Imagine riding along a smooth road, playing your music at full volume, and enjoying the comfort that only your car can bring to you.
Gives off a pretty picture, doesn’t it?
Now think about scraping the bottom of your car during that very drive.
Not so pleasant anymore? We thought so.
With turbulence, damage, and financial loss all being a part of the picture, scraping your car does not make for a pleasant ride. But even as the consequences are clear as day, not many car owners know exactly what leads to those unwanted side-effects, or how to prevent them in the first place.
If you have ever wondered what exactly happens when you scrape your car’s underbody, then you are not alone. Every new or aspiring car owner has that question at some point. But as long as you understand the consequences that scraping your car brings to the table, you can take the required measures to make yourself and your car safe in the long run.
To help you along this journey, here is all you need to know about the facts and observations that are related to scraping your car. These observations also include tried and tested methods of keeping your car safe from unnecessary damage, so you can ensure a consistently pleasant drive on your favorite wheels.
Why is Scrape Damage Dangerous to Your Car?
Before you understand what scraping the bottom of your car can do, it is crucial to learn why the underbody of your car is so important to begin with.
What is at the Bottom of Your Car, Anyway?
Every modern car is based on a chassis or a base framework. As the name suggests, this holds the car’s base components, wheels, as well as its essential functions such as acceleration, brakes and alignment together.
Unlike the engine and related framework that’s arranged under the hood of the car, the base framework is connected through the underbody of your car, which faces the ground underneath. This support structure is also known as the undercarriage.
Why Are Cars Designed This Way?
This is mainly done for structural purposes, but also due to easy access to the car’s essential components. While the design holds and connects crucial components together, it also makes it easier to tune or maintain a car in the long run.
This is also why every mechanic has to slide under a car in order to check its framework during usual or emergency maintenance. Whenever they are taking on the task to look under a car, they are actually tending to its chassis and the parts that it holds within itself.
Where Does Scrape Damage Come In?
While this open design typically serves the purpose of convenience, it also increases the risk of damage to a car’s delicate framework.
Scrape damage results out of gradual impact or abrupt shock against the car’s underbody. This damage can also come from the ground itself, or through other elements and structures.
The most common causes of scrape damage include but are not limited to:
- Uneven ground or road.
- Speed bumps.
How Does Scrape Damage Affect a Car?
No matter the type of car you drive, scrape damage to the underbody can affect cars badly and significantly.
If a car’s undercarriage comes in contact with an outside object, either through consistent hits or a sudden collision, then it can hurt the car’s base framework and the components that are placed through it.
What Kind of Parts Are Damaged by Scraping the Underbody?
Your brakes, suspension, transmission, and fuel tank are just a few of the components that can get harmed through scrape damage to your car’s underbody.
Essentially, anything that is located at the undercarriage of your car is susceptible to scrape damage.
How Extensive Can Scrape Damage Be?
In best case scenarios, scrape damage can affect the performance of your car. You then need the help of professional repair services in order to tune and maintain your vehicle.
In other situations, it can cause significant harm to the point where you are unable to drive your car properly without extensive repair or complete part replacement.
What Does Scrape Damage Do?
In all scenarios, scrape damage ultimately leads to issues such as:
- Loss of funds due to massive repair or replacement costs.
- Loss of time due to extensive repairs and restoration.
- Loss of safety due to increased risk and exposure.
This is why, all types of car owners do their best to steer clear of scrape damage. This approach applies to car owners from all walks of life. After all, no one wants to put their own or their loved ones’ safety at risk, while also losing their funds and time to repair processes.
Thankfully, steering clear of scrape damage to the underbody is not impossible. It is all a matter of practicing some caution through your time on the road.
1) Install Skid Plates or Underbody Shields
One of the best and most effective ways to prevent scrape damage is to install skid plates or underbody shields on your car.
Specifically designed to cover the car’s undercarriage, skid plates are available in specific component sizes as well as full-underbody cover variations.
This means that you can easily pick and choose between the parts that you need to be protected at a greater level. But if you have the budget, then you can simply choose complete underbody shields that allow you to safeguard your whole undercarriage in an ideal manner.
Skid plates and underbody shields are made out of different heavy-duty plastic and metal material. They are easily available from reliable vendors.
2) Drive Slowly Through Uneven Roads
The biggest scrape damage often comes from potholes and uneven roads, which is why you should make it a point to stay careful on these paths.
If you have an off-road vehicle, then there are chances that it has a high suspension and wouldn’t be bothered by uneven pathways. But even in these cases, you need to be wary of the road ahead and drive slowly and carefully. While this practice most particularly applies to undeveloped pathways, it also holds true for city streets that have potholes or breakage along the way.
It’s because if a fast car runs into a pothole, then it is bound to receive some damage regardless of its original suspension height.
3) Reach Speed Bumps and Curbsides At An Angle
If you thought uneven roads were bad, wait till you learn about speed bumps and curbsides.
These seemingly harmless structures rest on the road to implement safety measures. But they can be pretty brutal to cars when it comes to scrape damage.
If you run right ahead at speed bumps or curbsides especially with a lowered suspension, then there are high chances that your car’s underbody will sustain some scraping.
With this in mind, make sure that you are exercising caution while driving through these structures. When possible, reach them through an angle instead of a straight drive. And ensure that you only drive through them with moderate acceleration. These tips help you avoid scrape damage through these common structures.
4) Drive Lowered Cars With Extra Care
Anyone who drives lowered cars knows that they not only look amazing, but also drive well. With these dual features, it is easy to see why they are so sought after by everyone who owns these vehicles.
But due to their lowered suspension, these cars are also at high risk of getting damaged by underbody scrapes. From their front bumper lip to their rear bumper edge, they have plenty of pressure points that are an easy target for shocks and impact.
That’s why, you should drive lowered cars with an increased amount of care. Whether you are taking sharp cuts or approaching slopes, make sure that you are doing so with a slow and controlled drive. Of course, it would require you to be more vigilant during your drive. But that’s a price that you need to pay for a car that looks ready for the race tracks.
Can You Permanently Avoid Scrape Damage?
Even when you implement all of these tips for avoiding scrape damage, you are going to face minor abrasions here and there during your drive.
But the difference will be noticeable through the intensity of that damage. Instead of massive repairs, you would only need to pay for minor touch ups. And in place of bidding farewell to an automotive part too soon, you can continue using it for a longer time. The sense of safety that comes with practicing these tips only adds to your peace of mind.
Overall, following these suggestions ensure that you are able to stay safe from the brunt of scrape damage, and keep yourself and your car away from this problematic issue.
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.