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Skid Plates

I own a 2008 Scion Xb that has low clearance and for the second winter in a row, I have ripped off a skid plate or two in the snow. I am wondering if these things are truly worth the $140 I spent to replace them last year or if they are merely “decorative” as my boyfriend claims. Help!

Are you sure it’s a skid plate and NOT a splash guard?? Ripping off a skid plate requires some serious torque. I’m also amazed that just snow can rip this off. Are you driving through snowbanks??? The splash guard on my wifes Lexus is only about 6" off ground…I can’t imagine the one on your XB is much lower.

It’s probably a plastic or pressed board splash guard. And yes they are needed. They are designed to keep water from splashing onto the engine where it’s NOT wanted (i.e belts, ignition components).

I’ve never heard of skid plates for a Scion. Skid plates are thick metal plates designed to protect vital parts on heavy-duty off road vehicles, such as Jeeps, pick-up trucks and SUVs. They are VERY firmly attached and not likely to be torn off by anything short of a boulder. Snow won’t tear off a skid plate.

You’re more likely tearing off the plastic splash guards under the front of the car. They are more than decorative. They protect the engine’s belts and sensors from water, snow, slush, etc. being splashed up in the engine compartment.

Thank you both for your response. I was calling them “skid plates” as that is what I have heard them called, but I could certainly be wrong. Splash guards definitely makes more sense. The piece I have in my trunk is a hard plastic piece and like I said, the part hanging from the underbelly looks like shiny aluminum.

As for the driving style, I am jsut driving the streets (granted Prtland has some heavy snow) but that is part of the reason that I am so annoyed it keeps coming off!

I assume you mean Portland ME…since Portland OR hardly gets any snow…And as for Portland ME…Sorry, but they don’t get much snow either. At least no where near enough that you’re driving in deep snow much. Sorry, but this still doesn’t seem right that it should be coming off.

Check the weather for Portland, OR from the last two weeks and you will see that we got over 18 inches in the city. The whole thing was shut down and besides that, we have a huge mountain right next door that we use to ski, snow shoe etc.

Believe me, I don’t want them coming off either. The one this year come off onthe streets of Portland and the one from last year came off up at the mountain. I promise you, I am not a crazy driver.

Check the weather for Portland, OR from the last two weeks and you will see that we got over 18 inches in the city. The whole thing was shut down and besides that, we have a huge mountain right next door that we use to ski, snow shoe etc.

That’s kinda laughable…We had 30" here in 2 days…Friend of mine in Oswego NY had 130" in 5 days. So as I said…you don’t get enough snow…something else is going on here.

I am going to disagree. In heavy rain and the like, the electrical parts in the engine bay are going to get wet splash guard or no splash guard and so they’re all insulated well enough that getting good splash of water here and there won’t bother them. Getting water on the belts will make an annoying noise for a few seconds, but won’t hurt anything. The splash guards are there partly just to keep the engine bay looking clean, but they’re also very commonly used to improve the aerodynamic qualities of a car to reduce wind noise on the highway. I don’t think it’s critically important that you keep replacing the thing, unless the alternator is mounted especially low in which case it might be necessary to keep mud out of its moving parts.

I’d also suggest that maybe the person who’s been replacing them might not have been attaching them correctly because it really isn’t normal to have them come off so easily. I used to drive an '06 xB for work and there were a few customers that I did work for that were up unmaintained dirt roads and I slogged that little car through some very deep snow and as far as I know I never lost a splash guard. Also, at least on the '06 model, the ground clearance on that car really wasn’t as low as it looked. I don’t know if on this car if you need to remove a splash guard to change the oil, but if so the quicky oil change places are notorious for not properly reattaching them.

I will ask about the oil change. I would be a bit annoyed if that were the case since so far it has only had its oil changed at the Scion dealership where I bought it. Have I mentioned that I hate cars!?

The sheer volume of snow probably isn’t all that relevant. I just got back from visiting Seattle, which is also being paralyzed by a seemingly small amount of snow. These cities have practically no snow removal equipment and the weeks of people driving on it and it thawing and refreezing have formed these horrible moguls and divots in the road. It’s like having to drive up a really nasty and slippery logging road to get anywhere! I of course felt invincible with my 4x4 with good all-terrain tires and Montana plates, but I could easily see those roads causing damage to a small car like this, especially when there’s fresh powder on top of it and you can’t see all the nasty little formations.