Pros and Cons of Mud Flaps


#1

I recently purchased a late model Lincoln Town Car w/ 27k miles on it. I drive less than 6,000 miles and hope to keep this car looking nice for another 12 years.



Since the car is white, I am think about installing mud flaps (splash guards) to dress it up and protect its’ lower parts from road tar, debris and salt.



However, a friend said that drilling into the quarter panels may void the warranty, cause damage and lead to rust years down the road. Is he right? And are there any installation tips?



Thanks,

Rust Belt DP







I drive less than 6,000 miles per year and hope to keep the car about 12 years.



Any installation tips?


#2

When you drill the holes, put a generous glob of touchup paint in the hole before screwing the screws in. I’ve used this trick for decades and I’ve never had rust start in a treated screwhole.


#3
I would not expect it is going to help prevent rust, but if you like the looks go for it.  It may help keep paint chips down.  

Drilling holes will likely void any warranty for rust in the area where you drill, or any area that those holes may have encouraged rust.  The rest of the warranty will not be affected.

#4

I try to use existing screws when I install mud flaps. I prefer the rubber mud flaps to the plastic ones, they hold up better. However, I was able to order fitted mud flaps for my 2000 Blazer from the dealer and the price was comparable to generic mud flaps.

Ed B.


#5

Mud flaps on my Nissan truck dropped my highway mileage about 1 mpg. You can go to a tint shop and have some of that invisible bra material put on the areas you want to protect. Replace it as needed.


#6

For a truck, mudflaps are a common courtesy for other motorists as well as a legal requirement in many areas.

In a passenger car, they are totally unnecessary and cause road salt and other corrosive elements to accumulate in an area that is already very vulnerable to rusting.


#7

I agree with Keith on the hwy mileage hit.

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

The VW Scirocco lost 0.7 mpg, which I remember because my wife had one and she was asking me to get her mudflaps.

I vaguely recall the average loss for all cars tested being at or slightly less than 1 mpg.

Joe


#8

For a truck, mudflaps are a common courtesy for other motorists as well as a legal requirement in many areas.

In a passenger car, they are totally unnecessary and cause road salt and other corrosive elements to accumulate in an area that is already very vulnerable to rusting.

That’s totaly dependent on how they are designed and installed. My wifes new Lexus or my 4runner there is no area for salt accumulate. It’s very smooth mounted.

And if installed correctly I think they are FAR better then without them. They keep stones and dirt from being kicked up on the rocker panels. I’ve seen rockerpanels pitted and chipped because of lack of mud flaps. Now some cars it doesn’t make a difference…but others it does…especially the cars where the rocker panels are rounded to be underneath the car behind the wheels.


#9

In a passenger car, they are totally unnecessary and cause road salt and other corrosive elements to accumulate in an area that is already very vulnerable to rusting.

Personally, I think they (like bras) look silly on most cars and could cause more damage than they prevent if not installed correctly. I think it makes more sense to just have stone chips repaired if/when they occur. As a fashion accessory, mud flaps are in the same category as curb feelers.


#10

.07 mpg, omg


#11

.07 mpg, omg

I wrote 0.7 mpg and not .07.

To give a little perspective using today’s prices,
if your car gets 28 mpg, then the .7 mpg drop
equates to a 2.5% hit on mpg. That works out to
a $1.00 increase for every $40.00 tank fillup.