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Do Fender Flares Prevent Rust?

Do Fender Flares Prevent Rust?

If you love your pickup truck, you’re probably always looking for some new way to make it look even better than it already does.

In recent years, fender flares have become popular with many truck owners. 

Giving trucks a unique look over their wheels, these additions can make your truck stand out. 

But do they actually prevent rust? Let’s find out!

Fender flares protect your fenders from the elements, but they do not prevent rust and they may in fact make your fenders more prone to rust. While protecting your paint from gravel, sand, and snow, moisture may get in between your flare and your fender, trapping water between the two and increasing the likelihood of rust.

Manufacturers have been aware of this problem with fender flares for years and have done a lot to get ahead of the problem.

And you as a vehicle owner can also help to prevent rust from accumulating under your fender flares while still taking advantage of their paint-saving properties.

For all the info you need to properly use fender flares and prevent rust, read on!

Do Fender Flares Protect the Paint?

Whether you are driving around on city streets or are off-roading in the backwoods, the last thing you want is to have your truck’s paint damaged from flying debris.

If you have installed fender flares, this is one problem you likely won’t have to worry about.

No matter the setting where you are driving, your truck’s tires may be sending mud, dirt, rocks, and other things flying here and there. 

Should your truck have very large tires, the flying debris can bombard your truck’s body and fenders, causing damage along the way. 

Fortunately, fender flares are designed to prevent this from happening. Since they are fitted directly over your truck’s tires, they are able to act as a shield, deflecting debris away from your truck. 

If you own a truck that has prior fender damage that you would like to cover up, fender flares can do this as well. 

Along with giving your truck a new look, fender flares can prevent fenders that may have dents or paint damage from being damaged even more.

As for determining whether or not fender flares prevent rust, they do not prevent rust. In fact, if you are not careful, they can actually lead to the forming of rust and corrosion on your truck fenders.

Over time, gravel and other types of debris, road salt, and water can get trapped between the fender flares and your truck’s body. 

While you may think rust and corrosion are inevitable at this point, you are wrong.

To prevent corrosion and rust, we recommend you remove your fender flares every few months so that you can clean them as well as your fender. 

By doing this, the space between the fender flare and your truck’s body will remain clean and dry

Since this has been a problem associated with fender flares for many years, manufacturers are now addressing the issue by making fender flares that include weather stripping.

The stripping, located at the top of the flare, makes it almost impossible for debris to get stuck in and around your fender.

How to Keep Truck Fender Flares from Causing Rust

While we have just touched on a way to keep your truck fender flares from causing rust, there are some other ways you may want to try.

For some truck owners, spraying the fender area with bed liner has proven to be a method that works very well. 

If you want to try this, always do the spraying prior to installing the fender flare. Otherwise, you are defeating the whole purpose of spraying.

Once you get the bed liner sprayed on your fender and then install the fender flare, this should keep most if not all liquid from getting to your fender’s metal and starting rusting. 

However, while this is a viable option that does work well for many truck owners, we still think removing the fender flares and giving your fenders some TLC in terms of cleaning will still be the best way to limit rust and corrosion. 

When doing your cleaning job, don’t just assume there may be debris or rust under one or two of your fender flares.

Instead, remove all four at once so that you can give your truck a thorough cleaning job. 

On most trucks, you should be able to remove the flares, do your cleaning, and get the flares back on the truck within two hours or so.

Benefits of Fender Flares

Though you may be thinking fender flares may not be worth it if they lead to your truck fenders getting rusted and corroding, the truth is the benefits of installing fender flares on your truck far outweigh any negatives associated with them.

To begin with, depending on the type of tires you have on your truck, you may be required by law to have fender flares on your vehicle. 

If you fail to do so and get pulled over by police, you could be ticketed and fined.

Next, since the fender flares will prevent gravel, rocks, and other debris from constantly hitting your truck’s fenders and other parts of your truck body, they will enhance the resale value of your vehicle. 

Whether you sell your vehicle privately or trade it in to a dealer, chances are having fender flares will put more money in your pocket.

Fender flares are also very easy to install. Able to give your vehicle its own unique look, they are ready to be painted as soon as you remove them from their box. 

Usually requiring no drilling or cutting, they rely instead on preexisting factory holes to fasten securely to your truck. 

Finally, fender flares come in a variety of styles for trucks, SUVs, and other larger vehicles with big tires. 

Whether you are seeking a low-profile look or want your truck to look big and bold, your vehicle will have a look that has it getting noticed wherever you go.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Fender Flares Help with Aerodynamics?

When most people speak of fender flares, the topic of aerodynamics rarely gets discussed. However, it is yet another way fender flares can greatly benefit your vehicle.
Depending on your vehicle and the style of fender flares you have installed on it, aerodynamics can actually be improved. On some trucks, additional downforce is added as the truck reaches higher speeds. When this occurs, the truck’s stability will improve. 

Do All Trucks Need Fender Flares?

No, all trucks do not need fender flares. However, since they are able to keep your truck body from getting damaged by flying debris, increase the resale value of your vehicle, and give it a look that will help it stand out from so many others, we think it’s definitely something you should consider adding to your truck.

Can You Have Both Fender Flares and Mud Flaps on Your Truck?

If you already have fender flares on your truck, you may think you can’t add mud flaps for increased protection against mud and debris
However, it is possible to have both mud flaps and fender flares on your truck. To do so, you’ll need to get mud flaps that are molded and made for your truck’s make and model. 

Do All Trucks with Fender Flares have Rust and Corrosion Issues?

While it may sound as if every truck on the road today that has fender flares installed has rust and corrosion issues, that’s not the case at all. 
In fact, many truck owners say they have had fender flares on their trucks for years and never experienced any problems with rust or corrosion, even if they have not regularly removed the fender flares for cleaning.
However, since your vehicle is such a big investment, we don’t recommend taking such a carefree approach. Instead, we think it’s best for you to regularly remove your fender flares and give your truck’s fenders a good cleaning.
While they may not necessarily prevent rust, fender flares do offer many advantages. Once installed on your truck, you may be pleasantly surprised at just how much protection they offer. When you combine this with making your truck look fantastic, you’ve got a winning combination.

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!