Tesla Skid Plate Torn? Do This!

Tesla Skid Plate Torn

your car’s undercarriage, especially around the skid plate, takes constant abuse on the road. Your Tesla normally travels several miles each day and sometimes drives on bad roads.

Even on good roads, getting hit by rocks, pebbles, and other debris can do massive damage to your Tesla, especially to its underside.

Having a skid plate that tears down but left unchecked could expose your car to great risk. This article explains common reasons your car’s skid plate wears and tears and how you can fix the problem.

Why Is My Tesla Skid Plate Torn?

Reason 1: Impact damage

The most common reason why your engine skid plate tears and hangs is impact damage.

This occurs when your vehicle crosses a bump, hits a curb, or other objects on the road.

The impact force can damage the skid plate or cause it to become loose from its mounting points. This normally happens when the impact is huge enough to wrap or bend the plate. Even minor impacts can cause damage over time if unaddressed.

The skid plate is easy to get damaged. Enjoying some off-road adventure, driving on rocks, and hitting a curb can lead to severe damage to the skid plate. Over time, the skid plate is likely to tear from its mountings.

The skid plate takes a lot of punishment from the road beneath it that your car travels on.

The role of the plate is to prevent debris from reaching the moving components of your engine, such as throttle linkages, fan belts, and pulleys.

As a result, the plate bears the brunt of damaging materials. Eventually, it will break and tear down completely from its mountings.

How to fix: Get professional help

  • Periodically check the skid plate to see the extent of its damage. Check for any cracks, missing bolts, or separation from the vehicle’s body.
  • If the plate is still in good condition, fasten it to the car’s body with the proper hardware and bolts.
  • Ensure you tighten the bolts according to the manufacturer’s instructions and that the plate is positioned correctly.
  • If the plate is seriously damaged or hanging, consider replacing it with a new one.
  • If you doubt your ability, contact a local Tesla service center or a professional mechanic for repair.

Reason 2: Corrosion

Your Tesla is fitted with a skid plate to protect rust from susceptible parts of the vehicle.

However, the skid plate is not rust-immune and is susceptible to wear and tear. Rust weakens the fastening points of the plate and damages the cover. Eventually, the plate will tear down at one of more points and hang below the engine.

Rough materials and cloggy soil mixed with water can bombard your car’s underside, tearing away some parts of the skid plate, thus leading to water, fuel, and oil leakages.

Corrosion often happens when water mixed with oxygen finds its way into the skid plate and other components that are susceptible to rust.

How to fix: Regularly clean the skid plate

  • Whenever you notice rust on the skid plate, repair it immediately. Corrosion can spread rapidly, causing irrevocable damage.
  • While driving, particularly during a rainy day, be sure to avoid puddles.
  • Wash and rinse the entire part of your vehicle as often as possible. Use water and soap to remove salt, debris, and mud particles. Don’t forget to wash and rinse the underside of your car thoroughly, as these parts are more susceptible to corrosion.
  • Regularly inspect the components of your car for rust. Inspect underside components like the skid plate, frame, coil springs, exhaust, and muffler.

Reason 3: Loosening or missing bolts

Another reason why your Tesla skid plate may tear is because of missing or loose bolts.

Your car’s skid plate is normally fastened to brackets in the back, sides, and front of the car using bolts.

Over time, these bolts are likely to fail and are prone to get brittle and break. Your car hitting against curbs and other obstacles while driving can often lead to the damage of bolts, eventually failing to support the skid plate.

With constant flexing, combating damages from the road surface, and vibration from the engine, the bolts are prone to lose their fastening after some time.

How to fix: Tighten loose and missing bolts

  • Regularly inspect the bolts and make sure they are tightened according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Immediately replace any damaged or missing bolts.
  • Neglecting to fix missing or loose bolts could result in massive damage to your car’s engine or other components over time.

Reason 4: Excessive vibration

Excessive vibration is another reason why a car’s skid plate tears off and breaks.

While driving, you should have a smooth movement of your car on the road. But over time, you may start to notice that shaking feeling replacing the smooth feeling while braking or moving.

If you notice any unusual vibrations or strange noises while driving, it may signal an impact damage to the skid plate.

Tire damage, worn wheel bearings, or misaligned wheels are the major components of a bumpy ride, leading to the shaking and tearing of the skid plate underneath. A defective brakes, malfunctioning engine, and faulty suspension often lead to excessive car vibration. Low transmission fluid levels can also lead to some grinding in the vehicle when you try to accelerate.

Driving your car over unpaved roads or rough terrain is also likely to increase vibrations from the engine and other components highlighted above. Such strong vibrations can loosen some of the brackets holding the skid plate in place. As the plate loosens, it shakes and eventually tears off its mountings.

How to fix: Diagnose vibration issues

  • Vibrations can loosen the bolts fastened on the skid plate. If you realize that the skid plate is hanging or tearing down, the first thing to do is to check whether the plate has any damage.
  • If the plate is undamaged apart from a few scratches, refit it back in place using new bolts.
  • Inspect indications of damaged tires and rims or uneven tire wear. If you notice tire issues such as bubbles or bends in the rims, it signals that the tire is damaged, and so you need to replace it with a new one.
  • Assess the brake rotors for rust. Replace rusted brake rotors with new ones.
  • Assess engine components, like transmission fluid, motor mounts, and spark plugs. If you suspect the engine is causing excessive car shaking, contact Tesla technicians or a professional mechanic to diagnose and repair the car.
  • They will also inspect suspension components for damage and a faulty driveshaft. Damage in the driveshaft can also cause intense shaking through the vehicle’s body.

Reason 5: Poor installation

The skid plate may tear or fall off if it was not installed properly or if the bolts were not tightened adequately.

A missing or loose bolt on the skid plate can be a serious issue as it can cause the plate to tear out while driving.

Improper installation might lead to missing or loose bolts. When the skid plate was originally installed, it should have been fixed with care. However, if it wasn’t installed properly, vibrations and movement while you’re driving may cause the bolts to become loose over time.

How to fix: Ensure proper installation

  • Regularly check the bolts and ensure they are secure and tight.
  • If you notice any bolts loose or missing, tighten or replace it immediately.
  • This will ensure that the skid plate is securely in place and, therefore, will protect the engine from damage.
  • Also, inspect the plate for any signs of damage or wear and replace it if necessary. This will help to prevent the hanging and tearing off problem from happening again in the future.
  • Ensure the plate is installed properly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Ensure a professional mechanic handles the installation.

My Final Thoughts

The Tesla skid plate is an essential component of your car. It helps to protect your car’s engine and other parts against harm caused by rocks, dirt, water, and other road debris.

However, a skid plate that’s tearing down and hanging can be a critical problem that can expose your car to safety issues.

To avoid the risk, it’s essential to know the factors that might cause your skid plate to tear down and break. It’s advisable to assess the plate and maintain it constantly. Any problems, such as tearing down, hanging, and damage, should be taken care of as soon as possible.

Brady Klinger-Meyers is an experienced writer and marketer with who currently writes for Teslord as well as other popular sites like MakeUseOf and Techzillo. At Teslords, he focuses on general Tesla advice with his interest being accessories and gadgets. Read our Editorial Guidelines and Fact Checking process.


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