The splash shields on your Toyota Corolla help to protect your very costly engine and your very critical tires. They function simply and passively: being a strong wall that keeps water, mud, dirt, debris, away from the components that they protect. As simple as they are, it's still important that we take care of them because their breaking down usually means costlier damage to your engine and wheels. It's simple enough to take care of them-if we think about them at all. The fact is, however, that we tend to ignore them altogether as they are out of sight and out of mind. Here are a few things to look out for-these will clue you in that something is amiss with your splash shields.
While you should ideally check up on the condition of your splash shields as often as you can, it's understandable that you sometimes can't. Fortunately, there's an audible cue you can depend on as a guide. When you hear rattling in the engine block and wheel well, chances are that some debris managed to make their way in via a breach in the splash shield. At that point, it's best if you get to stop and inspect the shields to find the damaged area. Epoxy putty or even duct tape is enough to cover the seal so you can decide whether you want to replace the whole thing altogether-this is a good idea, by the way, and not too costly too.
If you do happen to inspect the shields regularly and find small bits of damage, it should clue you in that something along your regular drive might be causing damage-a newly asphalt-topped road perhaps? Maybe you drive too fast across a rough-hewn country road? While a change in driving habits towards greater care might be a good idea, a solution for the damage is application of epoxy putty to prevent the damage from growing. If it's not too big and not too many, you can stay away from a full replacement for the time being.