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Why engine covers?

 
Old 06-14-2014, 08:02 AM
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Why engine covers?

Recently read a column in an old car magazine where the author was lambasting manufacturers for covering up engines. Got me wonering.
Why do most cars have covers over the engines now? Is it for better sound insulation, protect them from the elements? Has to be more than just to make the engine compartment look better, since it costs them money to do it.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:06 AM
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My thought is just to look pretty. The new engines with all the hoses don't look as good as the old ones with all the metal.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:58 AM
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I believe it has some engine noise insulation. Yes, it is a cost factor so they won't do it without some reason.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:54 AM
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Years ago it seemed only prevalent in luxury brands presumably for noise reduction and aesthetic purposes. Now you see it on more and more non-luxury cars. But I always thought it was to discourage DIY maintenance. I had a Toyota with no engine cover (maybe an emblem in there I don't recall though) and the air filter was right on top with pop off tabs to get to it - no tools required. I would rather see padding on the underside of the hood for noise reduction and no covers with easy-to-get-to dipsticks, filters, clear fluid housing, etc.
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Old 06-14-2014, 06:36 PM
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Aesthetic yes but in some cases, also keeps air from the fan closer to the engine head for additional cooling.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:35 AM
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I believe it must be for cosmetic and insulation purposes .On joking side it must be there for saving a major shy of some manufacturers for putting way too small engine
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BenzV12 View Post
I believe it must be for cosmetic and insulation purposes .On joking side it must be there for saving a major shy of some manufacturers for putting way too small engine
Ha! Sort of like putting a bigger carb air filter on 60-70's muscle cars to make the enigne look larger.
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:48 PM
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Per MB, it is primarily for appearance.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:34 PM
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They are primarilty to reduce noise - Both interior and for exterior (pass-by noise regulations). Most customers never lift the hood so they would not spend the money on engine covers for looks.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:51 PM
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It essentially is the air filter housing, only done up to look sexy. It is definitely all about the aesthetics, don't kid yourself. Plenty of people look under the hood. I have yet to find a way to put windshield washer fluid in my car through the side.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:52 PM
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Many reasons. Aesthetics for one, that's why they decorate them and make them blend and look good with emblems, matching paint colors etc.. Hide all the rediculous amount of electronics these cars use. They also protect these components from dust, debrit and water from washing. It also serves as a noise reducer. They also encorporate air dams, air chaneling, filters etc within them. So they serve many functions.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:06 AM
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Engine covers save the manufacturer from having to actually make engines that look great. It used to be the routing of wires, hoses, and pipes was an art. A cheap piece of plastic eliminates the need. Audi still does a fairly decent job in the engine compartment.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by KEY08 View Post
It essentially is the air filter housing, only done up to look sexy. It is definitely all about the aesthetics, don't kid yourself. Plenty of people look under the hood. I have yet to find a way to put windshield washer fluid in my car through the side.
lol, no they don't. The average MB (ml, C, E, etc) are leased and the driver has no interest in whats under the hood so long as the car works.

Washer fluid is filled by the dealer at the service.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:08 AM
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I agree with ImInPA very few manufacturers still want to show off their engines the way Audi (and a few others) do. I believe that manufacturers do it to keep DIYers away (after all, what is there to do under the hood) I like to keep my engine compartment clean and have from time to time removed the plastic covers to clean them fully.

Back in the day, manufacturers used chrome air cleaners to identify the model, size and HP of the car. That cannot be done with fuel injection. But sound deadining, I'm not sure, look at some of the newer high performance cars the actually channel engine noise into the cabin, weird if you ask me. To me there was nothing like the sound of a tri-powered car opening up the secondaries and pinning you to your seat, but I digress...
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ImInPA View Post
Engine covers save the manufacturer from having to actually make engines that look great. It used to be the routing of wires, hoses, and pipes was an art. A cheap piece of plastic eliminates the need. Audi still does a fairly decent job in the engine compartment.
So, this is my reason for reviving this thread. I see a secondary point here that relates to my question. I notice that this plastic shroud over the top of the engine does not truly reduce noise. I notice it rattles and makes quite an unpleasant notice with high acceleration. Even at idle you can hold it still with the hood up and you quickly notice that four little plastic clips are all that hold this in...

Is there some way to pad or tape this cover so it does not rattle as much? Is there any way to drive with out it on? Or you know... macguyver it to not be so plasticky. id rather hear the engine than the plastic connections chattering when the engines working hard. Ive seen carbon fiber ones, would they be quieter as well as light?

Obviously removing it sounds the riskiest, and i wouldnt know how to go about padding it..
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:20 AM
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I know what you mean. I'd rather see the stuff. Here's a pix of my S2000 stock engine:



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Old 01-06-2015, 02:07 PM
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Now they not only cover it ,but have a $1500 option for a carbon fiber engine cover on many AMG.
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Old 01-06-2015, 05:41 PM
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Thats what it looks like with no cover...
Just put it back on if it rains? I hear much more of the engine and less plastic rattle (or so i think... pretty sure)

Not too horrible looking, but I do think that the par that used to clip into the cover from the front fender might hang and make noise rattling off stuff..
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Trancebolt View Post

Not too horrible looking, but I do think that the par that used to clip into the cover from the front fender might hang and make noise rattling off stuff..
Exactly. They are there to reduce engine noise to make for a quieter cabin which is what most MB buyers want and what the engineers intended. MB is very part cost conscious and always looking to reduce unnecessary costs, so those covers are not there for looks - They each have a very specific NVH role to play. If any clips are rattling with covers installed properly that is unintended and can be easily fixed. And I doubt you can hear clips rattling inside the engine compartment when you are inside driving the car.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:11 PM
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I'm not crazy about covers either. I'd rather see the motor. If I don't want to see the motor than I won't pop the hood. I think it's much more of a fad than anything else. My wifes Acura takes it to an extreme, the entire motor is covered with some sort of plastic. Really silly.






This is the straight 6 that was in my wifes '98 Volvo. I always thought the 4 cyl Volvo engines were kind of ugly but the Swedes did a nice job in this engine compartment. Take note of the brake lines running on the firewall, all laid out parallel and neat. Only plastic cover on the engine was the center cover over the spark plugs. This was a fairly easy motor to work on, everything was out in the open. Beautiful engine, smooth as silk, ran it to 190K and it still purred with no major maintenance except oil and plugs.


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Old 01-07-2015, 01:09 AM
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My engine cover simply says V8 and I leave it that.
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