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Installing a New Set of Fender Flares in 4 Easy Steps

Depending on your vehicle, flares or commonly known as fender flares are aftermarket options for cars or trucks with larger wheels. Fender flares are a popular choice amongst vehicle customizers, especially the off-road enthusiasts. Aside from adding a more aggressive look to your vehicle, fender flares protect the vehicle's body against road debris. Usually, you can find fender flares attached to the outside of the vehicle's wheel well to catch the debris spray, and prevent any kind of damage on the vehicle's body. Installing fender flares will take about 30 minutes, and here is a guide to help you accomplish the task.

Required skill level: Intermediate

Needed tools and materials

  • Safety glasses
  • Hand-held drill
  • Metal drill bits
  • 3/8-inch socket and ratchet set
  • Preparing for the task

    First, clean the fender area before starting the installation process. Use a pail of water mixed with car shampoo to remove any stubborn dirt, mud, or grease on the vehicle's fender. Make sure that it's free from mud and grease to ensure a clean fit. After cleaning and drying the vehicle's fenders, wear your safety glasses for added eye protection.

    Fitting the new flares

    Mount the new fender flare against the body of your vehicle to make sure it flushed against it. Check if the flare's front edge is parallel to the vehicle's bumper, and if the flare's bottom edge lines are also parallel to the fender's bottom.

    Drilling the mounting flare's mounting holes

    Use the metal bits fitted on the hand-held drill to drill holes on your vehicle's fender. You can also use the template included on the flare's kit for your reference when drilling the flare's mounting holes. Repeat the process on the other fenders.

    Installing the new set of flares

    On the flare's back side, install the double-sided foam tape with your hands. Peel off one side and place it on the flare, then, peel off the foam tape's second layer before mounting the new flare on the vehicle's fender. Make sure to align the flare's holes to the holes you made on the fender. Use a 3/8-inch socket and ratchet set to bolt all the screws that came with the flare kit. Repeat the process with the other fenders until the installation is completed.

    Flares Articles

    • Prestige vs. Bushwacker: Which is the Better Fender Flare? 11 January 2013

      Custom-fitted, non-cracking, UV-resistant, easy to install, and eye-catching--these are some of the characteristics of a good fender flare. Bushwacker and Prestige are two of the leading manufacturers of truck and pick-up accessories. Both tend to claim to offer reliable and durable fender flares for truck and pickup enthusiasts. With a long list of awesome features that come with every Bushwacker or Prestige fender flare, choosing the right accessory for your pickup or truck can be really tricky. Here's a guide to help you pick the right one:

      Variety of Flare Styles

      Cut-Out, OE Style, Extend-a-Fender, Pocket Style, and Street Style are some of the flare style offered by Bushwacker, while Prestige is only offering three: the SX Style or Street, RX Style or Rivet, and the EX Style or Wide. Both fender flare manufacturers manufacture their products from 100% ABS plastic, which offers superior durability and performance. However, Bushwacker fender flares are made from 100% UV-resistant Dura-Flex thermoplastic, making them flexible even in extreme cold temperatures.

      Winner:

      Bushwacker

      Off-Road Protection

      We tested the Prestige RX Style fender flare and the Bushwacker Pocket fender flares on a Toyota Tundra. Driving around an off-road track, we noticed that the Bushwacker Pocket fender flares can't keep the mud and debris spray from splashing on the Tundra's side. On the other hand, the Prestige RX Style fender flares kept the debris and mud at bay, leaving minimal spray on the Tundra's side.

      Winner:

      Prestige

      Price

      Bushwacker Pocket fender flare kits are priced from $200 to $500, while Prestige RX Style fender flare kits go from $200 to 350. It a huge price difference and it will be a huge deal for the budget-conscious truck or pickup owner. Also, most of these fender flare kits may require you to do a little filling and sanding for the best fit possible.

      Winner:

      Prestige

      Warranty

      Prestige RX Style fender flares are backed by a limited Lifetime Warranty but Bushwacker Pocket fender flares offer a Lifetime Warranty.

      Winner:

      Bushwacker

      The Verdict

      Prestige and Bushwacker both manufacture OE-compatible fender flares to protect your truck or pickup from the ever-changing elements. Both fender flares performed well on an off-road track but Prestige offered the best off-road protection. Although Prestige and Bushwacker's fender flare kits have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, choosing the right fender flare kit for your truck or pickup depends on your driving needs.