Is it time to replace the worn splash shield on your Honda Civic, and do you want to know how to replace it correctly? You've come to the right place, for we have researched this question and have the answer for you.
Replacing the splash shield on your Honda Civic is as simple as removing the plastic clips along your car's front that hold it in place.
Let's discuss the specific steps for removing the splash shield in the succeeding sections. Learn some best practices you can use when replacing the splash shield of your Honda Civic below.
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Do I need a splash shield in my Honda Civic?
A splash shield is known by many names—lower engine cover, engine splash guard, and skid plate. Regardless of its many names, it performs important functions for your Honda Civic—protecting the components of the engine bay.
Technically, your engine will still run even without a splash shield.
However, the real question is, how long will you be able to use your Honda Civic until you need to stop to replace an important engine component?
What does a splash shield do?
Whenever you drive your Civic, your wheels cause water and debris on the road to fly off behind the path of your tires. Most of the time, debris doesn't do much to affect your car, especially if they just pass under the tires and off to the back of your car.
Keep in mind that the greater the speed you travel, the greater the speed of the debris under your car. The faster they move, the greater the force they would have when they hit something.
The splash shield protects the important parts under your Civic, like the oil pan, the transmission, the radiator, the exhaust pipes, and the radiator fan. It prevents debris, rock, mud, and water from getting to these parts.
Stones or debris traveling at high speeds can damage the oil pan and transmission, especially if it happens a lot. The radiator and the radiator fan are even more vulnerable to getting hit by fast-moving objects because they are not made of thick metal.
The exhaust pipes, the oil pan, and the radiator can be punctured by fast-moving rocks colliding with them.
The splash shield absorbs the impact from these impacts while you're driving. Replacing the parts of your engine that these collisions will damage costs a lot more than replacing the splash shield. Depending on where you live, on average, you only need to replace the splash shield once during the lifetime of your Civic.
Protection From Potholes
In addition to protecting parts of the engine from collisions with small debris, the engine splash shield also protects the bottom area of the engine from rubbing against the road when you hit potholes. Your Honda Civic is not a vehicle with very high clearance. A large enough speed bump or pothole can scratch the bottom of your Civic when you drive over them at significant speed.
Improving Gas Mileage
Perhaps the most overlooked function of the splash shield is making your car more aerodynamic.
When you drive at high speeds, air traveling under and over your car also travels at a proportionate speed. You don't need to worry about the air that travels above your Civic because the top of your Civic has a shape that gives it very little air resistance.
However, the air traveling under your car will not have the same smooth path unless you have a functional splash shield in place.
A splash shield makes the underside of your car more aerodynamic. Being more aerodynamic means that your car will be able to save more fuel.
Protection From Salt
The splash shield also prevents salt from getting to various areas of the engine and causing corrosion.
Road salt helps prevent ice formation on roads in the winter. This helps make roads safer because a less icy road is less slippery.
However, salt can wreak havoc on the metal parts of your engine, causing parts to rust or corrode.
A splash shield protects the components of your car from too much salt getting to the engine bay and the sensitive parts there. Thus, a splash shield helps prevent rust and corrosion under your car.
What are splash shields made of?
Plastic splash shields are the most common type that you'd see. They are cheap and light and don't need any metallic fasteners to keep them in place.
However, a plastic splash shield is less durable. It can easily be torn off if a hard enough object snags it from under your Civic while driving.
A more durable option for a plastic splash shield is a fiberglass splash shield. It has all the advantages of a plastic splash shield, but it is lighter than plastic and is much stronger.
Metal—specifically, aluminum—is also a material option for manufacturing aftermarket splash shields. This is a logical option if you travel offroad more often because it is sturdier and gives better protection against road debris and rock collisions.
An aluminum splash shield is more expensive than a plastic splash shield and a fiberglass splash shield. However, it is a lot more durable than both.
How to replace the engine splash shield in Honda Civic?
Preparing Your Honda Civic
- Park your Honda Civic on level ground. This is important to maintain its stability because you will need to raise the front side.
- Activate the parking brake.
- Set your transmission to Park(P).
Getting Under Your Civic
- Jack up the front of your Honda Civic using the proper jacking points.
- Place jack stands under the car at the same jacking points. Place one jack stand near both front wheels. Lock the jack stands.
- Shake your Honda Civic to test its stability.
- Lower the jack, then raise it until it barely touches the jacking point. This will allow the jack to serve as a backup in case one of the jack stands fails.
Removing The Old Splash Shield
- Carefully turn the steering wheel to the right to make the front underside of the wheel well more accessible.
- Locate the front part of the splash shield under the wheel well.
- Use a trim remover to remove the clips. Start removing the plastic clips from the core at the center. There are two notches on the side of the clips that allow you to dig out the core. Once the core is out, you can easily pull the clip out.
- Turn the steering wheel to the other side to give you space to work on that side. Do the same thing to remove the splash guard clips on that side.
- Once you remove the clips on both sides of the wheel well, go under your Honda Civic and look for the Phillips screws on both sides of the splash shield.
- Remove the Phillips screws to loosen the splash shield.
- Most splash shields have a metal screw retainer that supports the Phillips screw. If your replacement splash shield doesn't have this retainer, be sure not to lose this as you remove the old splash shield.
- If this retainer is already missing, you need to get a replacement before installing the new splash shield.
- Start to remove the clips along the perimeter of the front bumper. Remove the clips from the splash shield's sides, moving to the center.
- Once you get all the clips, slide the old splash shield out from under the front bumper.
Installing The New Splash Shield
- Slide the new splash shield under the front bumper starting from the center.
- Align the center hole of the splash shield with the hole on the front bumper.
- Insert a new plastic clip into the hole. Make sure that the plastic clip is in position. It should be through the hole on the bumper and the splash shield.
- Insert the central core of the clip to lock it in place.
- You can reuse the old clips if you want. Although you will probably notice that some clips are missing. Since you're replacing the missing clips, anyway, why not replace all the clips to give your new splash shield a more stable fit?
- Continue installing the plastic clips until you complete the installation along the bumper.
- Slide the screw retainers into position on both sides of the splash shield.
- Install the Phillips screw on both sides of the bumper. The Phillips screw should go through the front bumper, then through the hole of the screw retainer.
- Start on the side of the wheel well where the wheels are already turned. Position the splash shield along the wheel well, sliding it under the wheel well guard.
- Align the holes of the splash shield with the holes of the wheel well guard and insert the plastic clip, and then the core.
- Install all the clips on that side of the wheel well and do the same thing on the other wheel well after you turn the steering wheel to that side.
Replacing the splash shield of your Honda Civic is simple when you know where to start and have the right tools.
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