What can mud guards do for my vehicle?
- Cleaner fenders that'll save you a car wash or two
- Dent and ding protection that preserves your paint
- Sweet looks that go from mud-running master to smooth-style cruising
- Durable, long-lasting materials that stand-up to virtually any barrage
Cleanliness—it's godliness for your vehicle
Nobody likes that telltale sign they've been off-roadin' or trolling through puddles when you've only been cruising the streets. There's nothing decorative about the resulting splatter spread on your wheel wells, fenders and doors, either. By the time you get a chance to spray the mud off yourself or run your vehicle through the local touch-free car wash, that dirt is caked-on and dried like spackle.
Any mud guard, splash guards or mud flap stops the cycle of splatter marks. In fact, a mud guard keeps the mess contained in the wheel well—out of sight and out of mind. Plus, mud is more likely to just fall off if it cakes inside the wheel well or on the back of the mud guard. Most times, you'll just need a few minutes with a garden sprayer to dislodge the dirt and get back to a showroom shine. By keeping the splatter away, your truck or SUV stays ready for any on or off-road adventure.
A guide to mud guard protection
There's a lot more than mud that can fly-up and hit your paint, and they do much more than cause a mess. Think of all the obstructions you see on or off road that tires could be shooting right at your doors and fenders: rocks, sticks, random metal pieces, tire treads and even roadkill. A good set of mud guards and mud flaps acts like an all-star goalie with all the kick-saves you need to keep your paint pristine. Dings, dents and chips meet a brick wall of coverage.
Don't forget about potential damagers that are much more difficult to see and steer around. Sometimes, it's freshly-painted lane lines or turn arrows. Or, it might be new asphalt or tar that isn't quite dry. The corner cutting of a lackadaisical road crew can rob a few hours of your time, especially if enough tar or road paint makes its way onto your fenders. Thankfully, mud guards turn back the assault of these potential paint damagers, saving you time, energy, and rubbing compound.
A reference on mud guard and mud flap looks
Whether you spend your weekends churning through the deepest muck, or shuttling the kids to and from soccer with a side trip to the mini golf place, a nice set of mud guards and mud flaps can give your vehicle the look of an off-road commander. Or, a super long and flexible set of mud flaps helps you blend in with any convoy of 18-wheelers, which use these flaps to deflect costly windshield-wrecking rocks tossed at top speed.
Some mud guards offer not only serious protection, but also eye-catching ornamentation. These include steel or aluminum sheet mud guards that offer premium gleam and rigid protection. While they look great, they can be quite troublesome if you're axle-deep in the mess with your mud guards digging-in. Then again, if you're that deep in the mud, you're probably in trouble anyway. Best to stay on the hardball with a set of these metal mud guards. Steer on over to Dee Zee or Go Industries for a quality set of metal mud flaps.
Looking for the pinnacle of mud guards and mud flaps looks? Many of AutoAnything's mud guards can be color-matched to your vehicle's finish. That's because they employ a textured surface that receives paint without the need for primer. Basic colors can be done at home; any paint tone can be matched by a local shop. The finished product blends seamlessly with the fender and wheel well shape of your vehicle, giving you an extra dose of custom looks the other rigs on the road don't have. For a set of paintable mud flaps, go with Husky Liners or CRE.
The basics of mud guard materials
Mud guards are offered in two basic material styles: sheet metal and rubber or rubber-composite. Both bring durability and longevity to your wheel wells, but they have a few distinct differences.
Rubber/rubber-composite mud guards and mud flaps
Rubber guards can be a flexible mud flap, or a stiff mud guard. Either way, rubber and rubber-composite guards bring the rigidity you need to thwart debris, and the durability to last through the rigors of life on your wheel well. Certain rubber mud guards come ready to paint match with your vehicle's original color.
One issue with flexible rubber mud flaps is sail. At high speeds, wind resistance blows the flaps out of position to reject the full compliment of rocks, mud and moisture. That's why a premium flap-style mud guard employs bottom weights and/or a specialized frame that limits sail when you need coverage most. All of our top brands make rubber mud guards, including Husky Liners, Go Industries, Dee Zee and CRE.
Sheet metal mud guards
Offered in both stainless steel and aluminum, sheet metal mud guards are usually best for decoration use only. Sure, they'll stop slop splatter, tossed rocks, and even small-caliber bullets, but they can be a liability if they get caught in soft ground. Still, there're no other mud guards packing an extreme shine such as the one displayed by these. If looks and on-road protection are your goal, this is the way to go. Take a look at Dee Zee and Go Industries for a heavy-duty set of these mud guards.
A fast tutorial on mud guard and mud flap installation
Mounting mud guards to your wheel wells requires a moderate amount of do-it-yourself skill. In fact, most mud guards run about 50/50 whether they require minor drilling for installation or not.
In both drill and no-drill attachment styles, it's best to remove the tire for more working room. This gives you the space to drill straight 1/8" holes (the size of choice for most flaps), or securely bolt your mud guards to the pre-drilled factory holes.
Mud guards and mud flaps of all styles require this secure mounting for extra strength. When anchored in such a manner, your mud guards can best withstand the elements and stay in place longest.
Which mud guards are best for my vehicle?
Picking a set of mud guards from AutoAnything is pretty easy. There's just a few things to consider, including:
- Whether you'd prefer a rigid mud guard or flexible mud flaps
- If a rubber-composite or a sheet metal set of mud guards is best for you
- What mud guard look best suit your taste
Which mud guard style would I prefer: a rigid mud guard or a flexible mud flap?
Both mud guards styles offer a protective backstop for whatever your tires throw. But, they behave differently when hit by mud, rocks or debris. Mud flaps give, guards do not. The same applies to being axle-deep in the muck: flaps are flexible, guards aren't. At high speeds, though, a flap will sail out of the way when a rigid guard would stay in place.
- When you want the toughest-looking mud guards for your vehicle, grab a set of rigid mud guards. For mud guards, turn to Husky Liners, Dee Zee and CRE.
- If messy off-roading in a non-lifted truck or SUV is your game, go with a flexible set of mud guards, which Go Industries specializes in.
- If you drive in any conditions where there's potential for a rigid mud guard to get stuck, select a flexible mud flap.
- For protection that's always on duty, no matter the speed, go with a rigid mud guard.
What mud guard material is best for my vehicle: rubber/rubber composite, or rigid sheet metal?
Sheet metal mud guards are the peak set for rigidity and tough looks. And, they boast quite a gleam. Rubber mud guards are typically black (or a shade close to it), with a specially-formed material that aides toughness and long life. Many of these can be painted for color-matching to your finish, too.
- If you're out mostly for looks and a bright finish is what you want, pick a set of sheet aluminum mud guards.
- When flexibility is preferred, a rubber set of mud guards works best. Go with Husky Liners, Go Industries, Dee Zee or CRE for rubber and composite mud guards and flaps.
- For serious off-roaders, flexible rubber or rubber-composite mud flaps are a must.
Which mud guard look best suits your taste?
There are plenty of mud guards styles available to suit almost anybody's taste. From plain ol' black to bright diamond plate tread to ready for paint, you can get just what you had in mind.
- For a bright, tough look to your mud guards, go with a set of diamond plate tread aluminum mud guards. Dee Zee makes solid diamond plate mud guards, and Go Industries offers mud flaps with diamond tread anti-sail weights.
- For the most basic-looking set, go with black mud guards for all four of your wheels.
- The best, most customized looking mud guards are a paint-matched set of rigid mud guards.