Wheel Well Liners & Inner Fenders
Wheel Well Guards
Protecting your Wheel Well from Rust causing Mud and Debris
When it comes to protecting, your wheel wells and undercarriage as well as your suspension from rust, wheel well liners and guards are a must have. Back in the day, most truck wheel wells were well sealed and even came with hard liners. These days, many stock vehicles come with felt liners that trap moisture or no liners at all. And while some like the look of the open suspension, if you live in an area prone to snow and muddy conditions, we highly recommend you protect your wheel wells and your undercarriage by picking up a full set of wheel well guards from Husky Liners or another great manufacturer.
Currently, we are only offering Husky because they are the front runner, and we are yet to find another style of liner we are impressed with. In the competition’s defense, these products are still fairly new. So as new manufacturers start making these guards, we will start offering them online and via phone too.
The purpose of these lines of products is simple but incredibly necessary. These liners keep mud, rocks, and snow, as well as water away from your undercarriage and wheel well. Without something to block these hazardous materials from getting onto the metal parts of your truck, the likelihood of rust damage dramatically increases.
Let’s walk you through all the issues many truck drivers are experiencing today due to a lack of a proper OEM wheel well guard.
The Dangers of the Lack of Wheel Well Liners in Any Climate
As original equipment manufacturers continue to cut corners and remove parts that used to come standard in order to lower costs, more and more formerly standard preventative equipment is showing up in the aftermarket sphere.
These days some trucks come without mud guards, glove compartment lights, proper door seals, and even without wheel well guards. Whereas back in the day these items were so commonplace, now many of us have to turn to aftermarket parts manufacturers just to keep our vehicles in top shape and prevent premature rust damage.
While some items are easy to notice and replace, such as the lack of a mud flap or step bar, the wheel well liner, or lack thereof, is often overlooked until it is too late. These liners, which used to come stock on most trucks, now seem to be conspicuously absent on many makes and models.
And while some consumers might like the open fender look and even believe that the lack of a wheel well guard means the undercarriage and suspension parts that are exposed are easier to clean with a hose or pressure washer, there’s a nasty surprise waiting for most any of us who drive around through any wet or rocky areas on down the road. And the worst part is, you might not notice the issues until it is too late.
Similar to Mud Guards or Mud Flaps, Wheel Well Liners or Guards stop mud and debris from flying up into your fenders and even your undercarriage and suspension. And just like mud guards, these babies prevent possible rust damage and denting from occurring or starting in the first place.
The issue is that no matter where you live or how you drive, your tires are going to throw rocks, mud, snow, water, or some kind of hazardous stuff up under your truck from time to time. And while mud flaps will help protect your rocker panels and exterior paint job, they won’t catch the stuff going up into your fender itself or what is flung in and under the vehicle itself so much as what’s at the edge.
Enter the Wheel Well Guard for this rescue procedure.
Over time, as you drive down the road, various rocks and pebbles will get stuck in your tire treads or kicked up by them into your wheel wells and fenders. When you first drive your truck off the lot, your undercarriage, wheel well, and suspension parts that are visible such as your leaf springs should all be in pristine condition.
But overtime the road and the environment are going to pelt these sections of your truck with various deliberating materials. And many of these hazards are going to be pretty darn near unavoidable.
For starters, whether you live in a rural area like we do or a more urban environment, just about every road you’re regularly driving on has the possibility to have some rocks and pebbles on it. Whether you’re driving down a gravel country road or a well worn bit of asphalt, rocks and stone fragments chip away as people drive along, and these often tiny and unnoticeable bits of rock can over time wreak havoc on your undercarriage.
Being a country boy, I always think of gravel parking lots and driveways as well as freshly tarred back roads when I think about undercarriage damage like this. If you have driven in this conditions, then you’ll already know exactly what I’m talking about. But let’s just say that as a youth I didn’t always drive safely nor follow the rules to the T. Whether you’re doing donuts in a gravel parking lot or just get on it real fast from a stop, you’ve likely heard the sound of gravel pelting the underneath of your truck before.
While it might seem like all fun and games, and you might even think that something as tiny as a small bit of gravel or rock couldn’t possibly damage the metal of your truck frame or suspension, over time these bits of rock and other debris can scratch, dent, and ding up the various painted and unpainted metal on your vehicle.
The first few dings probably aren’t the end of the world. But we aren’t talking about just one bouncing piece of rock here. If that were the case, and such things were that rare, we wouldn’t be worrying so much about it. Rather we are talking about many times, repetitively over the course of the life of your vehicle. And if you’ve never seen an older truck with a rusted out wheel well, then you know exactly what that kind of repeat damage can do. But the rocks are not the main culprit there. They are just the beginning.
My tar example sticks in my mind too. If you’ve ever accidently gone down a freshly tarred and rocked back road, then you’ve heard exactly how bad this can be. The sound of tarred rock bouncing up into your undercarriage almost sounds like hail on a metal roof. And you’ve probably seen or heard what kind of damage that can do. Now imagine your tires throwing that rock at 60 miles per hour.
Yeah, that isn’t great for any kind of metal.
And given enough time and enough tiny repeated hits, your now scuffed up and dented metal will be more susceptible to the other hazards which are only going to promote rust even more.
So once things are all scratched up and dented, then it is ready to start the rusting process completely. Just what we all needed--an undercarriage that is even more easily rusted.
After you get passed the rocks and tar, you might find yourself at some point driving through a rainstorm or a bunch of puddles. It isn’t hard from there to imagine your undercarriage coated in water. Without some kind of guard to protect your wheel well and keep the water away from your suspension, the spray is going to go everywhere.
Over time, when you add water and oxygen to metal, oxidation will begin. This chemical degradation of metal is more commonly known as rust. And as you know once rust sets in, the integrity of any metal surface is not going to hold out long.
But for those of us in the Midwest, or mountain regions, or northern portions of the country in general are in for even more struggles. Yes, the harshest stuff has only just begun.
Welcome to the dreaded Winter Wonderland that is everything to the north in the US come late November / early December and then so on for months to come.
As the snow falls down and coats the ground with white, you might be tempted to think of the landscape as being beautiful and picturesque. However, keep in mind that this fresh powder is also just transformed water. In other words, it’ll rust your truck just as badly if not worse!
The probably with snow isn’t the part where it coats the ground and forces you to kick your truck over into 4 wheel drive mode. Nope. The issue is that once you get going, you’re going to find in various degrees that the snow and muck will become packed up around your wheel wells. And I don’t know about you, but I always try to kick that stuff down. But sometimes as the snow melts and then freezes again, you end up with a caked on icicle of doom.
And therein lies the true problem. That snow and ice only aids the rusting process. Thrown in a few dents and dings, and that’s just a better spot for it to cake on all winter long.
Come thaw time, to our horror, many of us find that our inner fenders and wheel wells are showing more signs of rust than they did back before Winter started.
Then after a few more Spring showers, you’ll find yourself back in the summer wasteland of infinite road construction. Yeah, here every damn year they re-do the same stretch of Interstate 55. And every year, I get stuck in the traffic jams.
But suddenly, one of those times when you hit a larger rock or hit something just right, it’s gonna happen. Maybe not this year or next, but on down the road. Something is going to happen in just the wrong way, and you’re going to find out just how bad that rust damage really is.
I’d just give up and say it is a fact of life, but there are a few methods by which you can try to negate or prevent this rust from ever occurring or taking hold.
To start with, if you don’t have mud flaps, well, yeah, get on that!
Secondly, if your vehicle didn’t come stock with wheel well guards, then you really need to get those too. Whereas a lot of people might think that wheel well guards just look good in your inner fenders, the truth is they also prevent this entire process from starting.
Your new wheel well guards will catch and redirect any rocks, moisture, and tar away from your undercarriage and suspension. I’ve personally talked to truck owners around here who have taken my little recently tarred road test, and you’d be shocked just how far under your truck bed that tar might be flung. It becomes a pain in the butt to clean up, that’s for sure. But I’m more concerned about all the unseen damage than just the cosmetic parts.
The trouble is what you don’t see. And overtime this will really hurt your ride.
Again it might not be the sexiest accessory or the first thing you think of when you start souping up your ride, but these wheel well guards really are a must have.
And before you start hating about moisture or mud getting stuck up behind the guard itself, most users claim they are super easy to remove and spray out and clean up. So they stop your vehicle from prematurely rusting out, and they look good too. When in doubt, don’t wait. Before your undercarriage starts to get damaged, you’re going to want to get these babies installed.
So protect your investment today. Pickup some wheel well guards today. Whether you’re looking for Husky’s or something else, if we have it listed on our site today, then it is a solid item we should be able to get out to you soon. Before the winter comes, wrap that inner fender, stat!