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I am having trouble with the underbody covers being dislodged by snow or mud. These are two of these, one on the drivers side and one on the pasenger side. I bought the 2004 Insight for my wife in Dec '03. The passenger side came loose first, admittedly after Ann almost got stuck on a muddy dirt road. Then both sides came loose last week when Ann was driving home (paved road) thru some slush and snow.

Anyone experience similar problems?
 

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I have read people who drive over snow deeper than the ground clearance of the Insight having similar problems to yours.
 

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Never been in the snow and mine came loose within a few months. I just used some small screws. Not pretty but it works.
 

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Mine were fine the fist year, but this winter the passenger side pan came loose at the front. It pulled over the head of the bolt, dragged on the road and was thus destroyed. It just seems that the heads of the bolts are not wide enough to provide strain relief.

I am currently deciding between two replacement options:

1. Buy another panel. They're not that expensive. Install some large flat washers to provide the necessary strain relief.

2. Make a new panel out of aluminium or carbon fibre, and provide thicker areas to take the strain of the bolt.

I am currently swinging toward option #2.
 

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cjohnson said:
I am having trouble with the underbody covers being dislodged by snow or mud. These are two of these, one on the drivers side and one on the pasenger side. I bought the 2004 Insight for my wife in Dec '03. The passenger side came loose first, admittedly after Ann almost got stuck on a muddy dirt road. Then both sides came loose last week when Ann was driving home (paved road) thru some slush and snow.

Anyone experience similar problems?
I had to have them replaced. Snow and ice build up and I guess the weight causes the vinyl to tear away from the screws that hold them on. From now on when there is snow, I think I'll dig out, or wash out all the snow and ice after I drive in snow. They make a nasty noise dragging on the road, especially on a 60 or 70 mile trip.
 

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Aaron Cake said:
I am currently deciding between two replacement options:

1. Buy another panel. They're not that expensive. Install some large flat washers to provide the necessary strain relief.
Hi Aaron, I've got a spare passenger side panel (mistaken ebay purchase) that you could have. I drive through London regularly on my way to Montreal or I could box it up and send it from Windsor for the cost of postage. Drop me a pm if you're interested.

-jc
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Additional fasteners

I installed the second set myself, with a few extra screws and a couple of zip ties. The wife says she went through some fairly deep mud and they are still undamaged. Honda agreed to pay for half of repair costs.
 

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I learned all about underbody covers today. I parked at the bank and ran in to make a deposit. When I came out and tried to back out of the parking space, the car would move only a few inches and stopped. Unbeknownst to me, the underbody cover was apparently hung on the concrete "bumper" in front of the car. I got out, looked underneath and behind all the tires, didn't see anything, so got back in and proceeded to accelerate until I was freed from the invisible force. When I got home, I saw that I had loosened the left front panel and DEMOLISHED the underbody cover. I don't know which side. I just know that it's a bunch of twisted metal under there (I could be exaggerating). I'll let everyone know how expensive this repair job is. P.S. I've only had the car a month and thought I was doing well!

Jennie in Arkansas
2000 5-speed w/air #3837
 

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Allright...another midwest Insight owner! Sorry to hear about your misfortune, though. I hope it doesn't cost too much to repair!

Just be careful to take note of any obstructions when you park. I usually find that the Insight is short enough I can park 1-2 feet back from any curb or concrete bump stop, and the back end of the car is still well within the parking space. (and still a couple feet shorter than any SUV or truck that wedges in the space next to me)
 

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Well, I just came back from the body shop, $480 lighter. I think I just learned a hard lesson. #1 - if your deductible won't cover the repair, don't even bother reporting it to your insurance company. #2 - if the insurance company writes an estimate, you don't have to give it to the body shop. Let them tell you how much they will charge to repair it. #3 Get at least three estimates on the repair charges. I got a referral to a quality body shop, so I got an estimate from my insurance company and trotted the car over. They charged me the estimate amount in full, which came out of my pocket. They refunded me a whole $40 off the original estimate because the guy straightened out the underbody cover instead of ordering a new one ("too much trouble to order one" he said). I'm going to pick up my chin and go on, but I believe I got shafted on the price. There was just no damage to repair. They replaced the underbody cover, re-aligned the connection tabs on the left front skirt thingie, and that's it. I know it spent some time in the paint shop but I can't see where or why.

Signed: Disappointed in Arkansas
and feeling really stupid that I didn't know
how to intelligently get through the repair process.
 

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Woah, that does sound like they were very unreasonable. If it makes you feel better, I think everyone has had a couple of experiences like that.

I had a "professional" brake job done on my 1980 Prelude. It seemed to cost about double what it should, but I just payed up and told myself that brakes were really important and therefore justified it in my mind. The brakes failed twice on me in the next week as the lines had not been properly bled. I've done my own brakes ever since!
 

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I'm missing a few of the bolts that hold the underbody cover on (Large metal sheet)... ok most of them. Anyone know what size I need to replace them? I'm thinking they came loose after my last oil change, I'll have to start doing that myself.

Also when I fix it, does the metal go above or below the plastic bumper? I'm assuming above for the wind..

Thanks all, these discussion boards are great :)
 

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The last time I did my own oil change, some how I lost one of those bolts. It cost $2 at honda for a new one, what a rip off! But I wanted it to match.
 

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Those are specially shaped shoulder bolts that don't crush the plastic, right?
 

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Well I might be a redneck if.. LOL I'm using little zip ties for now until the bolts show up at the dealer. Then I'll take it off, rubber mallet out the dents and dings and bolt it back on.
 

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For the brave, desperate, and dexterous. If the plastic panels are distorted due to oil or impact they can be reshaped using a hair dryer. You have to be careful not to overheat the plastic, but there is a point where it is hot enough to be carefully reformed. (Too much heat and your cooked.)
 

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Newly acquired '04 underbody cover down (?)

Bought the car Monday knowing the passenger side "wunderbody" panel was hanging loose in the front. Well, we woke up to at least 10" of new snow the morning after I bought it. I need a quick fix to get on the road!
Thought I'd ask for advice before I suited up to lay down in the snow & figure it out. The panel is surely damaged on the front edge. I figure I can zip tie or wire it up for now so I'm not scooping up huge amounts of snow or getting stuck.
Read posts from guys who were screwing it back on. Since the original places where it was attached are probably messed up (and didn't work anyways) my question is can I use sheet metal screws and just screw into new spots on the frame?
Thanks in advance from a midwest newbie!
 

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Please include your location in your profile.
 

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Bought the car Monday knowing the passenger side "wunderbody" panel was hanging loose in the front. Well, we woke up to at least 10" of new snow the morning after I bought it. I need a quick fix to get on the road!
Thought I'd ask for advice before I suited up to lay down in the snow & figure it out. The panel is surely damaged on the front edge. I figure I can zip tie or wire it up for now so I'm not scooping up huge amounts of snow or getting stuck.
Read posts from guys who were screwing it back on. Since the original places where it was attached are probably messed up (and didn't work anyways) my question is can I use sheet metal screws and just screw into new spots on the frame?
Thanks in advance from a midwest newbie!
I would take it off until the weather improves. You may be able to salvage it if you do no further damage. Haven't seen it of course, but a couple of things work to improve them - sometimes. If you have rips of tears, you can back it with a piece of aluminum flashing and use lots of pop rivits. If just the holes are worn or enlarged, you can sometimes use fender washers.

The small bolts used to attach the panels have a special coating to help avoid corrosion, so use the same bolts.

If the panels are unusable, you can fabricate new panels using coroplast signboard, which may actually be superior to the originals. When doing so, run the coroplast ridges fore and aft. You may have to buy a 4x8 sheet at a sign shop.
 
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