What's the deal with Plastic Engine Covers? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 03-10-2009, 07:48 PM   #1
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What's the deal with Plastic Engine Covers?

I just turned 45 and I love telling kids to get off my lawn especially wearing a robe with reading glasses, a Sunday paper, and a cup of coffee. So in my fuddy-duddy-dom I cant stand those plastic engine covers they put on every car now. I got one on the Solstic, it covers the coils and cam covers, I frankly like the sight of a naked engine, like the sport bikes that strip off all the plastic and just let the machine stand on its own.

Now one of my all time favorite engines was the 426 Hemi, it had tall chrome valve covers, with the spark plug wires going straight into the head. It was a beautiful masculean engine. Back in the hot rod days one of my favorite engine combos was a read block with gold valve covers. Barrett Jackson now gets hundreds of thousands for cars I used to see rusted and jacked up running down the road with a pair of glass packs and slot mags. The VW bug air cooled has plenty of areas for chrome and paint. Now the Tuner Import crowd is doing the same thing, with chrome, billet, and lots of color. The thing is engines now look like toasters, granted cars of the 80s had so much smog spaghetti the engine looked like is was caught in a fish net.

So wha-do-ya-think, a large happy face that says "Dont Worry" when you open the hood, or a visceral throbbing, cam wheels spinning, chrome caliope of shaking, spinning, finger amputating, parts, growling like a beast, that forces you to wear ear and eye protection.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:10 PM   #2
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I am sure you don't miss the mechanical fan that would wack your fingers off. The engine cover - year my xB was a mystery . . . it was almost 3 years before I saw the spark plugs but the cover is there to reduce some of the electromagnetic radiation from the wiring - ever hear any radio noise in a newer car? There i salso a lot of water spray that comes through the radiator on a rainy day and that usually gets deflected away from the injectors and spark plug coils also. A lot of guys have taken the covers off and painted them various colors and that is a lot easier than pulling the head off.

As far as the sound goes . . . well the VVTi really sounds like nothing I have ever heard before when it idles.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:58 PM   #3
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I think they are for sound deadening mostly, but don't hold me to that.

Yea, I like the rumble of a hot cam inside a topless (no plastic) v8. And that 426 hemi was such a good motor you still can buy one today as far as I know.

But I am stuck with v6's now for fuel economy I guess, but I didn't get any plastic tops on mine..
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanGeo View Post
I am sure you don't miss the mechanical fan that would wack your fingers off. The engine cover - year my xB was a mystery . . . it was almost 3 years before I saw the spark plugs but the cover is there to reduce some of the electromagnetic radiation from the wiring - ever hear any radio noise in a newer car? There i salso a lot of water spray that comes through the radiator on a rainy day and that usually gets deflected away from the injectors and spark plug coils also. A lot of guys have taken the covers off and painted them various colors and that is a lot easier than pulling the head off.

As far as the sound goes . . . well the VVTi really sounds like nothing I have ever heard before when it idles.

hate to say it but you just hit a ball into left field so far noones gettin it....

1: electric fans have plety of oomph and speed and sharp plastic to whack fingers off (dont ask how i know) if not smart liek a b**** and are worse than metal ones IMO as they can turn on randomly so some people forget about them when thier reaching in somewhere

2: since when does palstic stop magnetic fields (think about this, all wires are coated in plastic insulation)

3: spark plus are already made(and have been since ohhh 1950 somehting prolly) to stop engine whine comming thru the radio unless u buy those $10 valucraft things (read sparkplug wires sometime, ones ive seen say radio suppression on them among other things) that and radios have gotten a billion times better than they were.

4: water spray thru the radiator? what about the huge gaping holes underneath? heck my s-10 put the coil packs right by the upper A-arm 1/2 way down the side of the engine and i havent had a water spray issue (besides blasting thru water puddles that were prolly a good 6" deep going 55mph...may have missed a few times but never stalled)

the covers are there for 2 reasons:

A make it look purdy cuz everyones about looks nowadays. think about this, why would they make it fancy colored with a proper emblem sometimes chrome even instead of the run of the muck black plastic? also most people nowadays (except a select few including most if not all of us on here) dont know crap about cars and get all confused when they see the mess of wires hoses "funny plug things". now they can pop the hood and see some fancy palstic thing with the awesome emblem/logo on it and not feel like a doofus!

B to keep idiots out from under the hood (funny they always have the dipstick and oil fill on top the cover with huge caps/notes telling said person what it is)



i dont mean to pick on you JanGeo but i had to set things straight about those stupid covers....




but to answer Scotts qestion yes i would love to see a beautiful engine like the hemi or the simple 350 again...everythings so basic on them! i love the orange block, silver heads, and either black or chrome valve covers.

lol bring back that huge 500ci cadilac motor, man i saw one of those last year at an autoshow and wowza, true detroit iron right there...
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:32 AM   #5
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The covers do have functional purpose, at least on some cars. I was in a few threads about them on at least two forums, wondering why money is wasted on something that most of us seem not to want, and there were actually some good answers...that I no longer remember.

They especially do something that us Gas Savers are interested in: They keep heat in the engine.

Some are designed to replace other parts. On modern VWs, the engine cover is the airbox. There, it's not doing anything that can't be done by something else just as well and possibly for less money.

The engine cover in my truck doesn't even pretty it up...it's butt-ugly.
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:29 AM   #6
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holycow,

notice also the "ADVERTISEMENT" on your cover as most of them have. you have the bragging rights because yours is a "VORTEC" engine and the hope is that others will want it too. you pop the hood and now chevy (maybe GMC) gets a plug.

not the only reason but a notable reason for the covers. they used to do that on the valve covers on the older engines.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:24 AM   #7
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although the covers DO serve a purpose i have to agree with the OP. i don't like them much either lol. went to the big car show in toronto a couple weeks ago and as i was looking under the hood of newer cars my first thought was 'what the hell is with all these covers and guards now??'
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:44 AM   #8
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Some good points so far. I'm sure that the biggest reason for them is engine noise; in all of the vehicles I've seen with covers it had sound damping material under it.

I think its easier/cheaper to do that than to put a hood liner and since they want to make the engine look pretty anyways they consolidate the two. Not true with all cars of course but with most it is.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:48 AM   #9
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:50 AM   #10
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I hate the covers also. Whenever I have had a car with one it comes off when I need to work on it and I store it until I sell the car, then it goes back.

I think they are all about making the engine compartment look pretty for the consumer.
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