- If you have a loose fender, it might be due to a bad fender support as a result of a recent fender bender.
- The fender support is the bracket that is attached to the vehicle’s frame.
- The main objective of the fender support is to make the fender panel sturdier so that it can withstand certain fender-bending accidents that you hopefully don’t bump into.
- Fender supports help you save money that you would otherwise spend to get your fenders repaired after a minor fender bender.
- Manufacturers use steel or aluminum to construct original equipment manufacturer (OEM) fender supports.
- There are more than a handful of OE brands out there making fender supports that are close, if not exactly like, their OEM counterpart.
- OE fender support replacements on CarParts.com cost around $4 to $150.
- Fender supports or brackets come in different shapes and sizes and these often depend on the vehicle model a part fits.
Of the hundreds or thousands of components and subcomponents in your car, fender support belongs in the category of parts that are usually unseen by the naked eye. That’s because this component is installed behind the fender and is meant to reinforce the fenders.
Fenders are susceptible to heavy beating as they are specifically designed to crumple for shock absorption in the event of a crash. Accidents that damage the fenders are commonly referred to as fender benders. A fender bender is strong enough to damage the front fender support just like how a rear-end collision can damage the rear fender supports. If you have a loose fender, it might be due to bad fender support as a result of a recent fender bender.
Out in the market for good-quality fender support replacement? This guide will help you learn more about the part, why it’s important, and what might happen if you don’t replace it immediately.
What is a Fender Support?
Before we look at what’s behind the fenders of your car, you need to have a clear idea of what a fender is. There are four corners in your car: the front passenger, front driver, rear passenger, and rear driver. These areas or quarters are the ones above the wheels and the panels that cover them are called fenders or quarter panels.
Fenders are meant to cover the top side of the wheel from harsh elements like sunlight and rain. This is to keep the rubber from deteriorating prematurely as rapid changes in temperature can cause thermal expansion and contraction that both affect performance.
The fender may seem as if it’s good as is in protecting your wheels but in reality, it needs reinforcement from behind. In comes the fender support. The fender support is the bracket that is attached to the vehicle’s frame. It goes by many names, including fender bracing, fender bracket, and fender support brace.
The term fender bracing or brace, however, usually points to aftermarket fender supports designed for racing applications. These fender supports feature a design constructed using metal tubings that attach to the cowl and the front side frame.
The main objective of the fender support is to make the fender panel sturdier so that it can withstand certain fender-bending accidents that you hopefully don’t bump into. In short, it helps you save money that you would otherwise spend to get your fenders repaired after a minor fender bender.
What is the Fender Support Made Of?
It is important that fender supports are sturdy enough to reinforce the fender panels. For that reason, manufacturers commonly use steel or aluminum to construct original equipment manufacturer (OEM) fender supports. Steel is far more superior in terms of strength but has the tendency to rust after the coating fades. Aluminum negates the possibility of rust and is far lighter than steel. The thing with aluminum, though, is it’s more expensive.
When looking for fender support, decide which material you want to equip on your car.
Finding the Right Fender Support for your Car
When it comes to automotive parts, it is important to make sure that you’re getting the best quality. Quality is often paired with a brand, but you’ll be surprised to know that there are brands out there that are not OEM but are making parts of the same quality as OEMs.
OEM fender support replacements are the exact duplicates of the genuine ones in your car. However, original equipment (OE) replacement part manufacturers have been making parts that are based on their OEM counterparts. This makes OE fender support replacements a go-to if you don’t have the budget for OEM but are keen when it comes to quality.
Advantages of Opting for OE Fender Support Replacements
OEM parts are the top-tier when it comes to part replacements as they are fully acknowledged by respective car manufacturers. However, OEM parts are also more costly and harder to find, which may cause consumers to dodge them and opt directly for OE replacement parts. Unlike OEM parts, which are usually manufactured by one company, there are multiple OE replacement brands that compete in the market.
The fact that there is a wider selection in the market makes OE fender supports more affordable. Quality is arguable as you would have to read reviews about a specific brand and replacement part but, rest assured, there are more than a handful of OE brands out there that are close, if not exactly like, their OEM counterpart.
How Much is an OE Fender Support Replacement?
OE fender support replacements on CarParts.com cost around $4 to $150. You can buy it in single pieces, in sets of 2, or sets of 3 so make sure to plan ahead before you click the check out button.
Things to Remember when Shopping for Fender Supports
Keep in mind that there are different locations of installation for fender supports. To avoid purchasing the wrong part, you may select the specific location of installation under the filter tool to narrow down the scope according to your needs.
Lastly, fender supports or brackets come in different shapes and sizes and these often depend on the vehicle model a part fits. Make your shopping experience easier by indicating the year, make, and model of your car to show only the parts that are compatible with your vehicle.
The Basics of Shopping for the Correct Fender Support
Fenders are made of several materials, primarily the same material as the car body. Most cars are made of steel (incredibly resilient and durable) while other cars are made of aluminum (rust-free). Fender support, on the other hand, is a bracket that reinforces the fender and makes it less susceptible to fender benders. Like fenders, they're also made of steel and/or aluminum. This product could be a replacement fender support or a customized one to improve fender functionality.
Pointers for Shopping
- Know Which Fender It's Used For: There are fender support brackets you can fit unto your front left fender, front right fender, rear left fender, and rear right fender (also known as front, driver, and passenger fenders). Each bracket differs in positioning and construction depending on which fender it's placed, so check out the product description regarding which fender the bracket is supposed to support.
- Its Shape and Its Customization Options: Different brackets have different shapes. While OEM replacement fender support tends to have the same size and shape as the original, you have the option to purchase various other shapes tailored for specific uses. Custom-fit brackets are available smaller yet more compact, allowing for more protection from mud and rocks.
- The Right Fender Support Material: You can either get an aluminum or steel fender support for your needs. Aluminum fender support is more lightweight and isn't corrosive but steel ones are more common and well-known for their supreme durability. They're the support your fender can depend on in case it goes through an accident.
- Direct Fit and Easy Installment: The fewer the steps it takes to install your new fender support, the better value it has. In case fitment isn't enough to find a direct fit bracket, check the specs of the product in question to see if it has the right measurements for your fender-supporting needs. You can also use the original equipment number and parts link number as reference that you're getting the right support.
- Intentions for Usage: A mounting bracket for your fender has multiple benefits. The trick to buying the right one for you is to match your intentions with what it has to offer. A fender bracket support can be used to widen the fender and allow you to use bigger wheels. It can also improve the looks of your vehicle as well as its fender durability.
Pointers for Review
To be honest, as long as you know the fitment of your car relative to these fender support mounting brackets, you should get the proper fit and measurement for your fender reinforcement needs. It's when you're looking for custom-fit options that things can get more complicated. However, as long as you partner with your mechanic in finding the right parts online, you should save hundreds of dollars in parts shopping for the right bracket.