Car Fenders – When Should You Replace Them?
There are certain auto body parts that get all the attention. Most people primarily look at the bumpers and grilles, because these are the telling signs of a car, right? This is how you know an Audi from a Mustang. Of course, the headlights are also important in the overall look, and the hood can serve as a way to modify the aesthetic too.
However, there is one thing to which you do not really pay that much attention and that are the fenders! Indeed, most people don’t even think about them, if something does not go wrong. Sadly, because we ignore them and do not expect them properly on a regular basis, sometimes just a bit of damage can cause serious issues over the long run.
With all that said, you have to know that car fenders are indeed important. They are not something that you should forget about. But if you are reading this article, you likely know that already, or you have noticed some issues on your fenders. Now your question is whether you should replace them or perhaps if there is a chance at repairs. Let’s see!
Is It Rust?
One of the most common issues when it comes to fenders is rust. While this can affect many other auto body parts as well, fenders are usually the first to catch it. Why? Because they face the rough conditions of driving much more than any other part.
When the wheels of your car are spinning they go over all kinds of things. Water, moisture and even salt are some of the culprits that can lead to damaged fenders. Of course, this does not happen overnight. Yet it only takes a small crack in the coating and the right drop of water to find it, and the rust process have begun thanks to this catalyst.
Sadly, with rust repairs are not that easy. You can try to sand it down and then recoat the fender with proper painting and finish, but it will never look the same. Plus there is no telling that you’ve done the job correctly. It is very likely that there is still residual moisture, which will once more lead to further rust development. At that point replacing the fender is the better option.
Talking About Structural Damage
The other option for a damaged fender is structural issues. If you have been hit on the side for example, your fender may have bent, which if caught on time may not lead to issues with rust. That leaves us wondering if it can actually be fixed.
If we have to be honest, there are fixes for bent fenders. Unfortunately, most of them are not ideal. They can be “straightened”, but the end result is not what you would expect. You would be able to tell that there were issues.
However, even with an impeccable job (which is highly unlikely), you will 100% still need to repaint and refinish the fender. All in all, it is obvious that the least amount of hassle is by getting a new car fender!