Sounds like I am dragging a garbage can

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Actual Mileage, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. Actual Mileage

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    152
    1
    0
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    III
    SOLVED! Sounds like I am dragging a garbage can

    :)9.14.2010 UPDATE FYI -

    FOR ANYONE THAT HAS HAD THIS ISSUE - IT MAY NOT BE YOUR PARKING SKILLS THAT ARE AT FAULT. IT MAY BE ASSEMBLED INCORRECTLY.
    I WILL TRY TO GET SOME PICTURES TONIGHT TO SHOW THE FOLLOWING.
    (I was very happy to have solved this and wanted to share this info.)


    This had been a problem with my car since I was in a pretty solid fender bender on the FDR in February 2008. It was fixed in Manhattan (Marmin, 73rd and York - avoid at all costs. I should have paid to have it towed back to Maine.)

    The front end would bottom out at the slightest elevation change - the back side of small speed bumps, at the bottom of a hill transitioning to a flat road, entering a parking garage. Always sounded like plastic - so I knew the source. The constant dragging would gradually work the plastic loose and the problem would escalate. (Note - there are several pieces of plastic and the naming is not consistent - but the part I am referring to is the engine liner - I have the parts number somewhere - I will post when I find it).

    I brought the car in to a body shop up here that I like and to the dealer - several times - to get this resolved. It would be fixed for a while - then the cycle would start all over. This past weekend I put it up on ramps and took the pieces apart.
    Guess what? It was not put together correctly - pure laziness. Continued at end of thread -



    Does anyone have any experience with this issue? :confused: :confused: :confused:

    This weekend the plastic underbody, splash guard, engine shield behind the front bumper of my 2006 dropped onto the road for the third time. The part that really got chewed up was the liner from the driver side wheel well. When it falls off - it is angled into the road - digs right in. Has to be damaging something other than the plastic itself.

    I have not seen any posts on this - I cannot find the part at any of the stores - not even sure what it is called.

    I had taken the car in in December and said the mileage had dropped, there seemed to be rumbling from the front of the car - the dealership could find nothing. I bet it was this thing working loose.

    It had been replaced once already - and fixed another time. Someone must not be getting the clips in solidly.

    I know how low this part of the Prius is - but I do not want to pay for a third one. Right now my shoelaces are holding the blasted thing up off the road.

    1. Is it necessary?
    2. What is it called?
    3. Why does it keep dropping onto the pavement?
    Thanks -

    TD
     
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    19,885
    1,155
    9
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    It's probably not "necessary", but offers some airflow advantages and maybe a little underbody protection from small thrown rocks and mud/dirt/etc.

    I suspect it's coming off b/c it's getting caught on parking spot stops...do you tend to pull far forward into parking spots? usually they get pulled off when you back out.
     
  3. Actual Mileage

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    152
    1
    0
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Thanks -

    Could be. I have learned (after 3 years) not to pull into parking spots all the way - but I am old and forget.
    This time it fell off after I had pulled off the highway - so I hadn't hit anything recently.

    Do you happen to know what it is called and if it is something I can fix myself?
     
  4. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    19,885
    1,155
    9
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I don't know the official name or part number. But it is something you should be able to repair yourself.
     
  5. Actual Mileage

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    152
    1
    0
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Thanks. Wish I knew what it is called so I could get a new one. The clips are all chew up as well.
     
  6. Bob_Stan

    Bob_Stan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    70
    5
    0
    Location:
    Central New York
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    After reading your post, I checked that panel on my 3 week old 2009 Prius. Three of the bolts holding it on were partially unthreaded. I was able to tighten 2 of the three, but the third one will not tighten, there must be some kind of nut behind the shield that I cannot reach. Thanks for the warning.
     
  7. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    18,045
    6,016
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Use this website to identify part numbers and part descriptions:
    ToyoDIY.com

    You are probably talking about the fender liner, and you will also want to replace all of the retainers and other hardware that secures this piece.

    Then, use this website to determine discounted prices if you want to DIY and order over the web:
    Champion ToyotaWorld
     
    3 people like this.
  8. Actual Mileage

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    152
    1
    0
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Thanks Patrick. I was trying to find a schematic -
     
  9. samsdad

    samsdad Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    39
    4
    0
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    It's called an Under Engine Front Cover; also called a Splash Shield. Dealer cost is about $70. I've gone through two already. Problem is most people can't sense the where the front end of the car is, and when they park in a stall they usually pull forward too far and scrap the shield up against the concrete bar that sits on the ground. Considering Toyota, it's really a dumb design flaw that Toyota has conveniently ignored!
     
  10. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    5,738
    3,346
    0
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    How is it a Toyota design flaw? If you pull too far forwards and hit a concrete bump stop or a curb, that seems like gross driver negligence. You can say it is common, but really it is driver error and just because it is common does not make it something that should happen.

    I worked at a fast food place for a while and routinely people would turn out of the drivethrough through parking spaces instead of continuing the 10ft before turning as the yellow lines indicated. When they did this it resulted in them usually ramming the concrete block with enough speed so that the front tire or tires went over and trapped the block under the car. Then in a panic and to save further embarassment generally they floor it dragging the block with them throughout the parking lot. I have seen bumpers torn off, side skirts dented, tires flattened, Saturns that explode into a million pieces, everything. It is hard to design against stupidity.
     
  11. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    19,011
    4,052
    50
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA.
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I agree with 2k1Toaster. I watch people do this all the time. Since the vast majority of cars I've owned were of similar design I simply avoid pulling so far forward. Why people continue to damage their cars in this manner is confusing. I'd rather have the built-in protection and learn how to drive accordingly than forgo the protection just so I can avoid thinking while I park. lol In a nutshell, people just don't think when they drive!
     
  12. bsoft

    bsoft New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    73
    2
    0
    Mine did exactly the same thing yours did. The problem is that some of the clips were missing and the screw holes were stripped out. I suspect that it was a crappy repair job done by the previous owner after they chewed it up.

    I fixed mine with some heavy-duty 50lb zip-ties from Home Depot. Total cost about $1.50. You can get the S-clips online but they don't seem to hold together particularly well.
     
  13. Actual Mileage

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    152
    1
    0
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Hopefully you can see the attached diagram and read this at the same time. The part that dragged is 17 which is labeled in here as a splash guard. However - this piece covers from the engine forward to the bumper. There are two separate pieces that go under this and cover from the engine back to the axle that are also called splash guards.
    Very confusing - until I took it apart and Googled the part number stamped into the plastic. Let's call it the engine cover.

    The rear of the engine cover screws into the underlying splash guards - there are holes and grommets that line up. The front of it should attach to part 19 - the spoiler. Here is where the problem lay. The spoiler attaches by screw and grommet to tabs on the underside of the bumper cover. HOWEVER - the way it should be assembled is that spoiler goes on top of the tabs, then screwed together. This involves pulling the bumper out of the way a little, flexing the spoiler a little and then it snaps into place. What I found under my car was that the spoiler had been screwed to the underside of the bumper.

    So at highway speed, air was forced between the spoiler and the bumper. The spoiler eventually ripped away the tab and would hang down. The engine cover would hang even lower. And that is what caused all the problems.

    My questions -

    1. I have reassembled the spoiler and am wondering whether to bother with yet another engine cover - it is a $60 part so I probably will.
    2. From looking around this site at some photos of front end mods (HID mostly) I can see there is some plastic foam insulation that is supposed to be wedged between the various parts of the under body covering. That is long gone.
    3. The tabs on the bumper have been ripped and are now just U shaped slots. I am not sure that matters now that it is together properly.
    4. Never accept no for an answer - I knew there had to be something wrong.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Actual Mileage

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    152
    1
    0
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    III
    I was looking at doing the same. What did you attach the zip-ties to on the car? There isn't much inside the bumper.
     
  15. vertex

    vertex Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    669
    134
    0
    Location:
    new york
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    I would say the part is optional. Mine has been off for over a year, no problems.
     
  16. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    5,738
    3,346
    0
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I wouldnt consider them optional. We hit a semi truck tire remnant (300degrees ish of thick tire) on the interstate going 85mph+ in our RX. Huge noise, and afterwards a plastic scraping garbage can sound. Took it to the nearest dealer once we got to a town with a Lexus dealer and the sun was up, and this same part was ripped to shreds. But the axles and engine components were all ok. Who knows what would have happened otherwise. Luckily it was replaced for free. :)
     
  17. Actual Mileage

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    152
    1
    0
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Why did they replace it for free?
     
  18. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    5,738
    3,346
    0
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Car was still under warranty and we took it to a Lexus dealership, so they did all the paperwork. We had about 2-3 hours taken out of our vacation while they fixed it but that was it. Nothing to do when we got home either.
     
Loading...