DIY

How to Replace Inner Fender Liner

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Inner fender liners protect the wheel well and vehicle body from rust and other forms of damage. They are usually made of thermoplastic or other non-corrosive, flexible, and durable materials. Most vehicles have inner fender liners between each front wheel and the fender.

However, in some vehicles, the rear wheels may also have them.

The fender liner is an important piece of protective equipment. Learn when and how to replace it with this helpful guide.

fender liner of a pickup truck
Inner fender liners protect the wheel well and vehicle body from rust and other forms of damage.

Inner Fender Liner Replacement

Replacing your own fender liners is a relatively easy task that, on average, will only take you around an hour or so.

Make sure to practice safety measures, such as wearing work gloves and closed shoes, when doing any kind of repairs on your vehicle.

Below are the tools and materials you’ll need, as well as the steps you must follow so you can do your own fender liner replacement:

Materials:

  • Screwdriver and/or nut driver
  • New fender liner

Steps:

  1. Turn the steering wheel all the way in one direction to allow better access to the fender liner.
  2. Remove all the clips and screws from that side of the fender liner.
  3. Turn the steering wheel in the other direction and remove the clips and screws on that side.
  4. Remove the old fender liner carefully.
  5. Test to see if all the mounting holes of the new fender liner line up.
  6. Hold up the new fender liner while reinstalling all the screws and clips to secure it in place.
  7. Replace damaged screws and clips if necessary.
  8. Test the fender liner to make sure it’s properly fastened.
illustration of an inner fender liner
Turn the steering wheel all the way in one direction to have better access to the inner fender liner.

When to Replace a Fender Liner

It’s time start looking for a fender liner replacement when you observe these signs:

Damaged wheel well, fender, or internal components

Wheel wells and fenders are prone to damage in collisions. In the event of accidents that deform the wheel well and its internal components and panels, it’s important to replace the inner fender liner.

Worn, cracked, or chipped inner fender liner

The fender liner’s location is not the only factor that contributes to its susceptibility to damage. Its material affects its durability as well.

Older vehicles and antique models have inner fender liners made of metal like aluminum or steel. Such inner fender liners are susceptible to rust and ideally must be replaced with ones that are made of non-corrosive materials.

Meanwhile, modern vehicles are typically equipped with ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic or thermoplastic inner fender liners. This reduces their risk of getting damaged due to corrosion.

ABS plastic boasts strong resistance to heat, scratches, and impact, and is quite inexpensive. However, it is susceptible to wear with continuous use and is not entirely chemical-resistant.

inner fender liner car
Remove all the clips and screws from the fender liner.

Meanwhile, thermoplastic is a variety of polymer that can be melted and recast. This material is known for its corrosion- and chemical-resistant properties. It’s also a good insulator and doesn’t chip away easily as it’s quite flexible. The only downside to thermoplastic is that it is reactive to temperature changes. It softens in heat and gets brittle in cold.

Inner fender liners, especially those made of thermoplastics, have a tendency to fail during winter. They might chip, crack, or even form holes as a result of road debris and other substances being flung about inside the wheel well. If your inner fender liner forms visible cracks or comes off suddenly, it might be time to get a replacement.

Before trying to repair or replace your fender liner, you need to check both your fender liner and wheel well for damage and corrosion. This preliminary assessment will help you estimate the fender liner repair cost.

If the damage to your fender liner has gone unaddressed for a long time, rust and other damage may have already begun to form. Avoid unexpected expenses by determining the extent of the damage beforehand.

If in doubt, always consult your mechanic because they will be able to guide you on how to remove a fender liner. They will also be able to help you assess the situation if you’re not so sure about the extent of the damage.

inner fender liner replacement
Reinstall all the screws and clips while holding the new fender in place.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Fender Liner?

Prices for replacement inner fender liners range from less than a dollar for a single unit and up to $730 for a set of four. Replacement fender liner costs largely depend on the part’s compatibility with your vehicle’s year, make, and model.

Other factors include brand, material, quantity, and location.

Do You Need a Fender Liner?

The simple answer is yes, you need a fender liner. A vehicle’s undercarriage has a lot of moving parts, as well as electrical and metal components. These parts include the wheel well, headlight circuitry, and transmission components, among others.

The wheel well, in particular, is quite prone to corrosion due to its location. If these components come into contact with corrosive, foreign substances and debris, their individual function may be affected, which can diminish the vehicle’s overall performance.

The inner fender liner’s purpose is to keep moisture and debris from entering the engine bay. It protects the wiring and other electronic components from water damage. It also keeps rocks, pebbles, and other debris from getting inside and interfering with your vehicle’s inner workings.

If the issue of a damaged inner fender liner remains unaddressed, it can lead to more serious and expensive repairs in the long run.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic.

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