The heat that is produced by the exhaust system of an engine is much higher than most people realize. With all of the vital and sensitive components that are on your engine, it is important to have the right amount of protection for heat. The heat shield is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting the vital parts of an engine from heat. This type of shield is usually made from metal or a ceramic materials. The heat shield is mounted all throughout the engine compartment and performs a very specific job. Every time that your engine is run, the heat shield will have to offer protection.

The heat shield that is mounted on your car is supposed to last as long as the car does. As with any other metal component, rust is one of the biggest enemies that the heat shield on a car will have. Due to the moisture that is produced by the engine, eventually a metal heat shield will begin to show signs of rust. Not addressing the rust issues that the shield has can lead to a variety of different problems. If certain parts of your engine get too hot, it can lead to fire hazards and other dangerous situations.

The heat shield on your car is not usually checked during a routine maintenance procedure, which means that you will have to make concessions to keep it checked yourself. The more you are able to find out about the overall condition of this part, the easier you will find it to get the proper repairs when needed. Due to the importance that this part plays in the running of the engine, it is important to get a professional to perform the repairs that are needed. The following are some of the things that you may notice when your heat shield is in need of replacement:

  • There is a scraping noise coming from the underside of the vehicle
  • The presence of melted wires under the hood of the car
  • The hood gets very hot while operating the vehicle
  • There is a noticeable burning smell

Getting the heat shield replaced in a hurry is wise due to the damage that it can cause. If you have any concerns about your car overheating, or are already experiencing increased heat in your car, it may be good time to have your heat shield checked or replaced.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Heat Shield Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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