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Discussion Starter #1
I realize it's not a huge PITA, but I'm curious as to whether anyone has finagled a quick and easy way to deal with that plastic shroud/guard under the oil filter. Or do you just pop those pins off every time you change the oil? I would think they'd either wear out or just break after a couple of times pulling and replacing them.

Any innovative solutions?
 

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2014 328i xDrive Wagon 8 spd Auto
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FWIW I haven't had a problem since 2002 with our first Subaru.

The key is to clean the pins under running water if they're fouled with grit/dirt/mud after you remove them. Also doesn't hurt to wipe around the holes with a damp rag.

I bought 3 spare pins back in 2002 after the dealer lost one doing their first (and last) oil change on my 03 Forster XS. They're about $1.50 a pin so having a couple of spares is cost effective. But if you keep them clean you'll probably never need to use the spares.
 

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2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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I took it off and left it off the first time I changed oil. Been two years now no downside that I can see.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... that plastic shroud/guard under the oil filter. Or do you just pop those pins off every time you change the oil? I would think they'd either wear out or just break after a couple of times pulling and replacing them. Any innovative solutions?
The solution is to realize how the pop screws work and don't damage them by force. They release by turning the screw 1/4 turn where a little detent can be felt, which allows the screw to pop down which allows the fastener's blades to compress and easily be withdrawn.

If the screw is turned continuously like the screw that it appears to be, the blade release detent is not felt and the screwing is stopped when the person feels it is time to pull. And then the fastener is pulled on with force, which damages it so that after reinsertion, it will be very difficult to remove next time.

I have similar fasteners on both my Scion and Forester's plastic undertrays. I buy a few spares, have only used two on both cars in the past two years.

If you are unable to manage the undertray, or don't appreciate it as a functional feature provided by Subaru for the past ten years, you may delete it except on the turbo models.

Like the ATF filter, the undertray has been deleted (except on the XT), because it was an unappreciated, misunderstood, troublesome cost-adding item. Subaru kept it on the XT to help the intercooler function.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Removing the "dirty diaper"! (Post #60) I find this thing usless (my opinion of course), so I decided to remove the plastic under cover! :wink:

Keep in mind, I live an area that does not use road salt during the winter & my vehicles never goes off road. :smile:

Bobby...
 

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Removing the "dirty diaper"! (Post #60) I find this thing usless (my opinion of course), so I decided to remove the plastic under cover! :wink:

Keep in mind, I live an area that does not use road salt during the winter & my vehicles never goes off road. :smile:

Bobby...
I took mine off as well. Actually it was more like multiple offroading trips slowly removed it piece by piece. Honestly I haven't seen any downside to it, although the engine bay does get a bit dirtier. The biggest problem I've had is that my header heatshield bolts have all rusted and now the heatshield rattles like crazy. I also removed my wheel well liners (well parts of them), and those I would definitely keep (when I get a new front bumper they'll be replaced too).
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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^Yep.....no downside...haha
The whole plastic splash guard is crap. Ditch it and install a aluminium skidplate instead. :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Okay, so where does one get this magical easy-to-remove aluminum skid plate? Or did you make your own?
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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Aye, You can either buy one or make one. Making one will be the cheaper choice. I belive there is some blueprint somewhere that you can make one from. Not sure where tho.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... The whole plastic splash guard is crap. Ditch it and install a aluminium skidplate instead. :biggrin:
But the plastic undertray functions perfectly for all that I want it to do, and I don't need an expensive skid plate. It also seems easier to rotate the plastic filter access panel out of the way, than to support and remove and install a whole 30" x 30" aluminum plate.
 

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Super Moderator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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But the plastic undertray functions perfectly for all that I want it to do, and I don't need an expensive skid plate. It also seems easier to rotate the plastic filter access panel out of the way, than to support and remove and install a whole 30" x 30" aluminum plate.
I suggest you remove the plastic undercover to do an inspection. When I bought my new to me '07 FSXT in July of this year, I was surprised how much rusting I found & there was the oil from sloppy oil changes that covered the engine side of the plastic under cover. It remined me of a "dirty diaper"! :icon_eek: The plastic undercover was missing from my '03 when I got it at around 4K miles & there is almost zero rusting, compared to the '07. I know you won't agree, but IMO, the undercover traps mositure next to the engine, which makes the perfect environment for "rust". :frown:

Yes, if you're an off roader or you get tons of snow, it might be worth having, but it's not for me. :wink:

Bobby...
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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I suggest you remove the plastic undercover to do an inspection... I was surprised how much rusting I found & there was the oil from sloppy oil changes that covered the engine side of the plastic under cover.... IMO, the undercover traps mositure next to the engine, which makes the perfect environment for "rust"...
Maybe your rusty engine would have been worse without its undertray.
The dealer does free 7500-mile changes and I do the intermediate ones. I ramp the car and check the work after dealer oil changes. Sometimes the dealer is not as neat as I would be and I find some oil to wipe. So the undertray stays clean, and my heat shields are bright and shiny still.
I don't follow how an undertray, or a skid plate for that matter, trap moisture next to the engine and cause rust.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Maybe your rusty engine would have been worse without its undertray.
My '03 doesn't support that theory. It's been without the undercover since 4K miles & has almost zero rusting. :wink:

The dealer does free 7500-mile changes and I do the intermediate ones. I ramp the car and check the work after dealer oil changes. Sometimes the dealer is not as neat as I would be and I find some oil to wipe. So the undertray stays clean, and my heat shields are bright and shiny still.
I don't follow how an undertray, or a skid plate for that matter, trap moisture next to the engine and cause rust.
You wouldl be surprised where the oil can get to! :icon_eek: On my '07, it had seeped onto the center subframe support & contined under support & the frame. In all honesty, you can't see areas that are rusting unless the plastic undercover is removed for the inspection.

How does the plastic undercover promote a rust friendly environment? When you drive in the rain, the water flows thru the radiator & is sprayed over the front of the engine. That water drips down onto the plastic undercover & with all the nooks & crannies trap the water. When you turn off the engine, the heat is trapped between the plastic undercover & the bottom of the engine. This creates the perfect moist & warm rust friendly environment, more so if you park in an garage. :icon_eek: With no undercover, the water can drip off & normal air flow can help dry the wet areas & this equals less rusting. My opinion of course. :smile:

As I wrote here, The removal of the plastic engine undercover is controversial, unless it’s removal is to replace it with a metal one. My preference is not to have one at all. :wink:

Bobby...
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... As I wrote here, The removal of the plastic engine undercover is controversial, unless it’s removal is to replace it with a metal one. My preference is not to have one at all...
Those photos show what an extensive and carefully designed system the under tray is. In spite of its considerable cost, it was provided on all Foresters in a world wide market for ten years until 2009, and is still provided on the XT to help air flow into the intercooler at lower speeds.

According to this post, the under tray helps the intercooler on an XT:
... There's abit somewhere that says when testing airflow on an Impreza without an undertray, air was coming out of the bonnet scoop until speeds of 50mph were reached. Meaning the IC was acting as a pre-heater.
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f102/plastic-underbody-crap-51781/index2.html#post578611
The "abit somewhere" is this article:
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