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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was doing an oil change recently when an unexpected detached part showed up. But is it even part of my car? I had just removed (actually, swung it aside) the plastic bottom cover that exposes the engine drain plug and filter. Lying on the surrounding plastic next to the access hole was what appears to be a heat-shield or insulation pad. It's made of a woven silvery material, and the pad is a bit less than 1/4" thick. It's sort of rectangular---one corner is not a 90˚ angle---about 4" K 7". There are 8 holes cut into it, about 3/8" diameter. There are rusty stains on the fabric near the holes, as though the pad was pushed onto a bunch of pins or bolts.

I took a butane grill lighter to it, and can confirm that it wouldn't burn. So what the heck is it? The plastic panels that cover the whole powertrain area make it hard to imagine that the pad got flicked up from the pavement somewhere to land on the plastic cover.

My mechanic doesn't recognize the thing, and though he sees a fair number of Mazda's, his shop services all makes, so he may not be familiar with all parts. 'Specially parts that look like they would never come loose except possibly during a tear-down. Can anyone i.d. this, or say whether or not it could be from my engine? I'm not physically able to get good access to every area under the hood.
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