Haynes Manuals has been surveying people regarding do-it-yourself car repair and maintenance and has learned that one of the biggest barriers preventing people from working on their own cars is the presence of the plastic engine cover on newer vehicles.
Of course, this is not a problem for those with classic cars.
“Within the past 20 years, most automotive manufacturers decided they wanted to hide the inner workings of their engine compartments and started to install plastic covers that obscure the motor for the sake of a cleaner look,” Haynes said in its news release.
“While the design may look tidy, they present a major problem for many looking to save money by working on their own vehicles. They create a psychological barrier for would-be mechanics.”
Many people interviewed by Haynes admitted they were intimidated by the engine covers and were afraid they might break something or void a warranty by removing the cover. They also said it appeared too daunting to attempt to remove the cover.
“You won’t fix what you can’t see,” J Haynes, chief executive of Haynes Publishing, is quoted in the news release. “Most people don’t realize that removing a few simple screws will provide easy access to undercover workings of their engine and allow them to work on their own cars and save lots of hard-earned money.
“We say there’s no need to fear the plastic engine cover.”
The company’s news release also said that, “since the plastic engine cover is a superficial add on that serves no actual purpose, you won’t void your car’s warranty by removing it.”
It also suggested several alternative uses for the engine cover after you’ve removed it. They include:
• Hang it on your wall and tell people it’s modern art.
• Use it as a serving tray for the holidays.
• Make some extra cash and sell it on eBay.
• Turn it into a litter box.
• Wear it as body armor for Halloween.
• Give it to someone you don’t like as a gift.
• Fill it with ice and put beer in it at parties.