My heat shield is a little rusty on the seams, I just removed to grind down and repaint. I dont run the car hard, just to work and back.... do I risk harming anything in the engine compartment if I just leave it off?
to my knowledge, it SHEIDS HEAT from you. I think it's there to protect you if you come off the highway and open the hood. The head shield will be hot, but not as hot as the manifold. I've had mine off for about a month now. I was racing/driving with (friendly) some one @ 90-100mph. When I got home I opened the hood. It was dark out with out any lights on. I chould see the manifold glow a dark red. I've seen this on a 90 Corolla Sedan (1.6L 16 Valve EFI) after 80-90 too so I'm not worried. Would cooling that down improve performance?
I wouldnt keep it off for too long. Its there to protect the paint on your hood and various other components near the manifold (like your a/c and power steering hoses). I'm sure a day or 2 wont hurt but dont leave it off forever.
Well, it's there for a reason. Rubber doesn't like heat much, so, you're gonna expose your hoses/belts to that much more heat, and that's gonna make them wear out that much quicker. I'm not saying a whole lot quicker, but, quicker nonetheless. Also, colder air makes more power. You're exposing your intake to that extra heat, even if not a whole lot is radiating over that far, it's still gotta heat up the air some. That's gonna decrease power. I'd say put it back on.
If you wanna leave it off for a few days to paint it or something, then I don't think you're hurting anything, but, I don't think it would be a good idea for the long run. Think about water splashing up into the engine compartment. The heat shield blocks some of that too. Do you REALLY want relatively cool water splashing up on something that's glowing red? Good way to crack it.
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