Fender Flares: A Short Guide to What Flare your Fenders Need
Fender Flares are the part of the wheel well that extends out away from the body of your vehicle. Sometimes these are stock, but more often Flares are aftermarket parts. There are four typical reasons why customers are in the market for fender flares:
- They look freakin’ sweet!
- They can cover rust or damage or replace a damaged fender flare
- Some State laws require them if you have a particularly large wheel.
- Flares help protect your vehicle from damage.
There are four to six different styles of Fender Flares, depending on whom you ask, and you may want a particular style to meet a particular need--such as replacing a damaged OEM fender or meeting a State required width.
Speaking of, some States have Vehicle Equipment Laws that may make your Fender Flares mandatory. Check out your Department of Public Safety (DPS) and/or Department of Motorized Vehicles (DMV) for specific laws governing your vehicle mods.
In general, most States that do have such laws require that the fender is wide enough to at least cover the tire tread. Again, do some research just in case before you get a nasty ticket.
Whether it be for a law or to cover damage/rust, all of the wheel fenders we sell will have the dimensions listed in either the “More Info” or “Vehicle Fitment” tab at the bottom of the page. Flare Height will tell you how far above the wheel well the fender trim extends, and Tire Coverage will tell you how far out away from the vehicle the fender extends to cover the tire.
If you are wondering why these laws exist, this is mainly to prevent any vehicle’s tires from flinging rock and road debris at any fellow motorist. Above and beyond this, Fenders can also help protect your vehicle’s paint job and wheel well from similar damage, so even if your State doesn’t have a law requiring them, we highly recommend a set. They protect your finish, add value to your vehicle, and make it look pretty kickass!
We sell Fenders in sets of four or two (front or rear), so make sure you double check that you are ordering the proper product before you check out. No matter what your reason for browsing, we’ve got the Fender Flares for you here at Midwest Aftermarket.
How do I decide which Fender Flares to buy?
Which Fender Flares are right for my vehicle?
When choosing a Fender Flare set, you’ll have to consider a few different things:
- How far do I want my Flares to stick out from my truck (Tire Coverage)?
- Do I want paintable Flares or Black Flares?
- Which style Fender Flare do I want?
These are some very important questions to figure out the answers to. If you need a set of Flares that are going to cover your tires, you should really start there and limit your search to the correct Tire Coverage size Flares.
Paintable flares are pretty sweet, especially if you really like the color of your vehicle. We have had a number of customers over the years do really great mods by matching their aftermarket parts to their paint jobs. This should definitely be something you consider up front though because not all Fender Flares are paintable.
Of course, the tried and true black Fender Flares are great too. So you’ll want to consider this more traditional color scheme as well. Of course, if you’ve already got a black truck then this matches your paint job anyway. Likewise, black goes well with most paint jobs.
If you know what style you like, then you can start your browsing there. But you’ll have to understand that terminology first. Read on to learn all the different words various brands and manufacturers use to describe their styles of fender flares.
The many styles of Fender Flares each come in a variety of shapes and colors. Many are even paintable or may come to match your stock paint job. Keep in mind that ALL Fender Flares are custom fit, meaning they are made to match your specific pickup truck or Jeep.
Many of the Fender Flares we sell require no drilling to install, but there are a few out there that may require minimal drilling. Again make sure to check the “More Info” and “Vehicle Fitment” tabs. Also, consult the manufacturer instructions for more details when installing.
When in doubt, if you aren’t sure or have questions about fitment, give us a call or Live Chat with us. Make sure you are ordering the correct set of Fender Flares before hand, and this will save you a hassle later. Our parts experts are standing by to help you get the right flares for your ride.
Now the biggest thing I need to get out before we dive into particular designs are the fact that different manufacturers might have different names or terms for these different styles. We’ll have to consider this as we go. So while we will be talking about the various styles here, the individual manufacturer might call this style something else. This not only leads to confusion but also can be frustrating. If you think you’re looking for a “street” style but all the styles you look at are actually called something else, this can be misleading. Again, when in doubt, hit up our parts experts over the phone or via chat.
First a quick rundown before we getting into the particulars.
What are the various styles or types of Fender Flares?
How many different types of Fender Flares are there?
There are at least four, if not more like six, different styles of Fender Flares:
- OE Style: Designed to match the Original Equipment that comes stock with your vehicle.
- Street Style: Varied or separate from OE, Street style are typically street legal & typically low-profile.
- Bolt Style: Flares with decorative bolts along their upper edge, giving the impression that said bolts are used to attach the fender to the vehicle--though they are really just for show. Many prefer this rugged look over OE or stock flares.
- Pocket Style: A more extreme version of the “Bolt” style, Pocket style have bolts that are recessed into the fender flare.
- Cut Out Style: An even more extreme version of Pocket style, specific to Bushwacker and a few other manufacturers. If you want bolts but even more recess than pocket style, you need some Cut Outs.
- Extended Style: These are the most extreme Fender Flares as far as Tire Coverage goes. Extended Flares extend or reach out farther from your vehicle than any other style.
Now that you have a brief explanation of each, let’s get into the specifics of each type and give you some examples.
These style Wheel Fenders are designed to mimic the original fenders from back when you drove your pickup off the dealer’s lot. In other words, “OE” stands for “Original Equipment.” Most often you’ll see the term OEM, meaning Original Equipment Manufacturer, or made by them, for instance. While none of the OE style fender flares are made by the OEM, they are intended to match well with the original equipment.
If you’re looking to try to keep that stock look, these are a great buy. Most of them can be painted to match your vehicle’s paint job as well. If you’re looking for a subdued look or just want small fenders to comply with State laws, these could be a great choice also.
Typically, those in the market for OE flares are either replacing a pair of damaged stock flares or looking to keep the truck or Jeep looking really stock. While there is nothing wrong with that, OE Style Flares are the least pronounced and closest to stock you can get, so if you’re looking to stand out in the crowd, if you want people to look at your vehicle and know immediately that she’s modded, then these are probably not for you.
Then again, if you really like the look of a particular OE fender flare, go for it. It doesn’t matter what I think after all. If you don’t need a particularly large fender flare like an Extended and you don’t like Bolt Style flares, OE Style are a great options. You should also consider the next style too in that case.
The next style is aptly called “street” and makes me think of the term “street legal.” These are low-profile Fenders similar in profile to stock trim, but different in style. They aren’t as wide or extreme as Pocket/Bolt or Extended style, but stand out more than OE Style.
Many customers go with this style to, again, comply with State laws, but, unlike OE, to stand out from the crowd, as mounting four of these will show anyone looking at your ride that she’s modded. No one will mistake these Fenders for stock trim.
Street Style are also often considered to be racing style flares. I always think of little drift cars when I think of Street Style, but if you’re rocking a lowered pickup truck, I think most of the Street Style fenders we offer would look pretty sick on your ride. There’s just something about Street Style that screams speed to me.
Now this article suggestions that there could be anywhere from 4 to 6 fender flares styles because of Bolt Styles. The thing is, most of us think of Bolt style as being any kind of fender flare that has a bolt on it. But within or under the Bolt Style umbrella, you might think of there being three different types: Standard Bolt, Pocket Style, and the most extreme version, Cut Out Style.
Looking for a stand-out look? Something that makes you and your truck look badass? Now we’re talking! Standard Bolt Style or any of the variants may be your jam.
These fenders tend to have a taller height, extending up away from the wheel well, and they at least look like they are attached with bolts. In most cases these bolts are just decorative (just for show), but that doesn’t stop them from looking sweet. Many customers find that these Bolt Style flares are more rugged or aggressive looking.
These Fenders fall under the category Bolt Style except that they have a recessed “pocket” where the bolts are. This makes it look even more like the bolts are actually being used to attach the Fenders to your vehicle, even though, once again, they are likely just aesthetic. Personally, I think Pocket Style flares are where it is at. There’s just something about the bolt look that I love. And when those bolts are recessed into the fender flares, I they look really cool. But hey, that’s just my personal taste. Don’t let me sway you. (Buy Pocket Style! Get some Pocket Style Flares NOW!)
Cut Out Style
Some manufacturers, such as Bushwacker, offer a third “Bolted” style known as Cut Out. These take the Pocket Bolt to the next level, shaving off that extra bit of separation between where the bolts are and the vehicle’s sidewall is. If you want the most extreme of Bolt styles, this is the one for you. If you ask me, these are some of the most rugged and badass fenders around. They’re like Pocket Style flares on steroids! (Okay, maybe you should buy these instead. It’s so hard to decide.)
For those who need (or desire) the most Tire Coverage, Extended Style provides. These typically offer the most extension away from the vehicle with a sleek and smooth finish. There are no bolts or recessed areas, so in a way these fenders often resemble OE Style except that they are wider and often taller too.
Some companies also offer Extended style flares that are more like street style but just bigger and wider. If you want the biggest flares around, typically Extended is the style for you.
Where’s Your Flare?!
No matter what Fenders you decide to go with, we have what you want in stock and ready to ship here at Midwest Aftermarket. No matter what your stylings, we offer free shipping anywhere in the U.S., a 30-day money back guarantee, and a great selection of Flare for your Fender. Want to keep that stock finish: order a set of OE Style Fender Flares. Looking to stand out in the crowd without upgrading your wheel size: Street Style will let everyone know you are rocking a modded ride. Dig that Bolted look? Bolt, Pocket, or Cut Out will make you and your vehicle pop while offering solid protection to your wheel well and finish. Really need some massive Flares to protect your tire and your pocketbook from silly fines? Extended Style has you and your treads covered. Order today before your buddies start asking ya, “Where’s your Flare, bro?”