I have an EVO M3, 1996, in the UK. It has a cover under the engine that
has come loose and scrapes the road over bumps or during spirited
driving. I have duct--taped it up as a temporary measure. I never
understood its purpose (my 1994, non-evo M3 didn't have one) and it
essentially makes it more irksome to change oil etc as it needs to be
removed and put back every time one drains the oil. Can I just take it
off and leave it off? Does it have any other purpose than to keep the
underside of the engine from dirt and possible chip damage?
TIA for any input,
All E46 models (at least in the US) have them. It's mostly for
smoothing the under-body airflow, presumably to create less drag
and lift - I don't know how effective this is (obviously it's worth
or the added weight and complexity wouldn't add up). They're notorious
or getting gravel on top of them to create rattles. Other than that, they
serve little purpose IMHO.
Thanks much, Floyd, Tom. I spoke to a couple of garages and the
messaage is that it is worth maintiaining it because of the low sitting
engine, particularly the low oil sump. I am a bit of a luddite when it
comes to these things and have therefore decided to spend the money for
a new 'splash cover'. I love the car and has always had it properly
maintianed, so £43.00 sounds like a reasonable expense.
Cautionary true story: I change my own oil; unless it Inspection II
time. After the last I2, I removed it to change oil (on my 7500 mile
interval), and lo-and-behold, there was oil on the cover. It was
lube oil from the front differential (330xi). They hadn't torqued the
fill plug properly.
That's odd, my '96 E36 325TDS has the full panel, and there's a little
rectangle that you can remove with a 10mm spanner which is directly
under the oil drain... Adds all of 2 minutes to the oil change.
Anyway, as other say, it keeps the engine clean, smooths the air,
protects the sump and also helps the engine warm up faster.
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