Mud/Splash Guards

I recently purchased 2013 Hyundai Elantra GLS, and I’m trying to decide if I should have splash/mud guards installed on the car. Does anyone have any advice about whether or not splash/mud guards are worth it? And, will splash/mud guards have a negative effect on the car’s fuel economy?

Thanks in advance for any advice you may be able to offer!

I have, or have installed ,mud flaps on everything I’ve ever owned.
I wish all the trucks AND cars in front of me had them too.

Yes, install mud flaps on yours,
your car and the cars behind you will be glad you did.

I agree with Ken above. Splash guards should be mandatory.

Thanks for your input. I think I will go ahead and have them installed. Susan

Susan, maybe you ought to wait a little to get some more opinions. It just so happens that I think they are a waste of money, serve no purpose (on a car or pick up truck) and they do impact your fuel economy, but only about a half mile per gallon at highway speeds. But if you like the looks, go for them.

I have to disagree with you keith. If you get the ones made for your car/truck it helps keep the paint on the bottom of the fenders and 1/4 panels. I cant see how they would have any effect on milage.

Back on my 74 Cutlass I put them on because the body tucked under so bad, you would sand blast the paint off in just a few hundred miles. They were really kind of in the way all the time and hard to keep in place. Since then, manufacturers have been using products such as rocker schultz which is a tough coating under the paint for areas prone to sand blasting. I just don’t see the need for them except on trucks.

Yes do it,they are one of the best add ons you can put on a vehicle and the custom ones look good and wont affect your economy to any noticable degree-Kevin

Back in the gas shortage of the 70s, (when gas prices skyrocketed up to about 80cents/gallon), one of the popular trade rags, like MotorTrend, did a study on the impact of mud flaps and mileage.

The VW Scirocco was measured to lose 0.7 mpg, which I remember because my wife had a Scirocco and she was asking me to get her mudflaps. I calculated how much those mud flaps would really cost us over the life of the car. (It didn’t fly - she got the mudflaps.)

Two more points I remember from the article:

  • All cars they measured for mpg impact did suffer a loss in mileage with mud flaps.
  • Small fuel efficient cars suffered the biggest drop in mileage, while gas hogs suffered much less.

In a dry climate, I wouldn’t. They almost certainly have some negative effect on aerodynamics and gas mileage. In a wet, muddy climate I’d be tempted. How do you feel about them?

The last car I had without mudflaps had a lot of stone chips in the paint behind the wheels. The cars I’ve had since then with mudflaps haven’t had that problem.

Oh boy, it seems like this decision won’t be as clear cut as I’d hoped. I do live in a dry climate, and getting good fuel economy is important to me. So, maybe I’ll take the risk of paint chips over sacrificing some fuel economy. I looked in Motor Trend and some other databases to see if there were any recent articles on the effect of splash/mud guards on fuel economy, but I couldn’t find anything.

I think on it a day or two more and then decide. Thanks to all who have offered input on my question!

In addition to reducing stone damage to the paint, mud flaps can actually enhance vehicle safety.
How do they do this? By reducing the “rooster tail” of rain spray behind your car when driving at high speed.

ln case you never noticed it, the rain spray of cars without mud flaps can make it very difficult to see the tail lights, directional signals, and brake lights of the car(s) in front of you on a stormy day. You can’t do anything about those cars in front of you, but you can make a difference with the cars behind you. By making your rear lights more visible to the folks behind you, you will decrease the chance of one of them hitting your car if you have to make a panic stop or change lanes.

Yes, I do know what you mean about the “rooster tail” of rain spray. And, safety is an important factor to consider. I’ve gotten some other input that suggests that the placement of the mud guards really doesn’t impact fuel economy significantly. So, I will go ahead and have them put on.

Thanks again to everyone who offered advice on this topic.

Mudflaps that are the proper size don’t effect mileage any significant amount. If you had flaps made for a Kenworth sticking out like barn walls, yeah. They’re tucked up behind the wheels pretty close, so air’s already being diverted already.

Dry is one thing, but if you’re living where there’s lots of debris, like rocks, then you’re paint’s taking a scouring.