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I recently noticed something dragging on the ground underneath my car. Turns out, it was part of my car! It was barely hanging on, and I had to drive 30 mi home from work, so I removed it. Come to find out, it was a cover for part of the exhaust system. It had rusted off. I did a little research and found out that it’s much cheaper to order the part online than it is to get it from the dealership. What I would like to know is, How vital is that cover? Is is safe to drive my car until the replacement parts arrive in the mail?

The parts are 18181-PLD-000 and 18182-PLD-000. My boyfriend said he can put them back on but we don’t know if it’s unsafe to drive or not.

These are the heat shields for the catalytic converter. The bottom one isn’t a big deal (assuming you don’t park on grass), but the top one does keep excess heat from going into your car. Safe? I really don’t know. If it was me I would be concerned about a 30-mile commute, and I might poney up the extra $$ to get it now from the dealer, rather than later mail-order. Any way you could temporarily wire the old ones back on?

The heat shield has been gone from my CRX (Civic-based) for 7 years now. Too much trouble to mount a replacement for what you get from it, which is pretty much nothing.

It’s remotely possible that if for whatever reason you decide to park in tall dry weeds after driving very hard you might set something on fire, but other than that, i wouldn’t worry about it.

My sources show the numbers as the upper and lower catalytic converter covers. There are a lot of people who remove them when they start to rattle but they were put there for safety. If you pull over into some tall grass it could start a fire. I would replace them ASAP.

Or just don’t park on top of grass or leaves.


Easily done if you don’t live out west.

An associate of mine parked his relatively new BMW in the garage over a small pile of rug pieces being torn up in the house for replacement. I don’t know how high the pile was but it did catch on fire and severely damaged the garage and car. Also up in the northern Midwest the fall leaf piles at the curb are also a danger and several cars have caught on fire. Probably a danger with and without the shield, take heed.

The shield isn’t going to do a whole lot to protect you from setting a pile of leaves on fire. It’s a piece of metal attached to hot piece of metal. The shield itself will get very hot. The shield will act like a radiator to take heat away from the cat assuming there’s airflow over it, but when you park there’s generally not. It’s really not overly necessary. It might be able to stop you from setting tall dry grass on fire, but if your cat is hot enough to do that, the pre-cat exhaust segments likely are too, and they aren’t shielded. In short: Don’t park on tall dry grass.