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Discussion Starter #1
Do you have a belly pan for your car? If you have a belly pan, do you keep it on? Sometimes after changing the oil I question whether I should replace the belly pan or leave it off.
 

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My car didn't have a belly pan on when I bought it. I've often thought about getting one of the aftermarket aluminum ones primarily for busting through drifts in the winter time. About the worst that has ever happened to me is that my engine bay tends to get snow packed into it come around February. Also, both of my inner fenders have holes worn in them where they rubbed against the tires before I bought the car. I wire tie them in a couple of spots, and they are good to go.
 

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Mine is on its 2nd belly pan. My wife, with help of local VW dealer ruined the original belly pan. About 6 years ago I cut a access panel in the plastic to allow oil changes without removal of the dang thing. Best Idea Ever.

Every 2 years I replace the broken zip-ties, various VWAG fasteners to keep it from flapping too much. I guess it keeps squirrels and chippies out of the engine bay, as they store the walnuts.
 

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Always kept one on all of the Passats. I have a metal one waiting to be installed once I get back to working on my car again.
 

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I have a 2000 and I still have the original one on. If you don't have it, I think the fender liners blow against the wheels causing a hole in the fender liner (at least that is what I think caused the holes in mine when I took the belly pan off for about two months.)
 

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I've bought an aluminum pan for all 3 of the Passat's I've had. I don't know how...but they always end up scuffed underneath so I'm glad they are there. These cars ride low enough that I feel a lot better having something down there to protect the oil pan. As others mentioned, I'm sure it helps keeps things cleaner as well. The aftermarket ones last forever and are easy to remove/install so it's a no-brainer for me.
 

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Neither of mine came with them. 01, and now an 04. I have thought about getting an after market.

Where can one source the aluminum ones without breaking the bank? I had looked many months back but they were pretty expensive. Even the plastic ones were pretty costly.
 

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When I bought my 2000, it had a new pan, but the previous owner hadn't replaced the wheel well liners yet. Took me a while to figure that out. My 2004's pan took a hole from an object buried in the snow last winter, so I'm glad I had it on.

Automotive engineers (despite appearances, sometimes) aren't stupid - they don't put parts on a car just to annoy you. There's a reason every single item is there.
 

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Automotive engineers (despite appearances, sometimes) aren't stupid - they don't put parts on a car just to annoy you. There's a reason every single item is there.
I agree. It's interesting how often engineers get blamed for the things that are done to vehicles.

The problem I've run into is that I'm unwilling to pay what people seem to want for either the stock or the aftermarket belly pans. That's entirely on me for being cheap, and it will probably bite me someday. It always does.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the advice. I might look into getting an aftermarket if it has some sort of fasteners that make it easy to get the pan on and off. I found a new plastic one online for $45 with shipping. Or, I might look into making an opening in my plastic pan for changing the oil.
I wonder if anybody has come up with some sort of quick release fastener system for their pan.
 

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The aftermarket pan I have (and I would assume others as well) comes off with by removing 2 17mm bolts, a 10mm nut and about 6 speed nuts. Total time to remove once the car is up high enough to get underneath is probably 60 seconds. Putting it on is a bit more complicated since you have to hold it up while getting the bolts started but I would guess that adds maybe 30 seconds to the job. First time installation is a bit move involved and probably takes 10-30 minutes since you need to actually think a bit to be sure to get it right the first time. If you're using an open end wrench or something on the bolts it would take longer but once you've done it a time or two, it's about as hard as removing the coolant tank for access to the oil filter.
 

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As mentioned, pans help move the air UNDER the car. They also keep stuff from splashing up into the engine compartment.

I don't know about the B5 as mine came without a pan (I'm looking), but I do know that the pan on my Mk5 GLI is dimpled like a golf ball and also has NASA scoops pointing at the tranny. There are many other dimpled removable plastic panels under the car as well. I would imagine there was some wind tunnel time needed to create the under panels and I will be leaving them... I can handle the 8 screws it takes to remove engine pan when I have to change my oil or do other service--impact driver zips 'em right off! NBD!
 

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I might look into getting an aftermarket if it has some sort of fasteners that make it easy to get the pan on and off.
Can't speak for the aftermarket items, but the factory pan uses Dzus fasteners on all but the single front 10mm nut. Originally designed for aviation use, they're 1/4 turn on or off. Doesn't get much faster or easier than that.
 

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A word of caution, some aftermartket pans, though they have the same part number, do not fit, ie, the holes do not line up properly. ECS offers an aftermarket pan made by Bremmen for a reasonable price, but I haven't tried it. Caveat emptor.
 

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My 2001.5 still has the original pan with lots of scars. One time a mechanics didn't put fasteners in properly and the front part of pan fell to ground while driving at ~35mph. I had to pull over and used plastic bags (only thing in hand) to tight it to the chassis. It is now held in place with bolts and zip ties. I was told the pan also acts like cup lid and should not be removed.
 

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If I had one, I'd probably keep it.
As it turns out, 50 weeks ago when I bought the car, it didn't have one and I have never worried about not having it.

I know this is a different topic but...my 2004 V6 did come with the upper engine covers, and I keep those off.
I need access to engine more than most folks.
 
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