Fender Liner: Can You Drive Without It? [Explained with Examples]

You are probably reading this article because you have a fender liner that needs to be replaced. This post will help you identify whether, or not you can drive without a fender liner, the type of liner needed, how to replace it, and what precautions need to be taken before beginning. 

Table of Contents

What is a fender liner?

The fender liner is the part of your car that is closest to the ground. Sometimes it is also called a mudguard.

Fender liners are usually constructed from rubber or plastic. The purpose of a fender liner is to protect your car’s paint job and body from scratches and chipping caused by rocks and other debris hitting the side of your car as it travels down the road.

Can you drive a car without a fender liner?

It is not recommended to drive a vehicle without a fender liner (Unless you are heading to a mechanic to install a new one).

A fender liner is an important part of your vehicle that serves as both a buffer and barrier between your car’s engine, hood, radiator, headlights, and windshield. It helps to prevent potential damage from debris kicked up by the tires. As well as protecting you against flying rocks or other road debris, it also prevents any fluid leaks on the engine or other components from reaching the car body.

The fender liner also serves to protect the engine compartment and windshield from stone chips, bug stains, and bird droppings. The liner can help prevent broken headlights and cracked windshields that could result from flying stones or various debris kicked up by moving vehicle tires. Remember that it is usually much less expensive to replace a fender liner than paying for the replacement of headlamps and windshields.

How do you know if you need a fender liner replacement?

When trying to find out whether or not you need a fender liner replacement, there are many factors that can be involved. When inspecting your vehicle for damage, chances are it will be fairly obvious (assuming that the damage is not too severe). You might notice that your fender liner has been cracked, punctured, or torn. If you see that there is a significant amount of wear and tear on your fender liners, then it may be time to replace them. Generally speaking:

If your car affects the quality of your ride (e.g. loud vibrations and excessive tire wear), it’s probably time to replace your fender liners.

You may also want to consider replacing the fender liner if there is damage to the paint surrounding them.

How much does a fender liner replacement cost?

The average cost for a fender liner replacement is less than $150, but as with most things, if you take your car to a mechanic or do it yourself at home, the cost will vary depending on the type of fender liner and its manufacturer.

What type of fender liner do I need?

There are many different types of fenders liners available today. They can be made from plastic or rubber, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some have a sleek design while others have built-in pockets for holding liquids and other products.

Fender liners are usually composed of one of two materials: rubber or plastic.

  • Plastic fender liners tend to be lighter than their rubber counterparts, but they may not offer the same level of protection from debris that is kicked up by passing vehicles.
  • Rubber is heavier than plastics, but it tends to provide better protection from road debris and moisture.

When it comes down to it, choosing the right fender liner is a matter of personal preference. Some people may prefer plastic liners over rubber because they are lightweight and slender. Others may prefer rubber because it provides better protection from rocks, mud, rain, snow, debris, etc.

First, determine what type of material you’re looking for (plastic or rubber). Then ask yourself, where am I driving? How often does my car get driven? What kind of weather conditions will it be exposed to?

For example, if you only drive your car occasionally and it won’t be exposed to extreme outdoor elements like heavy rain or snow, then a plastic fender liner may be the right choice for you. If you drive more frequently on unpaved roads or off-road, and it will be exposed to extreme outdoor elements like heavy rain or snow (e.g. in some parts of Canada), then a rubber fender liner may work best for your vehicle.

Factors like age, type of vehicle, and how often the vehicle is driven can help you determine what type of material to look for.

How do I replace a fender liner?

Fender liner replacement is fairly easy and straightforward as long as you have the necessary tools and follow all instructions carefully. The process will vary depending on whether you’re doing it yourself or taking it to a mechanic.

Replacing the fender liner yourself is fairly easy if you have basic knowledge of cars and are able to read instructions carefully.

  1. You will need to remove the old fender lining, clean off any dirt or debris around the area, measure where your new fender liner should go, cut out a template for it with a knife, and then cut the new fender liner to size.
  2. Once you’re done, simply place your new fender liner in its place and reinstall all of the screws that hold it into place. Make sure not to tighten the screws too tightly because this could result in excess pressure on the paint surrounding them, which might cause damage to the paint over time.

Can you drive with a broken fender liner?

If only the fender liner is broken and the paint is not damaged, then it should be safe to drive your car as long as you make sure there’s no excess pressure on the fender liner. For example, if screws that hold the fender liner in place are loose, take them out completely and replace with new ones.

What causes a broken fender liner?

Fender liners are usually made out of plastic or rubber, which are both very durable materials. That being said, anything that withstands the test of time is bound to fail at some point.

Since fender liners are attached to the exterior of your vehicle, they’re exposed to all sorts of elements like rain, snow, debris, rocks, etc. Over time, this kind of exposure may cause the fender liner to crack or break.

Do trucks need fender liners?

Yes, trucks need fender liners. Trucks tend to be used for rougher purposes than sedans (e.g. off-roading, transport, construction). That being said, their fender liners need to be more durable and capable of withstanding heavy debris.