i'm am now confused too......i'm talking about the cover on the left hand side of the motor when standing in front of the car, covering the cam gears. can i take that off and be ok and not worry about anything messing up the motor.
i'm with liquid mine have been off for about 2 years without a problem, unless an acorn falls down to the bottom and gets wedged to shear the timing belt, your fine, its not like there is oil traveling through from the motor.
ps: its also nice to be able to check on the belt without taking off that annoying cover.
My cover has been off for about a month, and no problems yet...it would probably take a freak accident to mess up anything. I think the cover's more to protect you from injury while leaning over the engine than to protect the moving parts because they get dirty from the bottom anyway.
There are like three bolts holding it in place if I remember well, but one of them is kinda hard to get to so you might just end up braking the cover when removing unless you're careful. It's a little bit of a struggle at first, but nothing you can't handle.
OK---Kinda tricky this one..What I did because the mount is in the way..And the cover does have to bend alot..Drive the car with one bolt left in it(an easy to get to bolt)Drive hard get the motor hot as you can..Pull in the drive way and pop the hood...remove the bolt and bend.........Alot of the time the cover will break or crack but if you are carefull and its hot it SHOULD bent enough..to slip it out. Then if you want to put it back. Take a dremmel or whatever and cut around the scratch marks around the mount placement on the cover. Good times and go ahead.