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What are car mud flaps?

What are car mud flaps?

The fender is a body part that protects the parts underneath the body from rocks, debris and mud that may be present on the road. Located between the vehicle's wheels and fenders, mud flaps can be installed on either the front or rear of the vehicle. Even though the mud flaps are designed to last for several years, they can be damaged by a collision.

What is the role of car mud flaps?

The mud flaps, also known as fenders, are a part of the bodywork normally found around the wheels of the vehicle. Generally made of rubber, plastic or polyethylene, the mud flap is first and foremost a protective element.  Their role is to protect the parts underneath the vehicle from mud, water, stones and gravel that could damage the engine block, braking system or suspension. However, it can also have an aesthetic function and can be modified.

In general, mud flaps are differentiated according to the material they are made of:

  • Rubber mud flaps: These are flexible and inexpensive, but wear out more quickly;
  • Plastic mud flaps: more resistant to wear over time and temperature changes, but less flexible;
  • Polyurethane mud flaps: These are the most expensive model, but they are also flexible and strong.

Mud flaps can also be classified according to their design, since there are standard mud flaps (the most common) and aerodynamic mud flaps, which consist of cutouts and ventilation holes.

Where are the mudflaps located on the vehicle?

Mud flaps are located in an area known as the wheel arch, which is located between the wheel and the fender of the car. Mud flaps can be found on both the front and rear wheels.

Depending on their location, mud flaps have different functions:

  • Front fenders protect the body of the vehicle;
  • Rear fenders protect other vehicles from spray.

How do I choose mud flaps for my vehicle?

When choosing mud flaps, it is advisable to pay attention to the following characteristics:

  • The material they are made of. From the above, you can understand that you should pay attention to this feature when choosing accessories.
  • The shape and size should also be considered. Not all universal fenders fit all models.
  • If you drive your car only in summer, you can choose the simplest option. And if you drive in the winter, it's worth buying mud flaps with a special coating that protects against chemicals and moisture.
  • Brand name. Don't forget the manufacturer. You can take advice from other drivers or choose based on brand recognition.

How do I remove a mud flap?

Dismantling a mud flap is a fairly straightforward operation, accessible to beginners.

All you need to remove a mud flap is a simple screwdriver. Start by unscrewing the screws that secure the mud flaps to the body, then unscrew the screws on the wheel side.

Then remove each clip from the top of the fender. This will allow you to remove the mud flaps.

What are the symptoms of worn fenders?

The mudguard is not a consumable part and does not need to be replaced every few years. However, depending on their condition, they may need to be replaced. When the mud flaps are damaged, the following signs will appear:

  • A squealing or rattling noise from the wheels when cornering
  • Deformation of the fenders
  • Corrosion and oxidation on the fenders
  • Cracks and holes in the fenders
  • Feeling of bumps under the vehicle
  • Worn metal parts

If the mud flaps are worn, don't hesitate to replace them to protect the parts under the car. Mud flaps are best replaced by a professional.

What vehicles are equipped with mud flaps?

Mud flaps can be installed on all types of vehicles. However, mudguards are generally fitted to heavy vehicles such as trucks and rally cars.

However, there's nothing to stop you fitting your own if you want to protect your bodywork and avoid splashes.

Now you know everything there is to know about car mud flaps. A mud flap is a protective element that ensures that the parts underneath the vehicle are in good condition. That's why it's important to take care of it as much as possible and replace it in case of a critical defect. So don't hesitate to compare auto repair shops to change your car's mud flaps.

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