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.
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.
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...
'00 s4 6spd, original shield w/original fasteners, all still intact
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
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
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