2001 A4 2.8Q Bottom Engine shield.

While driving in heavy snow the bottom shield came loose when all the quick release plastic screws gave out. The front of the shield dropped and acted like a large snow scoop. What is the purpose of this part,
other than to keep dirt out? Can I leave it off? It sure would make changing oil easier. Is there a more secure way to fasten it back on? TIA.
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For a company that prides itself on its engineering acumen, the design of this component ought to be an embarrassment. It not only uses far too many fasteners but they are not even all the same type! And the good engine design that placed the oil filter and oil drain plug next to each other is compromised. I only have about half of the original fasteners remaining on my '98 A4 2.8qms. I suppose it streamlines airflow through the radiator and under the vehicle. It also serves to catch the inevitable oil leaks from the various seals on this engine. You could try leaving it off and monitor the oil and coolant temperature for changes. A better way to fasten it back on? I don't know, hell, maybe Velcro. Hmmmm.
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There was a recall on many A4/A4 2.8's about a year or so ago to correct some of the problems with this shield. Check with your dealer.
-- Jay. (remove dashes for legal email address)
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The purpose of that shield are multi-fold. It reduces road noise from intruding into the cockpit, cleans up the under-car aerodynamics, and protects engine compartment components from debris, water and random road crud.
It's worth keeping - and worth taking the most modest of preventive measures to make sure all fasteners are in place...
/daytripper '00 s4 6spd, original shield w/original fasteners, all still intact
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The fasteners arn't the best for sure. Some people use cable ties to keep the thing on - especially where it joins to the inner wheel arch liner. There have been a number of reports of people leaving them off & then finding that the inner arch liner flaps about & then gets worn through by the tyre.
I.
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It was there for a purpose, car manufacturers don't just tack on stuff especially mid end German cars.
Install it back, properly.
BTW, there are noise on the AW board about leaving it off causing overheating, etc
--
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