Lower engine splash shield - do I have to have this?

I have a 2003 Nissan Altima. The splash shield underneath the engine has broken loose from the bolts several times. It’s to the point that it can’t be repaired, so I removed it. Do I need to replace it and why?

It is a good idea to replace it. That shield keeps road water from getting up onto the drive belts for the accessories, like power steering pump, alternator, etc. When water gets on the belts they can slip causing loss of power steering and the alternator light coming ‘on’. Also that shield keeps air under the car from mixing with the air going through the radiator, causing overheating problems and reducing mileage.

Consider that Nissan would not have gone to corporate expense of putting that piece there it was just consmetic. If you plan to keep the Altima, bite the bullet and replace that part as it may not be available from the dealer as the years advance.


I don’t know about your Nissan, but Ford had a problem a few years ago where their Crown Victorias would throw off their power steering belts in the rain, because Ford thought it’d be a good idea to remove the splash shield. Apparently, the police forces weren’t too impressed when they lost power steering while on a call.

I imagine the shield is there to protect the belts from slipping, and from getting anything wet that shouldn’t be. I would replace it.

That must have been a long time ago. I think that the CVs have a FEAD belt an no splash guard since before 1990.

Something that bothers me about the splash/belt slip thing bothers me. These belts are right behind the radiator. It appears that modern cars get their cooling air from below the bumper meaning that lots of water will splash through the radiator. If it is raining hard, lots of water will come through the radiator in any case. I can’t see that a little splash directly from the road will make any difference.

Why not fix the old shield? jb weld can fix the old shield

The problem only effected CVs from 98 to 03, I think. And they did have splash guards except for those years, when Ford decided it’d be okay to remove them. I don’t know how many (if any) civilian CVs had problems, but the police complained about it. Maybe something different about the police driving style?