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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm getting ready to do my third oil change on MO, and over the last few days I've noticed three different 3rd Gen MOs and five recent Rouges driving around with the pass-side plastic skid panels bouncing off the pavement. The first time I had to access the oil pan drain plug, I removed 4-5 fasteners and pull-rolled the entire panel back to the front. On the second drain, I removed the two plastic fasteners closest to the drain plug and used a jack stand to keep it pinned out of the way. On this next drain, I plan to cut off a section of that plastic skid closest to the drain plug and pop-rivet a plastic hinge to both pieces so next time I can simply unscrew one custom fastener and the area beneath the drain plug will flip down and hinge-clip back and up and out of the way. I think doing this will be easier in the future, and will help prevent those plastic fasteners from wearing out and falling off while driving.

One plastic fastener in particular was a PITA to put back on the first time because it took me a few tries to realize that pulling the center pin all way the back (towards the head/flange) made the very tip flare out and prevented it from seating back into its hole. I had to push in the pin slightly to allow the sides of the outer-pin housing to relax and contract. I'm sure the design is meant to decrease the chance of that pin falling out down the road. I suspect some owners/mechanics are maybe forcing in that fastener and damaging it.

I also bought material to modify the cover over the oil filter. I''m going to cut out a small door to access the filter and have it hinged and quick-pinned for easy access the next time. I just don't like having to remove the current plastic fasteners. It's not that it's difficult, but it requires one more tool that I'd prefer not to deal with. On my '03 MO, I removed and tossed that oil filter cover on the very first oil change and never had any problems with debris kicking up and causing any damage.

I was considering eliminating the plastic panels on boths sides, but decided to keep them since they may help direct air across the CVT and oil pans to help keep things cooler.

FYI, I ran a heavy duty magnet through the old oil on the first change and there wasn't a metal shaving to be found. Does anyone know if the pan has internal magnets to capture any shavings?
 

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