The OEMs are well aware of heat exposure and heat generation of specific components in their cars and trucks. They also know how keeping the heat out of certain areas is crucial to a vehicle’s performance, longevity of certain components, and comfort of passengers. But due to various limiting factors that include production costs, production time and federal regulations, they can’t always employ the best solutions for thermal barriers.

The problem with most factory heat shields and thermal barriers (and many aftermarket ones, for that matter) is that they are just metal and are usually mounted to hot metal. Most metals conduct heat very efficiently. Even though it's called a heat shield, eventually the ambient heat soaks the metal so much that it radiates the heat like an exhaust pipe or manifold would. If it's mounted to the floorboard, it will conduct the heat from the heat shield to your floorboard after the shield has become heat-soaked. And if you add common aftermarket components like headers and exhaust, you can end up with heat sources in areas of your vehicle that have no thermal barrier protection.

Another flaw with most OEM heat shields is that they don't cover enough area. If factory thermal barriers don't shield directly at the heat source, the shield needs to cover more area. When they shield just one spot, the heat radiates up, eventually heat-soaking the shield, and the heat also overflows around the shield. Imagine pouring water onto a plate; eventually the water overflows everywhere. The same thing happens in thermal dynamics with hot air. Eventually it overflows around the heat shield upward, toward the floor.

To solve this issue in a variety of automotive and marine applications, we have designed our Heatshield Products thermal barriers to work as efficiently as possible to fully shield areas of your car, truck, boat and off-road vehicle from ambient heat. Our various thermal-barrier materials were also designed with installation in mind, not only for actually getting them onto the vehicle, but also for the different sizes of space you will be dealing with, such as contours of the body and frame structure and the exposure to different environmental elements such as water/moisture, road grime, fluids and solvents. Keeping these things in mind not only means that our products achieve maximum efficiency in block thermal radiations, but that they’ll also have the expected longevity customers want so they don’t have to replace them frequently, or sometimes not at all over the vehicle’s life.

So what can you do to improve upon factory heat shields and thermal barriers? First, use an actually thermal barrier if the factory uses just a metal shield. A barrier actually blocks the transfer of heat while the metal barrier will get heat-soaked and radiate heat just like the heat source. Next, extend the thermal barrier far enough to prevent the heat from flowing over it. Finally, use the correct Heatshield Product for the specific area you’re working on. We offer exhaust wrap, Sticky Mat™, Header Armor™ and more so that you’ll be able to use a product designed to fit the component and to manage the type of heat that component will create. Explore the full line of Heatshield Products at