Whether you want to protect your car’s crucial components or need to take a cautious approach to driving, investing in skid plates is the way to go.
With their overall structure and functionality, these protective plates safeguard your vehicle’s undercarriage and related components from shocks and impacts. As a result, any stray objects or potholes that are strewn across the road run less risk of damaging your car.
This makes skid plates quite an important addition for any vehicle, especially those that have a lowered suspension or which often drive on off-road paths.
But that brings another question to mind: How much does it cost to get this protection added to a car?
To help you find a detailed answer, here’s the lowdown on skid plates and their costs.
Skid Plates Costs Vary Upon Their Usage
Before you start analyzing the expenses for skid plates, you should understand that they don’t typically go by a fixed pricing plan. That is to say, most components within your car’s undercarriage typically need a different skid plate.
Different Sections of the Undercarriage Needs Specific Plates
The protective plate that you purchase for your gas tank will not be of the same price as the covering for your transmission. Similarly, the cover you buy for your transmission will not mirror the expenses of one that goes on your oil pan. In addition to that, the type of material you choose also has an influence on the overall cost.
This is why, you often have to purchase skid plates individually for specific areas of your vehicle. While this approach can be a little tedious and expensive, offers you more flexibility.
Pre-Arranged Sets Often Give You Affordable Options
If you are worried about affordability or accessibility, you can purchase these plates in pre-arranged sets. This helps you cover crucial parts of your vehicle with a single purchase.
More often than not, these sets comprise two or three plates that cover the most critical areas of a vehicle. At other times, they are more holistic and have enough plates to protect your car’s complete underbody. This offers you a more holistic and pocket-friendly option than sourcing these plates from different brick-and-mortar stores or online vendors.
Going With Custom Underbody Covers Can Give You Exactly What You Need
Another alternate solution to buying individual skid plates is to go with underbody covers. Custom-made to fit your requirements, these covers can protect your whole undercarriage at once. Depending upon your car’s model, these shields can be sourced as an aftermarket component. When that is not possible, you can get them custom made by an auto body detailer.
These covers are usually segmented into different sections for easy accessibility, but sold as a whole set. The costs for these covers vary, and largely relate to the car’s model as well the material used to make them.
Now that these points are clear, it will be easier for you to understand the fluctuation in cost between different skid plates.
What Are the Typical Costs of Skid Plates?
Skid plates are widely available through typical vendors and online sellers, but their prices can often vary. This is mostly due to the difference in material, but sometimes also has a lot to do with the provider, especially if you are getting your plates custom made.
Most off-the-shelf plates are made from steel, which is highly durable and quite common. Other plates can also come in aluminum, which are lighter than steel. You can also find some plates that are manufactured through heavy-duty plastic, which are the lightest of them all yet have enough strength to protect your car.
With these points in mind, here are the average costs for the most common types of skid plates.
|Skid Plate Type||Average Cost|
|Fuel Tank||$150 - $250|
|Front Air Dam||$150 - $200|
|Engine Splash Shield||$20 - 120|
|Steering Box||$60 - $100|
|Hitch||$100 - $150|
|Oil Pan||$100 - $250|
|Transmission||$175 - 275|
|Lower Control Arm||$90 - $170|
Needless to say, these prices vary largely due to the variety of skid plate materials. While steel is the most expensive, plastic is the cheapest. Whereas, aluminum ranks between these two materials in terms of affordability. If you reach out to an auto body expert to make you custom shields with titanium, then the price can run the highest and go beyond these market figures.
Another factor that you need to take into account is your car’s model. If you are buying the plate for a high-end vehicle, the starting price is going to be higher. If you are buying it for a common sedan, you can do well with a more affordable universal fit. Sometimes, the manufacturer’s brand name recognition also comes into play.
This is why, it can be incredibly hard to nail down the quote for installing skid plates on your car. But having a discussion with a professional who specializes in these installations can help you in this aspect. This assistance can also extend towards the installation of complete underbody covers, which also comes with added ease and affordability.
Short on Funds? Prioritize the Installation
Since skid plates act as shields between your car’s critical components and impacts on the road, they can save you plenty of equipment repair and replacement costs in the long run. This is why, when you purchase and install skid plates, you are essentially investing in your car’s long term protection.
Keeping this primary objective in mind, you should not compromise on protecting the most important elements of your car.
In case you have a limited budget, you should still not back away from your goal to obtain this protection for your car’s underbody. If the price for overall installation runs higher than the funds you have set aside, you can choose to protect the most critical parts of your vehicle before you put together the amount to get the complete set of skid plates for your car.
This is especially apt if you drive a lowered or off-road vehicle that is prone to damage by road obstructions or rougher terrain, respectively. In such cases, you can prioritize getting an engine splash shield or opting for a fuel tank skid plate. This makes sure that in the event of a shock or impact, the most crucial parts of your car stay safe from any trouble.
As an alternative measure, you can also get more durable and expensive skid plates for your crucial components while choosing slightly less sturdy yet affordable options for other parts. For instance, you can opt to go with steel plates for your engine and oil pan, while purchasing aluminum or heavy-duty plastic plates for your front air dam.
This approach to prioritizing your skid plate installation helps you get optimal protection without breaking the bank. As a result, you can rest assured in the knowledge that your vehicle is protected to the best of your ability.
To determine the best approach towards installing these skid plates for your vehicle, don’t hesitate to consult with a professional. As long as you reach out to a reliable expert, you will be able to strike the perfect balance between protection and affordability.
For more info on the features, benefits, and pricing of skid plates, click here, alternatively, use our interactive map to find an authorized installer near you. If you enjoyed this article, check out our blog.