Something under my front bumper bar has been scraped off

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by kentricho, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. kentricho

    kentricho Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    59
    0
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Hey everyone,

    I was hoping someone can help me with a question. I was at car park yesterday and parked my car in one of those parks that has the concrete barrier in front to prevent your front tyres from rolling forward. Anyway, I thought my car would easily go over the top of it, but when I reversed, it scraped and I nearly removed some sort of plastic protection that was just under the front bumper.

    The front bumper is completely intact, but there is now a hard plastic mould or cover or something that is dangling from my Prius and it scrapes on the ground when I move forward.

    I'm dropping it in for service and repair tomorrow, but does anyone know what this part does out of curiousity? Does it protect the radiator or something?

    Thanks
     
  2. Bob64

    Bob64 Sapphire of the Blue Sky

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    1,540
    84
    0
    Location:
    Virginia
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I believe that you are talking about the front air dam. It's the plastic used to make the underside of the car more flat and aerodynamic.
     
  3. Tiki Robot

    Tiki Robot New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    19
    0
    0
    How low is that thing? Is this a common problem?

    On my current vehicle, I did the same thing and accidentally destroyed it twice. I learned my lesson, but eventually I had it valet parked and the valet destroyed it for the third time.

    I lived without it (or at least most of it) until the dealer accidentally dislodged the remains of the third air dam while working on another repair. (I became aware of this on the way home as it made a hellacious noise dragging along the asphault.) I then got my local mechanic to modify an existing air dam and use some little plastic straps to keep it tied up higher than usual.

    Probably ruined whatever aerodynamic effect it was supposed to have, but the design was so stubbornly poor that it wasn't worth trying to use it correctly.

    I hope the situation is better with the Prius.
     
  4. Bohous

    Bohous New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    316
    1
    0
    Location:
    Boston-ish
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    I had the same thing happen and posted about it HERE. I still have not reattached them and haven't experienced any problems. I do wonder if my mileage is suffering though. Bottom line is that it's another cheap design flaw. Unfortunate but it doesn't seem vital. I'll bet the other piece that is hanging down is just the other side as there are 2 of these. I would just remove it and save yourself a trip to the garage, although I guess it is covered under warranty so might as well get it fixed.
     
  5. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    5,963
    1,947
    0
    Location:
    Edmonton Alberta
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    The Prius is set a little lower than many cars for improved aerodynamics (better fuel economy). So the lowest thing on the front is the front air dam. If you knock it off you will also knock off the screws that hold it, and they hold the front edge of the undertray. I don't know if you would notice the slight loss of fuel efficiency without the air dam, but if the undertray is dragging you'd want to get that fixed. Personally, I'd get a new air dam as well, and always, in the future, keep in mind it will drag on those concrete blocks, so stop -before- going over it.
     
  6. subarutoo

    subarutoo New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    1,213
    21
    0
    Location:
    Chatsworth, CA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    I'm on airdam #2, due to hitting a tire tread on the freeway. I do scrape the new one on parking curbs if I have more than just myself in the car. It always drags on my driveway entrance at home though. Luckily, I had the body shop save the first damaged one for me which had a minimal tear on the right end. I'm keeping it as a spare. I also put larger outside diameter metal flat washers under the scews that attach it. When you hit something the plastic tray sometimes pulls out over the screw heads thru the elongated mounting holes, which can tear, or become REALLY elongated. So far, after several contacts, everything is "hanging" in there. Approach all front obstacles with caution.
     
  7. Tiki Robot

    Tiki Robot New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    19
    0
    0
    I realize the shape has to do with aerodynamics and changing the shape changes the one thing these things are designed to do...however, it does seem unreasonable that they (at least the one on my car, anyway) are designed like barbed fishhooks. It's almost like they were designed specifically (and at the perfect height) to catch on parking space bumpers.

    You'd think someone would have figured out a solution at this point, maybe just adding a little extra upward curve to the tab at the end. Or just have them go far enough back that catching them would be impossible.

    If they can design a vehicle that does what the Prius does, they ought to be able to work out this problem.
     
  8. Syclone

    Syclone Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    540
    4
    0
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Five
    Does anybody know what the Toyota description is for this part. I need to replace both sides but I've been having trouble finding it in the Prius CD. If someone has the actual part numbers that would be wonderful.

    Thanks,

    Syclone
     
  9. Tiki Robot

    Tiki Robot New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    19
    0
    0
    Is it worth replacing them with something that will likely be destroyed again? Maybe one of the wizards here who custom builds Prius-specific parts can come up with something less likely to self-destruct.
     
  10. kentricho

    kentricho Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    59
    0
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Thanks to everyone for their replies.. much appreciated. I was just curious to know what it does. It was the airdam a few poster's have mentioned.

    I took it to the dealer today to fix it (my car was due for service anyway), and they said they could easily put it back the way it was. So they called me and is all fixed now. They didn't even charge for it (well, included in the service price), so I'm much happier now :)
     
  11. Barcelona Red Lass

    Barcelona Red Lass Sips gas like fine wine!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    227
    5
    0
    Location:
    Sunny So.Cal!
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(kentricho @ Oct 15 2007, 08:19 PM) [snapback]526163[/snapback]</div>
    The screws that hold the air dam on are cheap plastic things. We noticed that about 2 days into owning the car and replaced the plastic things with metal washers and screws.
     
  12. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    10,664
    562
    0
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I don't park so far forward in the space than the front bumper goes over the stopper bars. The Prius isn't that long and it has a good parking brake.
     
  13. Tiki Robot

    Tiki Robot New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    19
    0
    0
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(patsparks @ Oct 16 2007, 10:31 AM) [snapback]526321[/snapback]</div>
    Make sure any valet who parks your car also knows that it's booby-trapped.
     
  14. Tiki Robot

    Tiki Robot New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    19
    0
    0
    Just brought my new Prius home today (and already a rock was kicked up on the highway that chipped the paint :angry:), and I have to say that the situation under the front of the car isn't nearly as bad as it was with my old car. I can see how it can get caught and you need to be careful, but it doesn't look like it was designed specifically to act as a barb that results in tearing off a huge piece of plastic.
     
  15. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    5,051
    474
    97
    Location:
    Flushing, NY
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tiki Robot @ Oct 25 2007, 02:31 PM) [snapback]530362[/snapback]</div>
    I agree. The low plastic air dam on the Prius is hardly unique. It seems to me that most cars since the 1990s have a fairly low plastic air dam in the front.

    Glad to hear that your dealer fixed it like new for free.
     
  16. Bob64

    Bob64 Sapphire of the Blue Sky

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    1,540
    84
    0
    Location:
    Virginia
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I hate going up ramps with steep inclines because I get that scraping sound that usually results when the plastic hits the ground...
     
  17. KMO

    KMO Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    938
    5
    0
    Location:
    Finland
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    That part wasn't actually fitted on 2004-2005 Priuses anyway, so I'm sure it's not the end of the world if it gets knocked off a 2006 one.
     
Loading...