How to Install Mud Guards

Updated April 17, 2017

Mud guards, mud flaps or splash guards are small plastic or rubber flaps designed to fit in the wheel well of a vehicle and prevent dirt and debris from getting on the side of the vehicle and damaging the paint. Mud flaps can be particularly useful in wet and muddy conditions where debris can fly off the tires. Many large trucks come standard with mud flaps that often sport some kind of design. Few cars come with mud flaps, but automotive stores offer mud flaps designed to fit most vehicles. Installing mud flaps takes a little bit of time, but they will protect your paint and keep your vehicle clean.

Park your vehicle on a level surface. Depending on your vehicle, you may need to remove the tire to install the mud guards.

Hold the mud guard up to the wheel arch to see how it will fit. You may be able to line up the holes in the mud flaps with the bolts that hold the bumper liner in place. If the holes do not line up, mark the location of the mounting holes on the inner bumper with a marker.

Follow the directions on the mud guard packaging. It should tell you what size drill bit you will need. Use a drill to carefully drill the first hole. The holes need to go into the sheet metal of the wheel arch to hold the screws for the mud guards. If you just drill into the bumper liner, the screws may not hold.

Install the mud guard with the hardware and screws provided. Do not tighten the screws. Use a level to make sure the mud guard hangs evenly. Remark the holes if necessary and drill the remainder of the holes.

Install all the screws through the mud guard and tighten them down. If using the existing mounting holes on the inner bumper, make sure the bolts can accommodate the added thickness of the mud guard. Tighten all screws.

Repeat Steps 1 through 5 to install the other three mud guards on your vehicle.

Things You'll Need

  • Marker
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
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About the Author

Residing in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania, Teri Olcott began her writing career in 1992 as a small-town newspaper reporter. In 1998, Olcott entered the technical writing field. Her articles have appeared in “Radiant Press” magazine and “Epoch” magazine. Olcott holds an Associate of Science in radiologic technology from SUNY Binghamton.