Don’t worry if you have some questions about a car’s fenders. We’ll go into more detail about fenders’ functions, the distinction between fenders and bumpers, and other topics in this guide. Just keep reading!
The curved area of the car’s body that sits over and protects the wheels is known as the fender. No matter how long you’ve been driving or if you’re a new driver, you’ve probably heard someone mention a car’s fender at some point.
What is a Fender?
An automobile body part is a fender. The fender is typically constructed from the same material as the rest of the car’s body. The fenders can be seen on a car if you approach it and look at the body panel directly above each wheel. A fender liner is also a part of the fender assembly. More on this later.
The fender is not merely decorative. Actually, it fulfills a crucial function. It protects the vehicle and surrounding vehicles from:
- Road debris
How Does a Fender Offer Protection?
Driving would be a mess without a fender covering each wheel well. The tires on your car spin incredibly quickly when you drive. They pick up dirt and moisture from the ground as they spin and spray it into the air. These materials are launched into the air at a high speed by the tire’s kinetic energy. When that happens, the debris and moisture can:
- Get the vehicle dirty
- Scratch the vehicle
- Get other pedestrians or vehicles dirty
- Hurt other pedestrians
- Damage other vehicles
For this reason, there are fenders. Before anything else is hit, fenders catch the dust and moisture. In other words, fenders “contain” the dirt and moisture within the wheel well.
What is the Purpose of a Fender on a Car?
A fender serves a fairly straightforward purpose. Its function is to stop the tires from hurling mud, rocks, and other road debris around. To put it another way, think of the fender as a container for the wheels that holds any road debris. All manner of debris would be thrown up by the rotating tires if the wheels were left uncovered.
The fender shields your car from damage from road debris as well as from this debris being thrown up at other moving vehicles. The installation of fender flares is frequently mandated by law for vehicles with large, oversized tires for this reason.
What is the Difference Between a Fender and a Bumper?
There may be some ambiguity regarding the distinction between a fender and a bumper if you are not familiar with automotive jargon. Let’s make everything clear.
A vehicle’s front and back both have bumpers. A bumper’s function in a minor collision is to cushion the blow.
Bumpers were a more distinct part of cars in their early years, standing out from the rest of the body in a noticeable way. However, as automotive technology improved, bumpers blended in more with the body of the car. Although the modern bumper’s function hasn’t changed, it is now less obvious to look at than it once was on many cars, particularly sedans and crossovers.
As previously stated, a fender is simply a housing for the wheels that stops the rotating tires from launching debris into the air. Fenders can, however, also deflect the force of minor collisions. In terms of its capacity to absorb the energy from a collision, the fender can thus function as an extension of the bumper.
What Parts Does a Fender Assembly Have?
A Volkswagen fender assembly contains several parts:
- The fender
- A fender liner
The part of the body that is visible from the outside is the fender. It has the same color paint as the body.
Installed inside the wheel well, above the wheel, the fender liner is a strong, curved liner. The fender liner may be made of metal or thermoplastic, depending on the vehicle. Despite being a component of the fender assembly, the fender liner has a specific function. Some of the debris and moisture that the wheel sprays sprays upward into the wheel well and engine bay. This could be a problem because the engine, wiring, and other related parts in the well and bay are damaged by these materials. For example, the debris and moisture can:
- Corrode parts
- Hit the parts hard enough to damage them
- Contaminate the fluids within the engine, if there’s a hole in the lines somewhere
That is the purpose of the fender liner. It keeps these impurities or potentially damaged parts out of the engine bay.
The fender assembly has several different pieces of hardware, such as:
- Fender liner grommet
- Fender liner u nut
Fender Liner Extensions
Your fenders may optionally receive fender liner extensions. Fender liners remain flush with the body. A small extension of the fender liner protrudes. Fender liner extensions are used to shield other auto body panels from moisture and debris. They can come in useful if you regularly drive in:
- Wet and muddy conditions
- Colder climates where there’s salt or gravel on the road
- Areas with dirt roads and/or unmaintained roads
Fender extension bolts (like this one) are used to secure a fender liner extension in place.
How Do You Replace a Fender?
Perhaps you were involved in a collision that required you to replace the fender on your car. Modern automobile fenders have merged more with the body of the vehicle, but fear not; they are still replaceable, just like the majority of other parts of an automobile.
Here, we’ll give you a brief rundown of the fender replacement procedure. You should be aware that the procedure may change slightly depending on the vehicle.
- If there are any retainers (screws, clips, or something similar) holding the fender to the bumper, remove them.
- To clear a path, slightly lower the bumper.
- Remove any fixtures, such as lights, that may be mounted close to the fender.
- Remove the bolts holding the front fender in place under the hood before replacing it.
- Remove the fender.
- To install the new fender, follow the opposite procedure.
Although this procedure is straightforward, we strongly advise having your car repaired at a reputable body shop. This will ensure that the job is done correctly.
How Do You Fix a Dented Fender?
There is a relatively simple fix for a dented fender that doesn’t require a complete fender replacement. We’ll go over a few ways to fix a dented fender below.
A small amount of suction will work if the dent is not too big. Smaller dents can be quickly and easily removed using a simple automotive dent puller like this one.
Another straightforward fix, if the fender is plastic, is hot water. To soften the plastic, boil some water and pour it over the dented area. Then, from behind, push the dent out. The dent will be repaired even if you use this technique, though the affected area most likely won’t look exactly the same as it did before.
What is a Fender Cover?
When you need to work on the engine, you can cover the front fender of your car with a piece of material called a fender cover. As you lean over the car, this cover prevents the fender area from being scratched and dented.
A fender cover is a wise investment if you work on your car’s undercarriage. Look through this selection of top-notch fender covers available today.
1. Performance Tool Fender Cover
With a foam backing for added protection and durability, this cover by Performance Tool is made of heavy-duty vinyl. For your convenience, it also includes built-in tool pockets. The cover is 33 by 24 inches in size.
2. Reizen Tech Magnetic Fender Cover
Reizen Tech’s fender cover is made of sturdy, high-quality materials and has soft inner padding that will keep your car safe. Eight powerful magnets on it will keep it firmly in place while you work on the engine. The size of this cover is 32 by 24 inches.
3. OEM TOOLS Vinyl Fender Cover
This OEM TOOLS fender cover is constructed from sturdy, heavy gauge writing paper vinyl. It has a tool ridge that holds your tools securely while you work underneath the hood. Additionally, this fender cover is offered in green and black. Its dimensions are 27 by 34 inches.
How Car Fenders Offer Protection
Without fenders that cover the wheel wells, driving will be very messy. Your car’s tires spin quickly when you drive. They spin and pick up moisture and debris from the pavement, spraying them into the air.
These foreign objects are propelled into the air at high speeds by the tire’s kinetic energy. As this thing is happening, the moisture and debris that fly in the air can cause the following to happen:
- Get other vehicles or pedestrians on the road side dirty
- Hurt pedestrians
- Scratch the bodies of other vehicles
- Cause minor, and even major damage to other vehicles
These are a few of the explanations for why your car needs fenders. They stop the dirt, moisture, and debris from hurting people or damaging other cars on the road by catching them. These foreign objects are kept inside the boundaries of your car by the fenders.
Different Types of Fenders
I mentioned earlier that fenders typically only refer to the body kits or panels that cover the front wheels when describing what a car fender is. Later, bolt-on rear fenders for quarter panels were created by the automotive industry.
Now, they have changed that to the larger, welded-on quarter panels, which serve both purposes. Normally, quarter panels are fastened to the back wheels. Dual rear wheel trucks are an exception, though. In this instance, the panel is also referred to as a fender.
Over the tops of the tires, some fenders resemble exposed curves. They are designed for cars with skinny car bodies and exposed tires. Some fenders shape the area around the tire known as the wheel well. From above or outside the car body, these fenders are not visible.
Fenders are used on motorcycles to protect the front and rear wheels.
Where is the Fender Typically Located on a Car?
Fenders are typically found at the front of a car, on both the left and right sides. The rear wheels, as well as the left and right sides, have a few fenders attached. The front wheels are specifically found directly behind the front fenders. Immediately in front of the rear fenders is where the back wheels are situated.
The car fenders, to put it more precisely, are the panels that are found on the front left and front right of the vehicle. The panels at the back are referred to as quarter panels, though they are also occasionally called fenders. Both the right and left rear wheels are covered or enclosed by these panels.
Driving Without Fenders
Knowing the fenders’ main purpose will prevent you from operating your car if its fenders are missing. Fenders are a requirement for every automobile in the US. That is what the law requires. Furthermore, they are crucial for maintaining the public safety of your vehicle, as common sense will tell you.
You can’t avoid coming across soiled, muddy, or even water-logged streets while driving. Think about using these kinds of roads without having any fenders on your vehicle. The drivers of other cars you pass and the people walking along the side of the road would be quick to resent you.
If your car doesn’t have fenders, the tires may propel rocks and other solid objects into the engine compartment at high speeds, denting metal components or seriously damaging the engine and other parts of your car.
Since the fenders are not the main source of propulsion for the car, you technically have the option of driving it without them. It is technically incorrect for you to do so because you risk endangering other people, other cars, and your own vehicle.
Cost of Fender Repairs
If the damage to your car’s fender is only minor, you can replace it. If it is completely destroyed, you must replace it. A minor fender repair can cost anywhere between $500 and $1,500.
Your costs may increase from $1,500 to $4,000 if you need to replace multiple panels. Fender repairs for passenger cars, however, typically cost between $300 and $1,600, according to CostHelper.
Process of Fender Repairs
Cracks, breaks, and dents can be fixed by performing the standard fender repairs by the auto mechanics. Here are the usual fender repairs that they perform:
1. Repairing Cracks Or Breaks
The extent of the damage will be assessed before the repair technician begins work on the repair. They will begin by filling and strengthening that section if it is possible. It is comparable to using fillers to cover a significant scratch. When the filler has had time to dry, buffing will come next. The same car color or the owner’s choice will then be painted over that area.
However, if the damage is severe, the damaged fender needs to be replaced. The fender must be structurally sound in order to perform its primary function, which is the reason for this requirement.
2. Repairing Dents
On-fender dents can be fixed during the pulling out process. There are different ways to pull out dents:
- One way is by suctioning the dented part;
- Pound or hammer it to its former surface level; and
- Filling the ding with fillers is a third option.
Not advised are the latter two. Technicians who work on cars typically carry out the suction process. To remove the dent, they use a sizable apparatus that has the appearance of a vacuum hose. You might have to replace the entire fender panel if the dent doesn’t budge.
You can choose to do the fender repair yourself if your budget does not permit this repair or replacement cost. The majority of the time, you will only do this for small fender scratches.
3. Scratch Repairs
The most frequent type of damage to fenders is scratching. You can make this type of repair in one of two ways. In order to make the section match the colors of the other sections, you can paint over minor scratches and buff them out. If there are deeper scratches, you must fill in the spaces with putty or filler, buff the area, and then paint over it.
Conclusion: What is a Fender on a Car?
The body kit that is attached to the sides of a car is called a fender. The majority of fenders are fastened to the wheel arches. In addition to enhancing the appearance of vehicles, they are utilized for a number of other purposes.
Fenders are also added to vehicles to increase their aerodynamics, shield the internal car components from outside debris on the road or pavement, and stop mud and other road debris from being thrown into the air when the tires are running.