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Hi all--I'm wondering how necessary the splash guards (the plastic panels under the front bumper) actually are.

I have a '15 Prius Two, and recently mine came loose and started dragging, making an awful scraping sound. I did a temporary fix with a zip tie, then took it in to the dealership where I bought it 6 months ago. (I was hoping that was covered by the warranty--but of course it wasn't.) Paid $350 to have it fixed....only to have the same thing happen a week later! :mad:

This time the dealership referred me to a body shop, so I took it there to get an estimate. (Meantime, I reattached the splash guard to the bumper with 4 zip ties--2 in the middle, 1 on either side.So it's pretty secure for now.) The guy at the body shop, who was very helpful, said I'd need a new bumper. (Whether to just have more secure fittings for the splash guard, or for some other reason, he didn't say.) In any case, I'm looking at having to spend $1,500. But somebody else who I told about it said their splash guard came loose, so they just took it off, and have had no problems. (Not sure what kind of car theirs is, but I don't think it's a Prius.)

My question: does anyone know how important splash guards are? Are they just a cosmetic thing, or do they protect the hybrid engine, etc., from getting wet? Are they even necessary? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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08 Toyota Camry 2AZ-FE R9K Tuned
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They do what they are called. They guard against splashes. They also guard against all the road debris. Using zipties to hold them down is fine. Not pretty but not something you will look at if never. I would prefer my motor have some protection from water than none. "May also help with aero". Your choice in the end.
 

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They actually are important. They are surely splash and junk guards but, also, they play more important role.
They create what is called belly pans.
And purpose of those is to reduce air drag. Not sure about Prius, but Camry has additional side belly pans, for additional air flow smoothing.
Also, you do not need a new bumper. Possibly, a bumper cover, which is actual plastic piece. Some atatchemnts to splash guards likely wore out and clips do not stay in place anymore.
Nothing a good ziptie can't fix. Even if you need to drill few more holes for them. I had zipties all over our vehicles. Who cares, no one can see them and if they do the job...
Mr Friendly at the shop is, as usual, minding his best business. Caveat emptor.
 

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My question: does anyone know how important splash guards are? Are they just a cosmetic thing, or do they protect the hybrid engine, etc., from getting wet? Are they even necessary? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
You are calling them splash guards, and they do do that. Their main function is to help streamline the underside of the car. The Toyota engineers went to great length to lower the coefficient of drag on the whole car, including the undersides. You can lose a panel and not really notice. I have scraped off at least one by grinding the chin of the car over something when I was parking. Replacements are pricey but you can wire or zip or replace the damaged one back however you like.

Regarding the bumper guy, I would speculate that either you have gouges on the underside of the bumper cover, or that some bit at the edge that interlinked with the missing panel has torn out. 99% of the bumper cover is still probably working fine. Splashing probably doesn't help anything at the bottom of the engine, but it is not an instant crisis either. The car won't roll over and die the first time you hit a puddle.

Pro Tip: Duct tapes works fine in the short run, but doesn't hold up over time.
 
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