Heat Shield on 1998 Honda Civic



I know that this topic has been discussed before, but I wanted to be sure about my specific car. I had a rattling noise and brought my car to my mechanic. He said that the heat shield was causing the rattling and he removed it. When I asked if I should have the heat shield replaced, he said “Only if you plan to drive through a cornfield”. I bring my car to a car wash where they spray the underbody. Will the water from the car wash affect my car if I no longer have a heat shield? Should the heat shield be replaced for any other reason?


Well. Try to find a replacement heat shield. Nobody sells them. Heat shields are part of the exhaust components. So if you want to replace the heat shield you have to replace the exhaust component with an OEM component that includes the heat shield.

Your mechanic is right. Unless you park in tall grass or a pile of dead leaves with the hot exhaust you MIGHT start a fire. But if you look on the side of the road you’ll see heat shields that have fallen off vehicles and the owners never know it.

I’ve removed a lot of heat shields in my day from vehicles because there was nothing left of the heat shield. Just enough material to cause a rattling noise. And none of these vehicles have never started a fire.



I agree with your mechanic also. Those heat shields came about when the very early catalytic converters started a few fires in tall grass. If you use common sense you won’t need the shield at all. In fact, if you drive into very tall grass the heat shield will do you no good anyway.


I would replace the heat shield. Honda put it there for a reason.

Some day the car might break down and you might need to pull over onto tall dry grass. Doing it without the heat shield could cause a fire.

Which heat shield are you talking about? There are one or two under the hood, and more under the car. If I was going to tell you it was okay, I would at least need to know which heat shield we are talking about.


The loose heat shield probably didn’t have to be removed. When the bolted areas have rusted away, I have wrapped heavy wire all the way around the catalytic converter, and THAT held the shield in place. Your mechanic could do that, also.