Do Wheel Well Liners Really Prevent Rust

In essence, a wheel well liner is a barrier that is installed between the fenders and wheels of a vehicle. The plastic liners are commonly referred to as “fender liners.”.

So, do wheel well liners prevent rust? There is no doubt that wheel well liners protect the body of the vehicle from corrosion and degradation. They do this by shielding it from road debris. 

Discover why wheel well liners are necessary, as well as how they are installed. Read on.

Do Wheel Well Liners Prevent Rust?

Rusty Wheel well
Rust on Wheel Well

What is the wheel well liner purpose? The main purpose of wheel well liners is to provide heavy-duty protection that aids in preventing damage caused by on-road and off-road debris. This debris includes pebbles, mud, salt, and asphalt, in addition to environmental factors like snow and slush.

Wheel wells are often neglected during the cleaning process of the car, although they can get quite dirty very quickly. The debris that accumulates in your tire wells may cause rust and corrosion over time.

On the other hand, the devastation doesn’t stop there. Rust in your car’s wheel wells may easily spread to other parts of your vehicle’s body and get out of hand quickly.

And such rust is caused just because of the big wheel gap. It will worsen if your car doesn’t have the wheel well liners. So, to avoid the rust and other dirt getting into the wheel wells, you must first fill the gap. And for this reason, you should install the wheel well liners.

Needless to say, wheel well liners are often fitted to the front wheels of most pickup trucks. However, the rear wheel wells of most cars, especially trucks, do not have liners. Presumably, it is due to the fact that installing them there would increase the cost of the vehicle for the manufacturers. So, in that case, you just need to install the back tire gap liners.

How Do Wheel Well Liners Prevent Rust

Wheel well liners are important for protecting your vehicle’s body from rust and corrosion. They offer a barrier between your car’s metal elements.

They keep water away from the metal. Wheel wells are intended to be exposed to elements such as rain, snow, ice, and salt. If they remain exposed, they will eventually start to rust. Wheel well liners prevent water from entering the fender wells by keeping it at bay.  

They provide a barrier against road debris. Road debris such as pebbles can easily find their way into the wheel wells of any vehicle and damage them over time. Wheel well liners provide protection against this damage by creating a physical barrier between road debris and your vehicle’s fender wells.  

Is It Bad To Drive Without Wheel Well Liner?

It is not advisable to drive without wheel well liners. It is mainly because they protect your car’s paint job from damage caused by road debris such as rocks, gravel and other debris that may be present on the road.

It also protects the underbody of your vehicle from corrosion caused by dirt and dust. If you have ever had a wheel well liner removed and driven on it, then you know how much dirt can get stuck in there.

If left unchecked, this can lead to major rusting problems which will no

Do Wheel Well Liners Reduce Noise?

Well, all types of wheel well liners can not reduce noise. However, rubber-coated liners can minimize the sound.

In this regard, you can apply wheel well liner spray. It’s a low-cost and simple method of extending the life of your wheel wells. Yes, it can also assist in dampening the additional noise of the road while driving.

Moreover, it is a great option to give rubberized coatings to the tire well liners. And these coatings protect the paint and prevent dirt from getting into the wheel well. Besides that, once the liners are coated accordingly, they reduce the noise of the tires.

In addition, reducing tire noise by using fiber-made wheel arch liners is an excellent idea. In situations where tire sound is a major source of passing-by noise, fiber well liners can also help to lessen that noise.

Read Also: How To Remove Road Paint From Car Wheel Wells On Your Own

How To Install Wheel Well Liners?

Now, it’s time to install the new wheel well liners. The installation process is not the same for all vehicles. Both for wheel well liner replacement or first-time installation, you need to know the steps.

Therefore, we have provided instructions on how to replace and re-install the wheel well liner. So, regardless of your stage, you can attach the wheel well liner accordingly.

Step 1: Gather The Accessories

To start the installation, you must have the kit or some tools. Your tools list must include new wheel well liners, liner retainers, jack and jack stand, screwdriver, torque wrench, lug wrench, and gloves.

Step 2: Park The Vehicle

Place your vehicle on a level area and engage the parking brake before leaving it. If you are on a slopy surface, you should use wheel chocks. 

Step 3: Make A Clearance

On many automobiles, you will be required to take off the wheel. However, this step might not be necessary on some pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). For a truck, you can easily attach the liner without removing the tires since a truck wheel well rim is bigger than a normal car.

Ensure that there is sufficient room to get to all the liner retainers by checking the clearance. If you cannot do so, release the lug nuts that are located underneath the liner that must be replaced on the wheel.

The vehicle should then be raised using the proper jack point. Always use a jack stand to give additional support and stability for a vehicle that has been elevated.

Step 4: Investigate Retainer Holes

Place the new fender liner on the surface, and then search for each of the retainer holes. The number of retainers in your vehicle’s previous liner can be determined by counting the number of holes in the liner.

Step 5: Remove The Wheel Well Liner Retainers

One by one, remove the wheel well liner retainers. To remove the plastic cap, insert a flat screwdriver under it. To remove the retainers, simply give the handle a quarter-turn twist. Remove the plastic base with the screwdriver before continuing. A single liner may contain more than a dozen retainers.

Step 6: Replace The Liner

Remove the old liner from the tire well. Place the new wheel well liner there and attach it tightly to the well.

Starting from both ends, locate each liner hole and insert an open retainer into it. After making sure that the retainer is completely seated, press down on the cap. As it clicks into place, you can both hear and feel it.

Step 7: Complete The Installation

Moving along the liner, you should press each retainer into its proper position as you go. It may be necessary to carefully maneuver the liner over front wind dams and belly pans in order to achieve optimal aerodynamics.

The liner has been properly fastened now that all of the retainers are in position. After mounting the wheel, the lug nuts should be tightened by hand. Take the jack stand out of the vehicle and then lower it.

Make sure that the lug nuts are torqued to the specifications given by the manufacturer. Finally, you have completed the re-installation of a new wheel well liner.

How Much Do Wheel Well Liners Cost?

Wheel well liners often cost less than $150 per liner. However, the price of a new wheel well liner depends on its type and the manufacturer. Moreover, if you purchase a set of four liners, it may cost around $700.

Needless to say, the price is not constant. The cost varies from brand to brand and also based on the type of car you own.


Finally, we are concluding here, providing you with all the necessary information regarding the doings of the wheel well liner, including the installation process.

If you want to protect your tire well from road debris, installing the liner is crucial. And if you already have the fender liners, check whether they are attached properly or broken. You may also replace the liners, following our guidelines accordingly.

2 thoughts on “Do Wheel Well Liners Really Prevent Rust”

  1. After removing wheel well liners, what are best products to spray or brush on the metal, especially where plastic retainers go?

    • Rust-Oleum Rust Reformer: This is a rust converter that chemically reacts with rust and transforms it into a non-rusting surface. It also creates a protective barrier that prevents future rust from forming.


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