Rocks, sticks and debris meet their doom when they hit a mud guard. There’s plenty of other benefits to slapping-on a set of mud guards, including:
– 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 splatter screen
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 guard 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 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. 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 or 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 eye-catching ornamentation, too. 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 wheel well-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.
Looking for the pinnacle of mud guard looks? Many 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.
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
They 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.