splash guard for engine/bumper

recently bought a BMW 2003 325ci...seems the previous owenr had a bit of a "off-road experience" shearing off the engine splash guard and damaging the bumper. bumper was replaced however the right splash
guard for the bumper is not installed, as well as the engine splash guard...
to what effect do these splash guards play in the overall "working" of the car? prevent water from spraying up into the headlight assemly/ engine compartment? to dissapate the heat from the engine? to protect the engine from scraping the ground ?
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On 2 Apr 2007 18:41:56 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Not so much a splash guard more an air smoother that guides the air under the car for increased road holding and slipstreaming as on F1 and Indy race cars.
A smooth undercarriage is like an airplane wing - get vacuum under the car and it sticks like glue....................
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Although Oscar is correct that it helps downforce, the increase is very minor.
More properly, it smooth's the airflow, which along with the bumper/air dam reduces drag to increase mileage. If you look closely, you will notice that there are also airfoil clip-on's on the lower control arms to reduce drag (and noise).
I had to replace both bottom covers on my 330xi; the front costs $122.40 and the main/center costs $204. YMMV and they're different for a 'ci than my 'xi (and it was actually cheaper than that with my BMWCCA discount.) I replaced them mostly to prevent infiltration of snow/slush contaminated with calcium chloride deicer.
I would certainly replace the fender insert.
FloydR
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I think there are only a very few production cars that actually create any measureable downforce at speed.
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In the case of current BMWs, it's probably more an elimination of lift at the front (due to air dam and covers) than increase in downforce.
FloydR
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I do not think they play a huge role, but they cost $25 for my E36.

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I was told by my mechanic that I would have to replace the front bumper in order to install the engine splash shield, since the previous bodyshop didnt do a thorough job of installing the bumper in the right way (he says there isnt 'anything' for the engine splash shield to connect to, hence why I need a new bumper). Anywhere else besides ebay that would sell a OEM bumper for a reasonable price?
I live in the Washington DC area, where we get a snowfall or two during the winter along with some icy weather....wouldnt this splash guard help against snow and slush from getting up into the engine bay and corroding the engine? same thing with the rain, help against the rain from getting up in the engine? I do plan to drive this car in winter weather....
thanks.
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I don't think this part is a "safety of flight" item. I could be wrong. The splash guard is eaily mounted at home, there is no need for a mechanic to install this part.
Rain and snow have gotten onto internal combustion engines for a hundred years or so. The "splash guard" is really an airflow controller.
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I was told by the BMW technicians that the air conditioning sensor and headlight washer sensor sit in the left and right compartments, respectively, underneath the bumper and covered by those two bumer splash guards...it would be not wise to get these components exposed to road grime, especially the air conditoning sensor...seems kind of odd for sensors like those to be placed in such a wierd place on the car...
since the tabs are busted off underneath the bumper, on the lip, there is nothing to hold the screws in place to install the splash guards...so i'm going to get a body shop to check it out, see if they can come up with a "magical solution", short of replacing the whole bumper cover., otherwise the bumper cover will probably get replaced..if the tabs were still on the bumper lip, I would just buy the covers and screws/clips and do it myself...grrrrrrr..oh well
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