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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Recently bought a used 2006 Highlander Hybrid, about 220k miles on it. The under-engine shield is missing. My regular mech thinks it would be better to replace it. So I looked up prices online - not bad - 150-250 from various sources, about 50-75 for an aftermarket copy.

But I've got some questions. First, know we live in salt country, so I'm inclined to replace the shield.

On to the questions.

Do the shields have some way to change the oil without dropping the whole shield? I had a VW that had such a shield and it had to be completely removed each time I changed the oil. PITA.

Any thoughts about saving a few bucks and going with the aftermarket version? They were considerably cheaper. And I know sometimes aftermarket is fine, and sometimes it really is not. Again, I don't want to order it and be one unhappy camper when it arrives.

Edit: I scratched this question - I'm just gonna call the dealer. Duh. Have we got a facepalm smilie? Is the under-engine shield OEM for the 2006? They can probably answer the 2nd question too (changing oil), but I think y'all might have some opinions on the matter.
 

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There are two splash shields, plus the two fender liners and two small flaps on the front of the fender liners. Aftermarket is probably okay although the holes might not line up 100%. I don't know of a way to do an oil change without removing the shields.

here's the same diagram a dealer would be looking at
 

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2019 RAV4 Hybrid
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I feel sure the shield must be removed for oil change. I took mine to the dealer for oil changes for years (free changes for life) until I got tired of the requests for additional service. The first time I did it myself I saw most fasteners on the shield were missing - so obviously the dealer oil change guys were removing it, and losing the bolts and breaking the plastic clips. That is probably how yours got "lost". Someone not bothering to put it back on to save time.

Somewhat off topic but I'm really impressed with the built-in oil funnel from the filter location. Compared to the absolute mess I make EVERY time removing the filter on my Jeep Grand Cherokee.
 
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