Vehicle Skid Plate
A skid plate is a sheet of metal that is fixed to the undercarriage of the vehicle, and prevents damage to key components which are positioned closely to the ground, such as the exhaust, transfer case, steering linkage, and oil pan. The purpose of the skid plate, is to deflect potential damage done by objects on the roadway, which the vehicle may drive over. Skid plate's also increase the vehicle's aerodynamics. The more aerodynamic the vehicle is, the better the vehicle's fuel economy. Some skid plates can also be used in order to, optimize the effects of the cooling fan, by shaping the skid plate in a way in which it propels fresh air toward the engine, the amount of work being done by the fan is reduced. The shape and size of skid plates varies, from a small piece, used to cover a specific component, to a sheet that covers everything, from the front axle to the rear axle.
The most common material used to make skid plates is sheet metal, however, the use plastics, or strong fiberglass is becoming popular. Although plastic and fiberglass skid plates could not typically withstand the same damage from an object, that a metal skid plate could, they are much lighter and can be shaped to fit the vehicle's chassis more easily. Not all vehicle's have a factory installed skid plate. Vehicles that may drive off road, or that are low to the ground, commonly have a factory installed skid plate. Skid plates can be purchased as an aftermarket accessory, if desired.
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