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Tips for Using Fender Flares for Style and Functionality

image of an old Volkswagen Beetle

Fender Flares For You

These unassuming yet impactful additions to your vehicle's exterior can transform its appearance while providing tangible benefits.

By The Editors

Mon, Sep 18, 2023 07:26 PM PST

Featured Image by Annie Spratt.

In the world of automotive customization, few accessories offer the perfect blend of style and practicality like fender flares. These unassuming yet impactful additions to your vehicle's exterior can transform its appearance while providing tangible benefits.

Below, we'll delve into the realm of fender flares, exploring their purpose, different types, installation methods, and the myriad ways they enhance both the aesthetics and functionality of various vehicle types.

Different Types of Fender Flares

Before we explore the myriad benefits of fender flares, let's take a closer look at the various types available, each designed to cater to different tastes and vehicle requirements. Understanding these options will help you choose the perfect fender flares for your car.

1. Factory-Style Fender Flares

Factory-style fender flares offer a seamless and integrated appearance, resembling original manufacturer designs. They’re ideal for those who prefer a clean and unobtrusive look.

2. Pocket-Style Fender Flares

Pocket-style flares feature distinctive faux pockets or bolts on their surfaces, providing a rugged and aggressive appearance. They’re perfect for off-road and truck enthusiasts.

3. Extended Fender Flares

Extended flares offer additional tire coverage and protection. They’re favored for vehicles with oversized tires or for off-roading adventures.

4. Cut-Out Fender Flares

Cut-out flares feature a more pronounced and wide-profile design. People often select them for off-road performance and a bold visual statement.

How Fender Flares Improve Tire Clearance and Protect Fenders

Fender flares are more than just cosmetic enhancements; they serve practical purposes that can greatly benefit your vehicle. For example, fender flares provide extra clearance for larger tires, reducing the risk of rubbing against the fenders. This is particularly valuable for off-road and 4x4 enthusiasts looking to maximize tire size.

image of a blue VW Beetle
The original fender (photo by Daniel Salgado)

Fender flares for your vehicle also shield from road debris, mud, and rocks that can be thrown onto the body. They reduce the chances of paint damage and dents caused by flying debris. Off-road enthusiasts appreciate how fender flares minimize mud and water splatter, keeping their vehicles cleaner during adventures. Fender flares help maintain visibility and prevent clogging of crucial components.

Installation and Customization Options for Adding Fender Flares

Adding fender flares to your vehicle is a straightforward process, and multiple customization options are available. While DIY installation is possible, professional installation ensures proper fit and alignment. Experts can also help you choose the right type and style of fender flares.

Note that fender flares can be painted to match your vehicle's color or provide a contrast for a custom look. You can choose glossy or matte finishes to achieve the desired appearance. As for materials, fender flares are typically made from materials like ABS plastic, fiberglass, or polyurethane. Material choice can impact durability and flexibility.

fender of a VW beetle
(Photo by Frank Albrecht)

Keep in mind that some fender flares offer no-drill installation, while others may require drilling for a secure fit. Consider your vehicle's make and model when selecting installation options.

Maintenance and Care Tips for Fender Flares

To ensure your fender flares continue to serve their purpose and look their best, follow a few straightforward maintenance and care tips. For instance, you’ll want to clean your fender flares regularly, removing dirt, mud, and debris. Use a mild detergent and a soft brush or cloth to avoid scratching the surface. If your fender flares suffer significant damage or paint chips, consider professional touch-ups or repainting.

Also, apply a protective coating or UV-resistant spray to prevent fading and maintain the appearance of your fender flares. Plus, take the time to periodically inspect your fender flares for any signs of damage, such as cracks or fading over time. Prompt repairs or replacements may be necessary to prevent further issues. Off-road enthusiasts should pay extra attention to fender flares, as their flares have to endure more wear and tear. Regularly inspect the parts for loose bolts or damage caused by rocks and debris. 

Fender flares are not just there for style; they bring a lot of versatility and functionality, too. Whether you're an off-road adventurer, a sports car enthusiast, or a daily commuter, the right fender flares can enhance your vehicle's appearance and performance.

As you explore the world of automotive customization, remember that fender flares offer a world of possibilities, allowing you to express your individuality and protect your investment. Whether you're adding fender flares for the rugged look, the off-road advantage, or the sleek style, embrace the versatility and charm they bring to your vehicle, and enjoy the ride.

Photo Credits: Frank Albrecht || Daniel Salgado

This article was compiled by the editors of LACar.

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