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How dirty will the underside of my car get?

994 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  sturgeongeneral
I need to drive my car 16 miles (8 each way) to get it aligned. If I drive the car to the shop without any of the under panels on, will the underside of the car get very dirty? Is there a big risk of damaging anything under the car?

If it's raining I'm going to leave the panels on.

Let me know what you think.

TIA
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I need to drive my car 16 miles (8 each way) to get it aligned. If I drive the car to the shop without any of the under panels on, will the underside of the car get very dirty? Is there a big risk of damaging anything under the car?

If it's raining I'm going to leave the panels on.

Let me know what you think.

TIA
I think you can drive with the rear under panel off, but the front may be structural
 

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I've driven mine much farther than that with it off. I live 40 miles away from the dyno I use to tune, and sometimes if I've been working on the car at home I don't bother putting the under panels back on since I'll just have to take it off again to strap the car down once I get there.

I've never had an issue with it getting too dirty.
 

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I drove around a bit without the panels halfway through a maintenance day. It was no problem, just avoid water and don't go too fast. Watch out for the rear panel flailing too much, make sure the screw grommets are secure. There are tons of cars out there that go their whole lives with no under panels at all.
 

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The manual has this to say: "The panels contribute to the aerodynamic performance of the car, and also help to keep the engine bay clean. Do not run the car without the panels fitted."

With that aside, they're definitely not structural - you can tell just from the fasteners used. They do, however, support each other, so without the diffuser the main underpanel can flap/bend a good amount.

I wouldn't drive for any extended period or at any speed with them removed, but I too drive to the alignment shop with the diffuser pre-removed.

Leaving the underpanels on seems like a good way to encourage mistakes and/or qballing at a normal shop and extra shop hours billed at a race shop. I'd rather spend the 5 minutes to take them off myself ahead of time and save myself either damage to the car or the .5 hours of billable time.

I could see pulling them in the parking lot, but it seems easier to just leave them in the garage. That way I can double-check the alignment shop's work anyway, and make sure the rear toe joints are aligned correctly relative to each other.
 

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Do you also drive to work without underpants?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm installing Sector 111's RTD2brace and then having the shop do a full alignment. I figured since the rear two panels are going to be removed, I'll just pull the front one off as well. Especially since the shop will have to remove the front under panel for the alignment.

Additionally, I like to mount rubber washers between the underside panels and the attachment points. I rather not have the shop do that...
 

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I'm installing Sector 111's RTD2brace and then having the shop do a full alignment. I figured since the rear two panels are going to be removed, I'll just pull the front one off as well. Especially since the shop will have to remove the front under panel for the alignment.

Additionally, I like to mount rubber washers between the underside panels and the attachment points. I rather not have the shop do that...
Excellent idea! Either plastic, leather, or rubber washers help quiet things down.
 
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