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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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672 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure this has been talked about before, but...

I noticed a flap of plastic hanging down from it in the center, about 1-1/2" wide and about 4" long. I can't see anywhere that it connects to keep it from hanging. So, should I cut it off, or should I just remove the whole plastic shield?

I know mine has a very slow leak from at least one valve cover, about 1 quart in 3,000 miles, and the shield will help keep this from ending up on the ground.

Thoughts?
 

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06 Outback 2.5i, 06 BMW 325xi wagon, 02 2.5rs, 82 CB750, Polaris XC SP 500, and a single speed bike.
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876 Posts
Fix the valve cover gasket ;)

I've been running without the shield for a year. No big deal.
 

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Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,114 Posts
that flap is probably the sliding panel for oil filter access dislodhed from its 'track'.

If the undercover is cracked it's expensive to buy and I've read the Legacies don't have it so, probably no issu e with leaving it off.

I bought a replacement in the past from subarugenuineparts.com but won't buy another one.
 

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Premium Member
2005 3.0 R n totaled
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7,526 Posts
In some climate zones (like FL) they don't even bother to put those on the car. My wife's Honda Civic has holes there for fasteners but the shield is not there. I checked with the dealer and that is, what I was told!
 

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2009 2.5i, H4, Auto.
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838 Posts
The reason that it is there is It helps to keep dirt (and salt in the rust belt) off the engine, protect the engine from small rocks and road debris and it also help aerodynamics a bit. If you take it off you will have a small (probably too small to measure) drop in mileage.

Will it matter in the long run if it is there? Probably not.
 

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1995 2.2 Auto Legacy Sedan
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142 Posts
I replaced mine when we bought the car. I think of it as cheap protection. How many years it last vs how much it cost works out to cheap protection in my mind. It is a pain to unscrew it and reattach it every time. Like taking off and putting on my boat cover every trip. I know it is helping to protect it over the long run.
 

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2000 OBW, AT, 290.5k miles when I sold it
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61 Posts
Mine got all torn up when I slid into a ravine a few years ago, so I made one out of scrap steel. I figure it ought to be better for the occasional off-roading. Now I need something on the sides like the plastic one had. That's one plus I've found for the plastic one, that it kept water off the belts. Now any descent puddle gets my alt belt slipping for 10 or 20 seconds...
 

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2003 Outback Limited 2.5L H4 5MT Regatta Red Pearl w/ lift and audio system
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1,255 Posts
Yea I had mine off all last summer/fall. I put it back on for the winter...but come to think of it, I didn't put it back on after the last oil change a couple weeks ago. :lol:
 

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Premium Member
2005 3.0 R n totaled
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7,526 Posts
Over the years I found that if you have your oil changed (by someone else than you - especially the quick lube centers) many of the fasteners get either lost or never put back in all spots, where they belong. That is one of the reasons that I do my oil changes myself....LOL
 

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80 Posts
The reason that it is there is It helps to keep dirt (and salt in the rust belt) off the engine, protect the engine from small rocks and road debris and it also help aerodynamics a bit. If you take it off you will have a small (probably too small to measure) drop in mileage.
I'm considering taking off my plastic cover because I fear it is makes my car LESS aerodynamic.

The center of it is hanging down and the "oil filter panel" is missing so its just hanging down catching all the air at highway speeds.

I have a feeling I might get better gas mileage without it.

But I do like to do rough off-roading, and I drive through Wisconsin snow and salt. So I'm not sure if I really need it or not...
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,691 Posts
Mine got all torn up when I slid into a ravine a few years ago, so I made one out of scrap steel. I figure it ought to be better for the occasional off-roading. Now I need something on the sides like the plastic one had. That's one plus I've found for the plastic one, that it kept water off the belts. Now any descent puddle gets my alt belt slipping for 10 or 20 seconds...
On a similar note, I tore mine off the wagon on a mud covered road = car was floating on the mud spinning away. Did not stop. Found out the next day while cleaning off all the mud, that I lost it. Just to see if it were still usable, I went back to that road with a friend and a 4WD high pickup, and did not find it. (someone else must have picked it up) I also did not want to liter.

I bought a whole new one for big bucks, and that was 10 years ago. Now it just got a big 12" tear in the front driver side. The fix was using a small power drill to make a row of holes on each side of the tear, and 8 cable ties.

I do like the aluminum ones, maybe if I loose one again I will buy one or pound one together with laminated aluminum. (like road signs). There is another thread here with a pic of one made out of a antique stop sign.:17:
 

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'01 Outback
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220 Posts
You could think of the plastic one as cheap insurance for your oil filter. It only takes one rock puncture to make that valve cover leak inconsequential.
 

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22,802 Posts
I replaced mine subaru parts online I think it was like $50 shipped took me about 8 minutes to replace it. More than anything its a rain / splash deflector helps keep road debri grime from getting splashed up under the car. My new Gen4 doesn't have any type of shield at all its just open and yes it seems to get far more dirty under the hood.
 

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Mine got all torn up when I slid into a ravine a few years ago, so I made one out of scrap steel. I figure it ought to be better for the occasional off-roading. Now I need something on the sides like the plastic one had. That's one plus I've found for the plastic one, that it kept water off the belts. Now any descent puddle gets my alt belt slipping for 10 or 20 seconds...
What were the dimensions needed to make one out of scrap metal? do you have any pictures of how it looks?
 

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2000 OBW, AT, 290.5k miles when I sold it
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61 Posts
Your reply just got me to thinking, I sold that car a few months ago, but remembered that I had taken that cover off to do something and never got around to putting it back. So I have one if you want it, and happen to be around central Indiana. Otherwise, its 30 1/8" wide (I don't remember, but that's likely just how wide the scrap was to start), and about 23" long. I made some crude bends in it and it fit pretty good. I have a couple pics, but uploading them from my phone isn't working right now. I could text them or email them if you want, or I can try later from a computer
 

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2003 Subaru Outback Base
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91 Posts
If you ever go mudding, you might want that shield on the car. When I went mudding I didn't have mine (it's busted anyway) and I've regretted it ever since. There was so much gravel in the mud that it actually got into my belts and ruined them. I've washed the car so many time to try and get all the mud out and I still haven't gotten it all.

So yea, if mudding, get that shield on :).
 

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2003 LLBean H6-3.0
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1 Posts
The plastic shield has some material that attaches to it. 1 rectangular piece on each side (2 total). It looks like it might be heat protection for the plastic from the heads. Does anyone know if those are replacement parts by themselves? Mine got fouled with oil and I want to replace them.
 
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