Scraping Noise When Driving? How to Fix the Splash Shield Under Your Car

If your car is making a scraping noise when driving, it could be the engine splash shield dragging on the road and it’s going to need fixing. You might have to replace whole the part or you might be able to fix it with a few DIY repairs. This guide and video covers how to inspect and tell if the the plastic splash shield under your car is repairable, and how to fix it yourself with a drill and wire ties.

Diagnosing a Scraping Noise When Driving – What Is a Splash Shield?

Mechanic showing what could cause a scraping noise while driving
Cracked and dragging splash shield

The splash shield covers the bottom of the engine compartment and protects this area from water or debris. Moisture and debris can damage electronics and other parts if they get inside the engine compartment.

Some parts like the battery aren’t at risk if the splash shield is dragging (unless the caps are left off, then moisture will kill it over time), but moisture could break other parts like the computer or fuse box, and this can lead to many different problems.

Manufacturers also design splash shields for different reasons. Plastic splash shields on daily drivers are designed as part of the aerodynamics, and if it’s broken, wind can travel up. This can affect fuel economy since the splash shield is not directing the wind where intended.

You’ll find metal splash shields on vehicles that might off-road, like 4-wheel drive (4WD) trucks. These provide better protection against more damaging debris, like rocks.

How Much Does a Splash Shield Replacement Cost?

If the splash guard is broken, it may not have been bolted on correctly, it might be cracked and hang down, it might have holes or missing pieces, or it might have missing pins and fasteners that cause it to hang down and drag. If the splash shield has damage beyond cracks that can’t be fixed or fasteners that can’t be replaced, the entire shield will need a replacement.

It will cost a couple hundred to have the splash shield installed by a professional, but you can save money with a used or new splash shield and replace it yourself.

Can I Drive With the Engine Splash Shield Dragging?

Driving the a broken or dragging engine splash shield increases the chances of moisture and debris collecting and damaging parts inside the engine compartment. It can also reduce your fuel economy, and you will hear an annoying scraping noise while driving your car. If the plastic splash shield under your car is dragging, you want to fix it as soon as possible.

DIY Splash Shield Repair: How to Fix That Scraping Noise While Driving

If your car has a splash shield that’s split and hanging down, you can fix it in a few different ways if the damage isn’t too bad. These steps show how to repair the splash shield with a drill and wire ties, but you could also repair it with tape or glue.

Steps to Fix an Engine Splash Shield That’s Dragging

  1. Safely and Raise Support the Car and Check the Splash Shield’s Condition

    If the splash guard has a hole that can’t be patched, replace the shield, but if it’s not cracked too bad, it can be repaired.

  2. Drill a Hole on Either Side Along the Length of the Crack

    Use drill with small drill bit and wire ties to fix the crack. Drill holes for the wire tire on each side of the crack, and then wire-tie the crack. Add as many as you like. Depending on how big the crack is, you may want to put in more or less effort.

  3. See How Well the Crack Has Sealed

    Make sure the crack is sealed to block moisture and debris from the road.

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Scraping Noise When Driving? How to Fix the Splash Shield Under Your Car - 1A Auto
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Scraping Noise When Driving? How to Fix the Splash Shield Under Your Car - 1A Auto
If your car makes a scraping noise when driving, it could be your engine splash shield dragging. Our expert mechanics show you how to fix it.
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1A Auto
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