A skid plate may be a necessary add-on if you frequently use your SUV or pickup for off-roading. Some car owners have reservations about adding a skid plate. This is often due to online information containing half-truths. We’ll attempt to clear up any confusion and explain how a skid plate protects your four-wheeler in off-road terrain.
A skid plate is a steel plate that covers the vehicle’s undercarriage. It acts as a shield that protects vital components, such as the suspension, differential, control arm, and the housing containing the engine oil and transmission fluid. Novice off-roaders often end up with hundreds of dollars in auto repairs due to driving through rocky terrain without a skid plate.
Some vehicles come with factory skid plates. However, these may not be sturdy enough for extreme off-roading. Hence some owners upgrade to an aftermarket version. Aside from a skid plate, we also recommend a lift kit to increase the ground clearance as a secondary protective measure.
Some online forums have raised concerns about skid plates trapping mud, salt water, and other debris, leading to corrosion. This can indeed happen, which is why you need to periodically bring your vehicle to an auto service provider to remove the plate and clean the undercarriage. This may require pressure washing, so this is in no way a DIY job.
Another point to keep in mind is that skid plates are not one-size-fits-all. Some styles provide additional protection for the lower control arm. Others protect the urea injection system in a late-model diesel truck.
Frequent off-roader? Bring your vehicle to Northwest Performance and Off Road for a skid plate installation. Skid plates protect the vital undercarriage components from bumpy rocks that dot the off-roads of Washington.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Passionate auto repair, performance enhancement & service in Everett, Edmonds, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mill Creek, Mukilteo & Snohomish