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Heat shield

My wife drives a 2005 Honda accord and the catalytic converter heat shield recently fell off. I am wondering if it is safe to continue driving the car without the heat shield? I have read that the main function of the heat shield is to prevent fires when parking in long grass. Does it also protect the bottom of the car from starting on fire?

If you want to err on the safe side, you can have the heat shield replaced, but if you don’t, it’s highly unlikely anything bad will happen unless a serious mechanical problem leads to your catalytic converter overheating, and even at that the heat shield may not help much. If it makes you feel better, get it replaced, but I have seen a lot of cars with missing catalytic converter heat shields, but never heard of any dire consequences actually happening.