I hate to ask a stupid question...but, what the hell do they actually do except add 20 mins onto any bottom end job? Are they important/usefull? If so I might need to invest in one, if not I won't worry! :*
Sorry for the hijack
on a lot of cars with no pan all the belts have covers. on many t4's there is no plastic covers apart from the cam belt. the power steering, alternator etc all sit low on the engine, close to the road. it would only need a scrap can or sharp rock to jump up into a belt get sucked into the cam belt cover and bang goes the engine. if a cam belt snaps while on the move you might as well scrap the motor. it would cost more to fix than buy a new one. but then, my brother drives a slammed golf with no pan and hasn't had a problem. just watch out for sharp objects in the road!
a pan keeps the bay clean to.