Help me not get 'taken for a ride' when I go see a mechanic soon.
April 28, 2006 9:53 PM   Subscribe

There is a piece of lose plastic hanging down near the passenger side tire of my girlfriends car. Need some advice on what it is and how much it may cost to fix. [photos inside]

This first photograph shows the piece of plastic in question most clearly.

The second is a little more blurry but was an attempt by myself to get a bit closer to it and have a look straight up at it.

We suspect that whatever it is, it became dislodged when my girlfriend hit the curb about a month ago. However, we only recently started to suspect something was lose down there because whenever she would turn the car to the right, we would hear a "clunk clunk clunk" noise as we did, as though something was hitting the tire. What you see above is what we found when we investigated today.

The part feels as though it is made of plastic and is quite lose, but something is holding it firmly in place. It alsmost feels like, if I pulled quite hard, like I could tear it lose. But I suspect that that would be bad. I know I should take it to a mechanic but I know little of cars and I at least want to go in there with some knowledge of what I'm talking about so I don't get ripped off. So my questions are as follows.

1) What part of the car is this part likely originally from?

2) Is this something that needs to be fixed now, or can it concievably wait a little?

3) How much would it likely cost to fix?

Any help mechanically minded MeFites may be able to provide would be most appreciated.
posted by Effigy2000 to Grab Bag (7 answers total)
Response by poster: Oh, the car is a Nissan Pulsar, if that helps.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:10 PM on April 28, 2006

Best answer: Former German car tech here.

Grab it, give it a yank and toss it in the garbage can. It's a little splash shield that's there to basically keep dirt/water/snow etc away from the transaxle/inner CV boot area.

Are you asking for trouble by going without it? Not really. Can you drive it as-is? Sure. Should you pay a mechanic to remove and/or replace it? Not unless you've got loads of extra cash to burn.

Seriously, it's no biggie.
posted by peewee at 10:10 PM on April 28, 2006

Best answer: Seconded: it's just a bit of wheelwell liner or splash guard. Get under there with a mat knife or whatever and cut it loose, and think no more about it.
posted by nicwolff at 10:13 PM on April 28, 2006

Best answer: I agree with peewee and nicwolf it is likely a guard or splash shield. Take a look at the other side; if you can see how/where it is supposed to go, find a replacement or duct tape it back in place. CV joints and the like can be semi-pricey, so if you can protect cheap, do it. Otherwise, cut'n'toss.
posted by SpookyFish at 10:41 PM on April 28, 2006

I recent drove my car off a curb and smashed my passenger-side ground effects up into my frame pretty well.

This popped the right, rear brackets that hold the piece, so it sorta just flaps in the wind. Good times.

I've got a quote for $410, which includes a brand new entire side skirt (it's all one large piece), paint match and paint and paint labor, and install labor.

Paint alone is close to $200, labor at my local body shop is around $45/hour.

It's a '98 Mitsu Eclipse, but I wanted to give you a ballpark for something seemingly far worse in scope and visibility.
posted by disillusioned at 11:06 PM on April 28, 2006

Same freakin thing happened on my 2000 Jetta about a year ago. One side started scraping down while I was on the highway (scary!) and then I pulled it loose when I got to a gas station. Other side just flew off a few days later on the highway. Car has been fine since.
posted by radioamy at 11:38 PM on April 28, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks all. Ripped it off on the day and as you've all said, there have been no repercussions. And best of all, the clunking noise is (of course) gone.

Much appreciated!
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:52 PM on May 10, 2006

« Older Cryptic Bumper Stickers   |   How do I upload locally stored podcasts to my iPod... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.