On the 1.8 engine you don't have to take the tiny little plastic cover off to get to the Oil plug, however you do need to remove it to get to the Oil filter. As Smileybug already said it's no big deal. 4 screws which takes about 25 seconds to remove. It's the easiest part of the Oil changeIs there a special tool available to remove the oil drain plug without having to take down the protection shroud? There must be something. I can't imagine you have to take off the shroud every time you change your oil, right?