On a 2003 Camry, there are two plastic/fiber material panels that are mounted long-wise on the left and right side from the front under the bumper. They appear to be dirt/rock shields under the engine. Photos are below.
The panels came loose on the rear parts toward the center of the car and hung down to about 2 inches from the pavement. Only one of the original screws on the rear parts is still attached to the panel (the others seem to be gone).
Since I can't easily skinny under the car, I would like to ask the following:
1) Do these panels have any functional purpose? Or are they just protecting the bottom of the car from water, dirt and rocks? Other than that, can the car operate safely without them?
2) For the missing (toward the back of the car) screws, is there a possibility that new screws could not be affixed due to some other missing parts? I can't see where they are mounted.
3) Do these panels need to be loosened or removed for regular maintenance? I wonder if some service in the past could have caused this.
This car is 13 years old and runs fine, but the body is in average shape so I am not concerned of the cosmetic condition.