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I have a 2017 Ford Escape and directly under the drivers side door there is a piece of aluminum (maybe) that has been bent back and appears to be some sort of underpinning to protect what’s “under the hood” from road debris.

Now I don’t have a power lift or any way of lifting the car to really investigate but this piece drags the ground if I drive so the vehicle is undriveable. My question is what is this piece and what is it’s purpose?

Images: Image 1

Image 2

  • A picture would be worth the proverbial "thousand words" here ... – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jun 9 at 22:22
  • I just took some images and have emailed them to myself, hopefully they will be available soon so I can upload. Upon further exam it appears to just be a thick piece of plastic that is "covering" screws and bolts on the under-carriage of the vehicle, but I'll let someone with actual knowledge confirm such when the images are uploaded – user2676140 Jun 9 at 23:01
  • Even seeing the images, I'm not sure what the piece is about. Obviously it isn't supposed to be like that ;-) Hopefully someone can spot what's going on and help you out. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jun 10 at 1:53
  • My guess is that the piece is (like you said), just there to protect from road debris. Especially if it's plastic instead of aluminum (but that too), since automakers won't generally use plastic in such an exposed location unless it's not vital to the car. I don't know the name of the piece, but you might try seeing if you can get another of those on eBay, and just replace the one you have. What's holding it to the car? Screws? Plastic connectors? – Cullub Jun 10 at 15:55
  • It is being held to the car by 2 screws in the front of the car and 2 in the back. And has plastic “snap in” connectors on each side. What’s interesting to me is there are two diff pieces under the car. One for the drivers side and one for the passenger side with the mid section exposed. – user2676140 Jun 10 at 16:47
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I took it to the shop, and they put the car up on the jack and bent it back into place and re-connected all the snaps. They called it a "mud-guard" - I was in and out in under 45 minutes.

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