ago may now be the only thing between normal airflow/temperature and over heating under the right conditions. Very little is completely unnecessary anymore but you may get away with it, until you don’t
I guess now that they’re making a lot of oil pans out of plastic, might not be a bad idea to keep the belly pan. On our highlander, I liken it to an air damn. I’d rather have it, but if it comes off, I wouldn’t sweat it too much.
Isn’t your oil pan made of stamped steel . . . ?
The one I mentioned earlier was made out of aluminum . . .
If you’re asking me, yes, stamped steel on the highlander. Steel on my Sierra also. Cast aluminum on the ole Buick. The Highlander is the newest vehicle we have, and the only one of the three with a plastic belly pan. Sort of leads me to believe the pan is there for aerodynamics and fuel savings (not a bad thing) more than it is for engine protection, cooling, etc. Although obviously the extra protection (albeit plastic), could definitely be helpful in the right circumstances.
I took the original question as asking is this plastic belly pan being removed going to affect the function of the vehicle. I’m in the minority, but I still say no. Yes, it adds a small amount of protection and fuel savings (very small). Yes, if the vehicle came with it, I’d prefer to have it. No, if it cost $200 to get another one, I personally wouldn’t.
I wouldn’t drive my 26 year old Corolla without its under-engine plastic shields intact. Not for any distance. Too much risk of damage from road debris getting tossed up and hitting engine parts or the designed-in under-engine air flow patterns for cooling and aerodynamics disturbed.
I am generall in favor of belly pans for aero and stopping huge amounts of water being thrown up on the serpentine belt but they have gone too far when you have to remove them to do an oil change.