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I just noticed a loose part on my 1995 mercury tracer trio. Honestly, I am unsure of the name of the part and its importance. It's the black plastic piece under the front bumper and it's hanging but one of the two bolts. The hole where one of the bolts goes through is ripped. Can I just take this piece off and not replace it or is this a critical part of the car? Thank you.

  • 3
    Could you post a couple of photo's of the damage and loose components? Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 17:26
  • @DucatiKiller Please see the picture above, thank you! Commented May 4, 2015 at 15:27
  • Zip tie it up. Make a hole in the plastic part.
    – geoO
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 18:25

2 Answers 2


It really depends on what the piece is you are talking about. Some vehicles have an air dam on the bottom of the car which forces air to flow through the radiator while the vehicle is running down the road. This piece would (in its normal position) extend directly down under neath the radiator core. You'd also have a space just in front of the piece where you could see the radiator. If this is the piece, it is absolutely important. If it's not there, the car engine will run hot while you are driving at speed.

If it is just a piece which covers other parts of the bottom front side, it's not very important and can be removed if you don't mind the ugly aspect of it.

EDITED NOTE: Please note, if you remove a piece which covers vital bits/pieces (such as the radiator), it can leave these parts exposed to the elements and flying road debris. Choose wisely if the piece in question does cover any of these vital parts prior to removal.

This is one of those cases where a picture could be worth a 1000 words.

  • Thanks for the insight, I do appreciate it. Please see the picture I just posted and let me know if that helps. Commented May 4, 2015 at 15:28

Rip it off if you want.

It isn't directing air into a radiator.

It isn't acting as an air dam (keeping airflow from under the car to keep it from lifting at speed).

It is most likely a valance/splash guard/splash shield. Yank it off or hold it up with a zip tie.

They were usually not held on with bolts but a plastic trim fastener that looked somewhat like a bolt. These were used when a thin plastic part was fastened to sheet metal, or another plastic part. Punch another hole for your zip tie to make a loop and reattach.

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