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Toyota Tacoma Fender Flares

Caring for the Toyota Tacoma Fender Flares: Key Tips and Tricks

Fender flares for the Toyota Tacoma are one of those accessories that do not require a lot of attention once installed, but it does require some maintenance on occasion. Flares are especially prone to fading from constant UV exposure, as well as damage ranging from surface scratches to full cracks.

Maintaining the Toyota Tacoma fender flare is not that difficult, and will not require tools beyond those that you can find in your house. And to give you a head start, the following are some tips and tricks you can use to care for and maintain your Toyota Tacoma fender flares.

  • Use a sponge a soft brush to wash the flares.

Washing the flares regularly with car shampoo and a bucket of warm water is the first line of defense against wear, but how you wash it also important. For starters, use only a sponge or a soft-bristled brush when applying the shampoo, as hard bristles may leave scratches on the flare surface. It is also recommended not to use dishwashing liquid or any other type of cleaning solution other than car shampoo, as the latter is specifically designed not to be harsh on the protective coating of the fender flare.

  • Use tire cleaner to make unpainted fender flares shine.

There are many commercial products now available on store shelves that promise to make your flares vibrant and shiny, but if you have unpainted flares you can skip all that and just use tire cleaners. This is especially helpful for dull, faded flares, as tire cleaner can help restore them to their original appearance. Apply the cleaner after washing the flares, and let it sit for several minutes before wiping it dry with a chamois or lint-free cloth.

  • Do not lean on the flares.

Fender flares can give your Toyota Tacoma a more aggressive look, but they are only as tough as they appear. This is because flares are not designed to support any amount of weight, and by leaning onto or placing heavy objects on them will cause the flare to bend and eventually crack from the strain.

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  • Toyota Tacoma Fender Flares Installation: A How-To Guide

    Whether you are getting bigger wheels or just want a more aggressive look for your Toyota Tacoma, fender flares are the way to go. Often sold as a kit, fender flares are easy enough to be installed at home with nothing more than basic tools found in your garage. If you are planning on installing a new set of Toyota Tacoma fender flares on your truck, here are some tips that you might find helpful during the process.

    Tip #1: Make sure that there is enough clearance between the flares into the exhaust pipes.

    As a rule of thumb, there should be a minimum 4" clearance between the rear fender flares and the exhaust pipe; anything less and the exhaust gas will vent will pool inside the wheel well. In such cases, you will need to use stops and spacers for more space between the flares and pipe.

    Tip #2: Coat all screws and other bare metal components of the flare with rust resistant paint.

    We recommend doing this before mounting the flare, as these metal components tend to rust easily. It is also good idea to spray the inner fender wells with an undercoating to further prevent rust from forming.

    Tip #3: Use a vise grip to help remove the clips.

    The retainer clips that hold the stock fender flare in place can usually be removed by twisting the clips in a clockwise motion, but if one of the clips are particularly stubborn you can use a vise grip. Lock the vise grip onto the clip and pull in a rocking motion.

    Tip #4: Do not over-tighten the screws.

    Tighten the screws just enough so that it fits snugly inside the plastic fastener and won't come loose while driving. Tightening the bolts beyond that is likely to damage the fastener, the plastic spacer, and the fender flare itself.

    Tip #5: Cut tiny notches in the trim that covers the corners of the flare.

    This will allow it to fit nearly on the corner and provide a better seal against rain and dirt. Use a sharp scissor to cut small, incremental amounts to avoid removing too much of the trim material.