What is this thing that fell off of my car? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 02-19-2005, 04:09 AM   #1
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Default What is this thing that fell off of my car?

I hadn't gotten around to posting here about this, but I just now remembered to go out and snap a few pics.

A few weeks ago, I was going to run a few errands one night. However, when I started to pull out of my parking spot, it sounded like something was scraping against the ground. So I put it in park, jump out of the car, and take a look at the bottom. What I saw was some plastic panel of some type, dragging along on the ground. (Picture here)

So I pull back into a parking spot, and discover that this thing is only being held up by two screws. I didn't find any screws on the ground where my car had been either, which I thought was strange to say the least. Since there was no way it would be held up with just two screws, I removed it and threw it in my trunk (as you can see in picture #1). So...what exactly is this thing? And what would be the best way to find screws (plus washers, I suppose) of the correct size to put it back on?

There'* also some little strip of plastic near the front bumper that'* broken, that I have no idea what it is - pictured here (ignore how dirty the car is :P).

One last question - as you can see in the second picture, I have no front license plate holder attached, and haven't since I bought the car in September. More accurately - I do have one, as you can see in my first picture (in my trunk), but two clips of some sort are broken off at the bottom - and I could see that these appear to be still attached at the front of the car. (Would it be possible or safe to just superglue these to the main part of the holder...?) I'm relatively sure that you're technically required to display plates at both the front and rear in Texas, so I'd like to be able to find another holder if I cannot revive the one I have. My question is, can I just buy that (whether from a junkyard, or the For Sale forum here, or whatever) and screw it in, or is it an actual part of the bumper or something...? If it'* just something I can obtain and screw in (which it appears to be, as far as I can tell) - I imagine the screws would come with it, depending on the source. Or alternately, if I use/"fix" the one I have, I only have one screw that was with it, so where would I find screws to use for the rest of the thing? Along the same lines, the rear license plate only has two screws holding it in place. (I actually just replaced that plate tonight, since I got new plates recently.) They appear to be the same size screw as the one that was still attached to the front holder.

Thanks, as always.
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Old 02-19-2005, 04:57 AM   #2
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that bottom plastic gaurd that collects my atf when my high pressure line leaked?

As far as fixing that bottom gaurd...well junkyard or attach it back together somehow.
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Old 02-19-2005, 10:46 AM   #3
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For the big piece: You could take one of the two screws that you have, get underneath the front of the car, and make sure it screws into the ten or so holes that hold up the big plastic splash shield. Then go to a hardware store and buy the other eight. If the plastic is broken around the holes, get some washers big enough to pinch the plastic in place.

The little piece of plastic is probably all that is left of your air dam (kinda' looks like mine on my '92). This is a pretty vulnerable piece that gets broken easily on parking lot bumpers or curbs where you can diagonally park. If most of it is still there, and it is just cracked, you can "sew" it together with mechanic'* wire (same hardware store) by drilling a couple of holes and wiring it back together. Or you can remove it entirely knowing that your car will not be as stable at speeds well above any you can legally travel on a public highway.

Take a look at the license plate holder to see how it attaches to the front bumper. You may just need a couple more screws to re-install it. I have a broken one of these that I have been trying to find a replacement for, too. One of the guys here told me I could get one at autozone.
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:43 AM   #4
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Wrecker or new. It'* only about 20 to 30 bucks if I recall.

You'll only notice it missing above 125 mph. Otherwise, it'* not much more than a low-curb warning, or a deflector to send air to the radiator in the hot summer months.
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Old 02-19-2005, 02:34 PM   #5
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I bottom mine out all the time....boss is right...its more for aerodynamics at 200 mph than anything else...its held on with sheet metal screws into the lower core support...the holes the screws go into enlarge and the panel falls off...i put larger screws in mine....
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:36 AM   #6
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I had to get rid of mine too. After I ditched my car, I kept hearing this scraping noise as I was going down the road. I pulled into a parking lot, reached under the car, bent and kicked at the that plastic skid plate until it came off. No more noise
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Old 02-21-2005, 04:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Wrecker or new. It'* only about 20 to 30 bucks if I recall.

You'll only notice it missing above 125 mph. Otherwise, it'* not much more than a low-curb warning, or a deflector to send air to the radiator in the hot summer months.
This is in reference to the little strip at the front that'* partially broken off? Or the large panel that'* currently in my trunk?

(Or are the two parts really just different pieces of the same thing...?)
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Old 02-21-2005, 11:42 AM   #8
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You're going to have to take pics I think.
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:49 PM   #9
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The big panel in your trunk is what I am calling a splash shield. It protects the A/C compressor and starter and the heavy battery leads from water splashing up. Bolts to the front crossmember and up to the bumper assembly - 10 or 12 bolts. You should put this back up.

The little plastic strip is what we assumed is the remains of your air dam. You don't really have to put this back.
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Old 02-25-2005, 05:39 PM   #10
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It also does a good job of keeping snow out of yoour engine compartment. Mine came off a while back and since then I went through some pretty deep drifts, probably a good 1.5 feet average and up to 2 feet for about 75 yards or so, and I didn't do this by choice. When I stopped and opened my hood, there was snow packed between my radiator and engine all the way up to the hood. Also had the same thing happed around christmas, but the next day my belt decided to jump off. Now I am going to replace it....
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