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It also protects the alternator against water, mud, sand splash. My truck didn't come with one. I accidentally drove into a flooded section of a street. The splash was windows high. Next day, alternator died. It's expensive and a pain to remove.

Luckily, I was able to buy a very slightly used one on Craigslist. Seller was a local Toyota dealership and the skid plate was a take off from a brand new truck. Only thing I had to buy were 3 bolts, 3 washers, and 3 lock washers from Lowe's. Happy to have it.:D

And the truck is quieter too. Less wind noise.
 
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