Many times, you’ll find a plastic splash shield installed underneath the front of the car for multiple purposes. These shields not only prevent foreign objects from getting into the engine compartment and causing damage, but also protect against water getting into the drive belt area. If water enters that area, the drive belt may actually slip on the pulleys. You are hearing the squeaking noise because water intrusion has occurred. This is not especially harmful but it probably means that the shield is either disfigured or not there at all.
Shields are frequently damaged when you pull too close to parking spots and hit the sidewalk curb slightly, or when you hit one of those parking stops because your car sits a little bit lower than the average vehicle. If you hit the shield enough times, eventually it will come off. The photo above shows just such an example.
If that happens, your lower engine area will be exposed and could sustain damage from water, a rock or other debris. Check to see if this plastic shield is in good condition when you wash your car or get fuel. It only takes a moment, and could save you thousands of dollars in repairs.
While it may not seem like a big deal in Yuma, we do get heavy downpours and flooded streets in some areas. We have seen expensive damage result from water intrusion into the engine compartment due to broken or missing splash shields. Don’t let that happen to you!
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