Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

How important are heat shields

In the midst of my continuously developing terrible brake job drama (already posted previously),the mechanic removed 2 heat shields that were ratting around. How important are these? I have a Honda Civic 2002.

It depends on where it’s located. The ones that run along the top of the exhaust system are more important than those that run along the bottom. In that the ones above prevent heat from the bottom of the car and maybe setting the carpet on fire. The ones on the bottom are for if you should park in tall grass or a pile of leaves it doesn’t start a forest fire. Sometimes noisy heat shields need to be removed because there’s literally nothing left of them. And when they get that bad, it actually is like not having a heat shield at all.


They would not put them there if not needed.
Repair guy should have replaced them but did not want to mess with them more than likely.
If I was a repair guy and took them off I would be afraid if a fire started someone would sue me.

My brother-in-law had a Ford which was out of tune and the catalytic converter started acting like an afterburner. The heat shield was missing and, yes, it set the floor carpets on fire. Never remove the top heat shield, as other say, it’s there as a safety device.

They are not important at all…as long as you don’t mind watching your car go up in flames!

Loose heat shields can be wired, or clamped in place, to quiet them, and let them continue to do their job. It works.

I would argue that all the shields are important. Should you go to the company picnic, forget you have no lower heat shield, and park on the grass, you may regret having considered the lower one unimportant. Recurring fires in vehicles parked on grasss were a real problem when cat converters first came out, before they started putting shields on. It’s a very real danger.

Heat shields on converters can be permanantly secured using large worm-type hose clamps from the hardware store. If yours have been removed, you may want to see of there are some clamp on aftermarket shields that will work.