Push pins and push-pin tools have become integral parts of countless repair jobs. Here's what readers need to know about these important fasteners.
First of all, the most-common task push pins perform is securing large, plastic shields to the underside of a vehicle. These shields, which may be labeled splash panels or anti-splash panels, protect the engine and transmission from excessive road splash and debris.
Sometimes auto makers also use push pins to secure various panels inside the vehicle's cabin, trunk or storage area.
A push pin is a plastic fastener equipped with appendages that resemble legs or ears. The more-common designs have either two or four of these appendages.
Second, technicians often temporarily remove splash shields in order to access components such as starters, alternators, air conditioning compressors, etc. During this removal process, a tech accidentally may destroy push pins or else lose them.
I have to go out in the bays in order to shoot photographs and/or do research of one kind or another. All too often, I encounter a vehicle with a loose, drooping or broken splash shield.
Usually, two factors accompany the loose, drooping or broken splash shield. For one thing, someone else already has worked on the vehicle.
Second, the vehicle owner may not necessarily notice the condition right away. Instead, he or she only realizes there's a problem when the loose panel scrapes the ground or hangs low enough to be an eyesore.