You were not clear in your one sentance but I assUme by adding your title to it you are talking the front disc shield. I would say yes to keep junk out of your brakes. Location is also a big thing to consider. When I lived up north the plugs in the rear drum set up was not a big deal if left out. Down here in Florida if it is left out I will bet you the drum will be grooved up because of the sand that got in there. I have also seen down here the cars with disc brakes and shields that don't cover up as much as others get grooved up rotors from the sand. If you were to just drag race the car I would consider no. Wet brakes don't work well either so the sheild also helps keep some of that water off of them too. I have found with my 20 mile drive home from work down here and the rain we get even with the shields on I need to test my brakes coming into town before I need them because they have gotten wet enough to cut my braking way down until dried and warmed up again. I would say put them on.
Sorry my attempt to combine the subject with the body was so confusing.
Anyways, I find it interesting that this plate is about 6" in diameter and does not protect the swept area of the rotor from anything. Apparently it is called the bearing retainer, which sounds important enough to replace it.
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