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Exhaust Heat Cover- Is it required?

I have Honda Civic 2003. Yesterday the exhaust heat cover got loose and so I called couple of mechanics and car dealership to get it fixed. While all mechanics suggested that it needs to be welded, the service center at dealership suggested that I take it out as it is not required.

I am curious to know, if it is needed if not why was it there in the first place.


If it were me I’d fix it. Heat wears out engine components, so shielding them from the exhaust is a good thing.

Yes you need to fix it.
It would not be there if it was not needed.

I do not believe in removing heat shields. Parts of the exhaust system get EXTREMELY hot. The shields are there to protect the carpet and padding inside the car from overheating and catching on fire, and also to keep tall grass, etc, from contacting direct contact with the exhaust system (fire, again) if you should park in such an area.

Does that sound like something you would want to remove? I’d suggest getting the heat shield fixed.

It MAY not be really needed, but you can get premature degradation of wires/hoses in the area if they get hotter than they should, and there have been instances where sensors and other electronic parts developed very hard-to-diagnose problems that turned out to be due to excessive heat after a heat shield broke off.

You can fefect a permanent repair with a large worm-type hose clamp wrapped around the shield and the componentof the system that it’s surrounding (usually that’ll be the cat converter)…for only a few bucks.

I too recommend not taking it out. I’m amazed that the dealer suggested remmoving it. Should you have a fire you’d have a litigant’s dream.

I would fix it. It might keep your car from catching on fire. It isn’t worth the risk.

I used this method, stainless steel worm clamp, to easily quiet and secure a very noisy and loose heat shield. Two years later it was still very quiet! Simple elegant solution.

It depends on where it’s located.

Usually it’s one of the bottom heat shields that corrode out and cause this a noise. And because they’re the ones exposed to all the road spray and debis, there’s usually nothing left of them. (read not a heat shield anymore) So if you clamp/weld it back into place. It stops making noise, but it’s still not a heat shield. So it’s removed.

The only area to be concerened about heat shield removal is if it protects the carpet in the passenger cabin. Because if these heat shields are removed, it can start the carpet on fire.


Try to repair or replace it if possible as it’s a fire preventer.
Tester makes a great comment about the possibility of the carpet catching on fire.
About 20ish or so years ago a guy I worked with at a car dealer lost an aunt and a cousin in car crash due to this kind of problem.

The cousin was a new driver about 16 years old and was driving at night with the aunt in the front seat and the uncle in the back. The car apparently had a missing heat shield and a catalytic converter that started overheating.
This caused the front carpet to flare up, the new to driving cousin panicked, lost control of the car, and hit a bridge abutment. The uncle survived only because he was asleep and reclined in the back seat.

The recommendation by the dealership that it’s not required sounds like something a service writer would say. Ignore them; most are mechanically clueless.

I am curious to know, if it is needed if not why was it there in the first place.

Many components are used in more than one body style/engine/model year. It’s possible that Honda buys the exhaust pipe from a supplier with the heat shield in place and slaps it into a variety of vehicles during manufacturing whether the specific vehicle needs a heat shield or not.

That said, the heat shield might be needed or advisable and it would make sense to try to keep it. A large hose clamp or some moderately heavy wire (the “baling wire” of old) will likely hold it in place without rattling for quite a few years.

Many heat shields were installed not to protect the car but to prevent grass fires should the vehicle be “off-roaded”…On most vehicles, the “important” heat shields are part of THE CAR, not part of the exhaust system…

no its not needed at all, if it was needed then there would be a bold hole to put it back on when ever u put racing headers on like i did and i havent had any problem and it has caused no heat damage what so ever

Is it a heat shield or a sound shield? Many modern cars have a cowling on top of the engine that reduces the perceived engine noise in the car and standing near it. If it is one of these shields, it is not needed.