If you so much as drive a car, then you would be familiar with the chatter about skid plates. How can you not? From your mechanic to your friend, everyone seems to stand by these components and the safety they bring to your car. While you nod, agree and even install skid plates on their suggestions, the main purpose of getting skid plates often dissolves into the distance.
That may not seem like a problem at the time of installing these components. But it bugs you at the back of your mind, and often leaves you wondering exactly what happens if you drive without a skid plate?
A lot of damage. A plethora of repair costs. And a world of trouble. That’s what.
To elaborate, not installing skid plates can expose your car and its essential components to massive damage. It may call for repairs for your car’s crucial parts. And it may cause you various trips to the mechanic and a huge chunk of your wallet to get your car back to its normal shape.
But that’s just a bird’s-eye view of the results of driving without skid plates. To understand exactly how all of this turns into reality, you need to learn why skid plates are so essential for vehicles and how their absence can set off a world of trouble for you and your car.
What Are Skid Plates and How Do They Work?
As you might already know, skid plates are outer coverings that fit to the underside of a car. Made out of plastic or metal, these plates can come in a single formation that cover the entirety of your car’s underbody. But they are also available in segmented pieces that can be fixed against different parts on the undercarriage.
By fitting to a car’s underside, these skid plates act as a protective shield for its undercarriage. This is much like a car’s hood, which externally covers the engine and its closeby components. But even in this smiliary, there’s a stark difference between a vehicle’s hood and its skid plates. A car’s hood offers more cosmetic appeal than a functional use. On the other hand, skid plates serve a very crucial safety need for all types of cars, especially those with a lowered height or off-road usage.
Now that you have an idea of what are skid plates and what do they do, it is time to learn in a detailed way what happens if you drive without a skid plate.
A Car’s Undercarriage is Exposed Without Skid Plates
A car’s undercarriage is the heart and soul of its entire base framework. It’s where crucial components of your car are located, which include but not are limited to your fuel tank, your exhaust, and your transmission. But despite its importance for your car, this underbody and its parts are not as well protected as you think they might be.
Most vehicles, especially older models, have their undercarriage exposed from the get go. Unlike a car’s hood, there’s no protective shield on these vehicles’ underside to cover essential components. At one hand, it adds to accessibility during maintenance and repairs. On the other, it leaves the undercarriage and relevant parts exposed to external elements and impacts.
What Happens If You Drive Without a Skid Plate?
Whenever you drive your car without a skid plate on its underbody, the components at the undercarriage are open to a number of risks.
If you drive such a car on a usual road, you have a chance of getting your car’s undercarriage struck by various objects such as potholes, speed bumps, steep driveways, curbsides, as well as stray stones and debris.
This possibility of impact is especially relevant when you are driving over rougher pathways such as off-road tracks, which are full of uneven ground, small rocks, and tough branches. This also holds true when you are driving vehicles of a lowered height, which have an even lesser distance between them and the road than other vehicles.
But regardless of the type of car you drive, each of these external elements has the potential to hit your car’s undercarriage, which is what happens if you drive without a skid plate. With repeated impact, even the most seemingly benign object can be hazardous to your car. Rocks can go right to your car’s oil pan, while curbsides can hit its transmission. Branches can mess up your vehicle’s exhaust, while potholes can damage the gas tank. This opens your car to a number of problems that wouldn’t even be an issue if it was protected through a barrier between itself and these objects.
In most cases, impact damage to the undercarriage leads a vehicle to excessive repairs. In some instances, this can cause safety risks and can even start car fires. As a result, you are left to deal with extensive damage, astounding repair costs, and intensive maintenance procedures. At the same time, the thought of putting yourself and your family at risk doesn’t make your drives any easier.
Skid Plates are an Essential Part for Any Car
In the long run, not having a protective shield for your car’s undercarriage ends up costing you more in time and money than installing such a component in the first place. That’s why, it is better to future proof your car for unforeseen incidents than waiting to see what happens if you drive without a skid plate.
Since skid plates are created for the very purpose of protecting your undercarriage and its components, they can absorb shock, impact and strikes from various external objects. As a result, they can mitigate the damage that is otherwise done by elements such as potholes, stones, branches, and uneven pathways. With a simple installation and extensive lifespan, they can prove to be the perfect answer to your car safety concerns.
This is why, even the top automobile companies now offer factory skid plates installation for their newest models, while older vehicle owners can easily find skid plates through third-party vendors. Thanks to these advancements, getting your skid plates is all a matter of reaching out to the right vendor or autobody specialist. As long as you contact a credible professional to install your skid plates, you can go through the process with the utmost ease.