Do I really need… part 7 – Underbody Protection (Bash Plates)
Bash plates are used to protect the underside of your vehicle from rocks, sticks, and anything hard or sharp that’s going to smash or puncture the weaker bits that are exposed to the ground. Good bash plates are made of steel and will cover the vulnerable areas specific to your vehicle and let you slide over things a lot safer than if you just left things open.
In my case, I’ve got a Prado. These are great, but the factory bash plates under the car do leave a lot to be desired. They are not that strong (even the fuel tank guard leaves a lot to be desired) and they tend to dig up and keep a lot of dirt, clay and sand when you try and push through things. That’s why I have a good set of bash plates on my wishlist (pending approval from my better half, of course!).
The things to look out for in underbody protection are:
- The plates are made from a decent grade steel This can be tricky because you don’t want it too soft or it won’t offer enough protection, but you also don’t want it too hard or it will be brittle and break easier.
- The plates are thick enough to offer protection.
- The plates cover all of the bits under your vehicle that are fragile and/or expensive to replace if they get broken.
Underbody Protection or Bash Plates lead on from Rock Sliders with pretty much the same advice. If you do some hard tracks then yes it’s great. If you do the occasional beach run, then no, you don’t really need it.