Best Mud Flaps: Protect Your Vehicle’s Body and Paint

These top mud flaps work great in thwarting road debris

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Road debris such as tar, mud, and rocks can corrode and dent or chip your truck or SUV's tailgate. But a good pair of mud flaps can prevent these substances from damaging the paint and other parts of your vehicle. Whether you want front mudguards, rear mudguards, or both, this buying guide will help you make an informed decision, so you can get the best mud flaps without overpaying.

  • Best Overall
    Husky Liners Black Custom Rear Mud Guards
    Summary
    Summary
    These mudguards are made of durable, impact-resistant, all-weather thermoplastic material and are guaranteed to last for the lifespan of your vehicle.
    Pros
    Pros
    These mudguards are fit to perfectly match your vehicle's fenders and are longer and wider than OEM mud flaps. Installation is simple, and you can mount them when the tires are on.
    Cons
    Cons
    They do not fit all vehicles. Also, the mudguards come with plastic decals to protect the paint from the guard itself, but it can be hard to apply.
  • Best Value
    Highland Black Splash Guard
    Summary
    Summary
    The Highland mud flaps are made from heavy-duty rubber that withstands extreme hot and cold weather conditions. They are 14 inches long by 8 inches wide.
    Pros
    Pros
    The mats include a lifetime warranty. They can take a beating, are very flexible, and save your tail lights from being hit with debris from the tires.
    Cons
    Cons
    They are packaged with staples, which can leave holes in the mud flaps that are prone to tearing. You also may need to cut them so they fit properly on certain vehicles.
  • Honorable Mention
    Plasticolor Plain Black Mud Guard 24"
    Summary
    Summary
    These mudguards feature a fiberglass backing that keeps them from cracking or splitting. The PVC material holds up in both sub-zero temperatures and extreme heat.
    Pros
    Pros
    These mudguards are very durable, heavy, and easy to install. The semi-rigid construction keeps the flaps from flying around, yet they are pliable and return to their natural shape.
    Cons
    Cons
    You may have to cut them for a proper fit because they are very large. They may not include all the hardware you need for installation.

Tips

  • If you want more coverage, consider purchasing a pair that is larger than what’s currently installed on your vehicle. OEM mud flaps are not always as wide or long as aftermarket mudguards, which offer premium protection. 
  • Some mudguards come with an optional screw to hold them in place, which makes them a bit more rigid. Considering installing the screw to better keep dirt and gravel from harming your truck or SUV.
  • If you live in a snowy region, mud flaps can help. They prevent snow from building up on the doorsteps and bumper. Snow and salt will also accumulate on the mud flaps instead of in the wheel wells.

FAQs

Q: How do mud flaps work?

A: They are typically made of heavy-duty materials such as rubber, PVC, or plastic. They are installed behind the tires or are molded around the wheel wells. They act as a barrier to debris that your tires may dislodge when driving. This protects both your vehicle and others near it.

Q: Are mud flaps really necessary?

A: Yes, if you want to protect your vehicle from damage and keep it clean. Those that are larger and more heavy duty tend to provide more coverage and protection than stock mud flaps.

Q: How low should mud flaps hang?

A: Check the manufacturer's recommendations. The most important thing is that they have proper ground clearance and don't impede the tires. They shouldn't hang more than 3 or 4 inches off the ground.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best mud flaps are the Husky Liners Black Custom Rear Mud Guards. They are guaranteed for life, easy to install, and are durable and impact resistant. 

For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Highland Black Splash Guard.

Tell us about your favorite mud flaps in the comment section below.