There's been a lot of talk on the boards about skid plates. So, we figured this would be a good time to revisit the subject. There’s more than a few people in there that had no knowledge of skid plates until it was too late. That is, after they bust something through the default plastic starter, that most automobiles have. You have to upgrade that to a metal plate if you wanna role off trails with the big boys.
What is a Skid Plate? What do they do?
A skid plate is an abrasion-resistant material affixed to the underside of a vehicle or boat to prevent damage to the underside when contact is made with the ground or tall objects.
Many people in the comments had no idea whether they had a skid plate that was plastic or metal. Chances are if you haven’t upgraded your rig, you more than likely have a plastic skid plate. That is because most, not all, but most stock skid plates are plastic, which dont offer much off-road protection.
Now for many, those who choose to stay on the road, may be perfectly fine having a piece of crap skid plate. Personally, here at Ezwheeler, we recommend everyone make the upgrade to metal. You never know when your kids gonna steal your car and go hill hopping.
You can get skid plates made out of aluminum, but when looking at reviews and comments from customers who have gone that route, you will see a lot of people were not happy with their choice, many stating they wish they would have went for steel.
Steel skid plate for the protection of the engine and the gearbox.
The advantages of a metal skid plate:
- Increased resistance against any impact or debris found on the road.
- It covers the front compartment of the car, so the engine is more protected against dust and dirt.
- Longer lifespan compared to skid plates made of plastic or fibre glass.
Why you should make the Upgrade
After knowing what a skid plate is, I'm sure you can figure out for yourself why it's so important, but let's go over it anyway to be thorough.
A skid plate protects two things, vital parts of your vehicle like the engine and gearbox among other things, and your wallet. Repair costs to certain parts that the skid plate protects can be astronomical depending on the situation. It's best to avoid this and be prepared, invest little in your vehicle now so you don’t to foot a huge bill later.
Where to buy Skid Plates?
We all knew this was coming, everyone's got a plug, and here's ours. You can buy skid plates FROM US, go figure. Skid Plates for Sale <-- Click here for affordable parts to deck your ride out.
Maintaining and Cleaning Skid Plates
It's important to note, that from time to time, you should take your skid plates off to clean out any mud or gunk that's found its way up in there. One customer reported quite a bit of mud that was weighing him down significantly.
Taking off the skid plates every time for a clean could get annoying though, so from customers around the states we have some techniques you can think about.
- You can park your ride on an incline or ramps and use a power washer to get it as best as you can.
- One customer reported parking his ride in a deep creek bed with a current that gave him a nice under-wash.
- Another customer said he drilled extra holes to help with clearage.
- Get a fan type sprinkler and let it run in front upside down for about 10 minutes, move periodically
Alternatives to Skid Plates
Now, there are alternatives to skid plates, normally we wouldn’t cover this but there's been a lot of talk on it in the forums, so we will. You can always make your own! A lot of people seem to do this in various way, you should frequent the msg boards if this is something you are interested in. Of course we cannot recommend this and are not liable if you choose to do this and something goes wrong.
Our Final Recommendation
So, after taking all that into account, I think you would agree in our final recommendation, in that, you should always prepare for the worst, and make efforts to protect your vehicle from future damage, thus saving you money in the long run. This is of course our opinion, to us, there's nothing funner than fully decking out our rides and blazing trails. The fact of the matter is, your need of skid plates relies entirely on your driving style and personal needs.