If you've taken your car off-road or simply driven through some deep and muddy puddles, you may find that quite a lot of mud has become stuck to the bottom of the vehicle. If you think that this isn't something to worry about, think again. Here are just four major issues that can be caused by caked-on mud across the undercarriage.
One of the biggest problems that comes with covering the undercarriage of your car in any way is a reduction in the vehicle's ability to dissipate heat. If you've ever looked beneath your car, you'll have probably noticed that many elements have been left exposed. This is because leaving them uncovered lets them stay cooler. If mud starts to get caked along the bottom of the vehicle, an insulating layer is formed. This will increase the likelihood of parts overheating, which can result in anything from unexpected breakdowns to costly repairs.
2. Imbalanced Ride
You might not think of the mud that flecks up beneath your car as a particularly heavy addition to the vehicle, but caked-on mud can quickly become very heavy. After all, it's a mixture of mud and water. In a perfect world, the additional weight would be evenly distributed, but, in reality, this is unlikely to happen. Instead, more mud will usually go on one side of the vehicle. This will inhibit your ability to control it, and you might find that the steering starts to feel a little off. Worse still, sudden weight changes can occur when large pieces of mud drop away; the resulting shift in balance can easily cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
Because you'll be driving a vehicle that is no longer well-balanced, misalignment issues are likely. Your wheels can become misaligned under poorly-distributed weight, which is why heavy loads should always be spread evenly or placed in the centre of the cabin. Mud will get into your wheel arches, so one set of tires could have more trouble turning than the others due to the additional weight. Misalignment will result, and this will impact everything from manoeuvrability to acceleration to fuel efficiency.
When mud is allowed to dry onto your car's undercarriage, rusting becomes more likely. This is because the moisture trapped in mud will be exposed to the essential parts of your vehicle. This will be a much greater problem if the mud happens to contain traces of salt.
For more advice contact a mechanic.