Best Fender Flares: Keep Your Vehicle Clean When Off-Roading

Protect the sides of your vehicle from dirt and wear with these high-quality fender flares

byNorah Tarichia| UPDATED Jul 2, 2021 8:38 AM
Best Fender Flares: Keep Your Vehicle Clean When Off-Roading
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If you love off-roading or find yourself often driving in rainy weather, then you may want to accessorize your vehicle with fender flares. Fender flares are typically fitted at the wheel well and help protect the vehicle’s body against dirt, mud, and any other form of debris flung at the surface area by the tires. Our buying guide offers fender flare options that will help you preserve the look of your vehicle in harsh driving conditions.

Best Fender Flares Reviews & Recommendations 2021

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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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With a tough yet stylish look, the Bushwacker 4-Piece Fender Flare Set has a durable construction and timeless appearance. It is made out of thermoplastic polymer and is built to resist impact while remaining tough against moisture. Made for Dodge Rams manufactured between 2010 and 2018, it is designed for a precise fit. It comes with four fender protectors, which are flexible and durable. The matte appearance works with all vehicle colors as it integrates into the overall look of the Dodge truck. This set includes all necessary hardware for installation and is fairly straightforward to set up. Once the fender flares are in place, they provide quality protection from debris and corrosion. Resistant to ultraviolet radiation (and the fading it causes), this set of flares is made to weather the most intense conditions. 


One thing to note is that you have to drill into the vehicle to get these fenders in place. This opens up an entry point for rust and corrosion if not properly dried and maintained. Make sure the protection from dirt and mud outweighs the downsides of drill holes.

Provided you have a reasonably modern vehicle, the Yjracing Universal Fender Flares are a great way to go. Not only are they affordable, but their design is meant to fit anything with a 27.5 x 12.5 inch front and 31 x 14-inch rear. Touted as universal, the set can fit onto just about any standard car on the market. They are made out of polyurethane, the same material you can find in everything from tire materials to microcellular foam panels. They're tough, non-conductive, not vulnerable to water or rust, and they won’t hold onto debris. This plastic covers the fenders and gives them a level of protection from corrosion they would not otherwise have. Basically, if you’re looking for function over flash, budget over boldness, this value pick is a good way to go. 


There is a caveat to the affordability, though. The set doesn’t include anything to affix these flares to your fenders. You need to get a compatible adhesive to finish the installation, since these rely on a drill-less design.

If you want to secure your fenders without dealing with a whole rigamarole to get it done, then the EZ Flares Flexible Foam Fender Flares are a worthy pick. This company makes rubber foam fender flares that provide a shorter term level of protection. Sure, they aren't meant to last an eternity, but they take only three steps to set up. The result is getting your fenders to protrude an additional inch, better protecting the whole area. Since they're made of rubber, they actively buffer the area from damage. Stray shopping cart? Hail? Rocks bumping around from a gravel road? Whatever the case, these flares live up to their name in terms of easy installation. Compatible with literally any vehicle, it would be remiss to leave this set of flares off the list. 


Of course, there are some drawbacks inherent to the material that makes this type of fender flare so unique. It’s far from permanent. The whole point is for the flares to handle the strain on your fender’s behalf, extending its life. Longevity depends on how and where you drive. 

This durable set of fender flares is the perfect addition to your truck. They come as a set of four: two front and two rear. You’ll appreciate that you can DIY install them within an hour. All of the necessary hardware and tools are included in the kit. The elements are no match for these flares as they are durable enough to withstand the sun, rocks, rain, mud, and wind. This set is compatible with the 1999-2007 Chevy Silverado, 1500, 2500, 3500H and the 1999-2006 GMC Sierra 1500, 2500, and 3500HD. What makes these flares stand out is the 2.25 inches of clearance they create for protection. 


Unfortunately, this set won’t work with the 2007 old body style modern, stepside, or dually models. It also only fits the 78 and 96-inch bed lengths.

This set of four fender flares fits a 2002-2008 Dodge Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500. The flares come in matte black with a smooth finish. The fenders have a pocket rivet style and are made from heat-resistant ABS plastic. You can leave them black or have them painted to match your vehicle’s color. They have a simple bolt-on installation process that doesn’t require any drilling. 


The set comes with two front and two rear fender flares. They also come with all of the necessary hardware, including Allen keys, stainless steel bolts, washers, ABD screws, and anchors. 

While the flash of fender flare exteriors gets all the credit, behind the scenes is a quality trim, holding everything together. The Sdano Fender Flares Edge Trim Stands out for its easy application and ability to work together with your fenders. It’s made out of forgiving EPDM rubber, capable of reducing friction and protecting car paint (even on the smallest scale). Entirely weather-resistant and holding up well against ozone, it is built to withstand every type of environmental pressure. Coming with 30 feet of supply, it is sufficient to work with all four fender flares. The set comes with acrylic adhesive, curated specifically for use in automotive applications. It generates a clean, crisp line between the fender and the vehicle. Sleek, stylish, and compatible with any type of ride, it is a great way to complete your fender flare setup. 


It warrants a note that this trim works in tandem with the fender flare setup itself. The accessory adds a lot of value, especially since many sets don’t include this part. It’s affordable and easy to install. While not a complete set, it serves an important function and is worth having around.

Tips

  • Clean the fender before attaching a fender flare with double-sided or 3M tape to ensure that it sticks firmly on the wheel well. Ensure that it's dry and smooth before attaching the tape. 
  • Consider purchasing a rust protector/lubricant for the wheel wells and fender flares. The wheel well is frequently exposed to water, rain, mud, and other road elements that may corrode the material. 
  • Some cars are initially designed without fender flares. If that's the case with your vehicle, consider hiring a professional to drill the holes for your new fender flares for a perfect fit. 
  • Be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations on how to clean your flares. You can use a plastic cleaner on paint-coated fender flares or wipe it down with a wet rag. Do not use chemical cleaning products as they may corrode your flares.

FAQs

Q: Do fender flares hide rust?

A: Yes. Fender flares hide the rust in the fender and also decorates it. It gives your car a new rugged look, and looks even better on a newly painted car. However, you should note that the rust could spread to the fender flares if left unchecked for a long time. If there’s no way to salvage your rusty fenders, consider buying factory painted fender flares that are more resistant to rust. 

Q: Are fender flares compatible with mud flaps? 

A:  Most fender flares are incompatible with mud flaps. You have to remove your mud flaps if you choose to install fender flares, but fender flares work just as well (if not better) than mud flaps. They offer a wider coverage against debris flung from your tires to the body of your vehicle. Mudflaps mostly protect your undercarriage. 

Q: Can I install tires larger than my fender flares? 

A: The fender flares will lose their functionality if the tires don’t fit within their “protection space.”  Fender flares work best when they form a shelter over your tires to protect your vehicle and other vehicles around you from flying debris. If you buy larger tires, also consider upgrading to larger and wider fender flares that fully cover the tires. 

Final Thoughts

Our top pick is the Trim-Lok Fender Flare. It’s a customizable, 25-inch flare that adds extra coverage to your wheel to prevent debris from damaging the paintwork on the sides of your vehicle.

For those looking for value in both affordability and function, the Yiracing Universal Fender Flares is a highly-compatible and effective choice.