Something hanging/dragging under car

Asked by Jan 16, 2017 at 02:48 PM about the 1998 Acura EL

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Last night I scraped the bottom of my car on some ice and snow...only to
later drive down a stretch of street with no lights and hit a giant pot hole I
didn't see. Since then there is a piece hanging and dragging on the ground.

It's my first car and I'm a girl. I know mechanics can smell my lack of car
knowledge and will rip me off so I would like to have some idea what I'm
dealing with before going to a mechanic. My uneducated guess is I scraped
the splash guard (if that's even what its called) in the front and bent it out of
shape. And the hanging rusty piece looks like it could be the cover/heat
shield of the catalytic converter? Can anyone tell me what the piece is? My
car is pretty rusty under there as it is a 98..so I'm not sure they will even be
able to reattach it. If I take it off is it safe to drive without?
Thank you

1 Answer

241,595

It's called a catalytic converter heat shield. You can remove it for now if you can work it off. they get rusty and the welds break free. If you can't get it off, you can go to the hardware store and get some large hose clamps to wrap around to hold it in place. Another option is a muffler shop can tack weld it up for you for a small fee. Don't let them talk you into replacing the exhaust if it isn't leaking or damaged.

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