Can You Put Fender Flares Over Rust? Installing Them Could Mean the Difference Between a Safe Car and a Total Wreck

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As cars age, one of their biggest enemies is rust. A little rust on a car’s body is fairly common, it can become a safety issue. Today’s cars are carefully engineered to survive crashes, but if rust compromises a vehicle’s structure, there could be a catastrophic failure in even rout

What Causes Rust?

Rust is caused by water, salt, dirt, or other elements that corrode metal. It can also be found in places where two pieces of metal are rubbing against each other. The only way to stop rust from forming is to keep these factors away from your car.


What Are Fender Flares?

Fender flares are an automotive modification to protect a vehicle’s body from rust. The fenders, which surround the wheel wells, are usually made of metal; this is where rust starts. Fender flares sit over top of the metal fenders, giving them additional protection from corrosion. When you install fender flares, they cover up any existing rust on your metal fenders. While there are other methods for preventing rust on car metal panels, such as painting or using sealant sprays, many people prefer to use this inexpensive and simple solution instead.


How to Install Fender Flares

If you have rust on your car, there are ways to protect it. One way is installing fender flares over rust

  1. Clean up your car’s rust problem before installing any aftermarket parts (don't forget to use paint thinner for really stubborn spots). 
  2. Purchase some quality fender flares with an adhesive backing that won't leave behind any sticky residue once removed (we recommend 3M products).


The Importance of Regular Maintenance

Can you put fender flares over rust? This is a question we get all of the time, and it’s an important one. It’s possible to have your car repaired to stop rust from getting worse, but it’s not possible to repair rusted out metal that is seen on certain areas of your car.

How To Keep Your Car from Getting Rusty

A little rust on your car’s body is fairly common, but it can become an issue if left untreated. Your car is often going to be exposed to salty roads, water exposure from rain, snow or ice, and other corrosive elements. One of the best ways to keep your car from getting rusty is by cleaning it regularly. A good rule of thumb is to wash your car at least once a month during the winter or after being in heavy rain.


Dealing with Surface Rust

If you’ve noticed surface rust on your vehicle, it doesn’t mean that you need to buy a new car. For minor cases of rust, there are several affordable ways to fix the problem. One option is using rust converter primer; this product works by converting surface rust into an oil film so it can be more easily sanded off. After applying the primer, cover it with paint or undercoating to prevent future rust from forming.

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