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Will Removing the Heatshield For Installation of Curt Hitch Cause Damage to 2014 Subaru Forester

Question:

2014 Forester with Curt 13144 hitch installation instruction: Heat shield must be permanently removed for hitch installation. Is there any damage that could occur to the vehicle without having the heat shied? Could we drill holes on the heat shield and keep it in place?

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Expert Reply:

My technical contact at Curt assured me that removing the heat shield when installing the Curt hitch # C13144 on your 2014 Subaru Forester will not cause any damage to your vehicle.

The law mandating the heat shield requirement was originally geared toward muscle cars when they got too hot and gas can spill out and catch the backside of the vehicle on fire. Since then, gas tanks have multiple layers of protection and the heat build up in a regular versus muscle car are drastically different.

He proceeded to tell me that some people who absolutely want the heat shield will take it out during installation and then trim it to fit back in place, which is an option, however, he told me it is not necessary.

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