I think that while it's not absolutely necessary, it's there for a reason or Chrysler wouldn't have spent the $2 or whatever per car to put it there; they could have left it off and saved millions of dollars in costs over the production run but they felt it important enough to spend the money on it.
At the very least it helps keep the engine compartment cleaner when driving in bad weather or thru puddles; and I'm not sure but it may affect cooling and possibly aerodynamics too. On my "C" it is held on by 4 small screws, not plastic clips - - and it only takes a minute to remove at oil change time so it's not a hassle. Why remove it?
I think its more for aerodynamics then anything. Im rolling with out it because it fit looser and looser after every oil change. When I drive as low as I do I don't have to worry about aerodynamics! :lick:
Its intent is to smooth the airflow under the car. "... engines seized from cold water..." Nah. Cars went without splash shields for a long time. Engines seize from improper lubrication.
These blocks aren't aluminum. Like I said, cars have driven through water for decades without seizing. I suspect a lot of off-road vehicles bury the running motor in water with no more ill effect than drowning out. I guess very cold water on a hot aluminum block could crack it, but that only becomes a seizure after the oil has run out.Don't believe me then, I used to be a mechanic and I've seen it only on aluminum blocks. Keep it off and drive thru alot of water and see what might happen