Replacing a Fender: A Step-by-Step Guide
If you have a bent, broken or scratched fender, the appearance of your car will be negatively affected. Luckily, replacing the fender of your car does not have to be difficult, as long as you have the tools to do it and the will to get it done. The following provides a simple step-by-step approach to replacing the fender of your car, and once it is completely done, your car will likely look as good as new.
Look for a Fender to Replace Your Old One
The first thing that you need to replace a broken or dented fender is another fender. You can buy used or brand new fenders for your car model from the Internet or from spare part dealers in your area. If you can, try to buy a fender that is the same color as your car, because otherwise, you will have to paint the entire thing on your own before fixing it to your car. However, even if you find one in the same color, make it a point to paint the hidden surfaces of the fender in something rustproof to improve its longevity.
Prepare Your Tools
Before you do anything, it will make the process much faster if you gather all of the tools that you will need beforehand. Among the tools, you will need to replace a fender are: * Screwdrivers* Wrenches* A bowl in which to put the fender retainers* Other suitable tools according to the retainers on your car model.
Wear safety glasses, put on some gloves and wear close-toed shoes to avoid injuries if you drop tools or if nuts and bolts come flying at your face. In addition, be sure to be in a patient mood when you replace your fender and keep the area clear of pets or children that may distract your attention.
Remove the Retainers
Once your preparation is complete, you are ready to begin replacing your fender. First, you have to remove the retainers holding the fender to your car. Start by removing the retainers holding the fender to the front bumper and on the fender liner. Depending on your car model, this may consist of nuts, screws, rivets and/or clips. Be sure to place these retainers in the bowl that you prepared earlier, and take note of what goes where.
Remove the Other Connections of the Fender to the Car
To be able to pull off the old fender from the car, carry out the following steps.
- Lower the bumper of your car, or remove it completely if necessary.
- Open the hood of the car and secure it in the open position. After that, remove all of the lamps around the area of the fender.
- Proceed to remove other attachments locking the fender to the car, including the antenna mask, rocker molding, and the fender bolts under the hood and under the rocker molding. Once all of the attachments are off, remove the fender from the car.
Remove Any Crucial Parts on the Old Fender
Remove any of the parts that you might need to reuse with your new fender. These parts may include moldings, rear insulators and shields, reflectors and so on. Place these parts aside for the time being. After this, inspect the area where the fender used to attach for any damage. If there is damage that needs to be repaired, you will need to repair that first.
Verify That the New Fender Fits
Place the fender on the car and make sure that it is the right size and fit. Make sure not to skip this step, because if the fender suddenly is not the right fit, you will have to face the hassle of removing attachments again.
Affix the New Fender
If there are no issues and the new fender fits, then start affixing the fender to the car. Start by attaching the fender bolts under the hood and under the rocker molding.
Install all of the parts and retainers that you removed earlier, such as the lights, the moldings, and the retainers. Be sure to have everything in place, as every single screw, nut and rivet counts. If there are the areas near the new fender that need to be repainted, touch them up with paint of the same color.
Dispose of Appropriately
Now that your old fender has been removed, there is no need to let it gather dust in your garage. Try to sell it to a used part dealer that may be able to refurbish it, or if it is in really bad shape, you can always sell it as scrap metal. Some car companies may accept parts to be recycled as well.
As evidenced above, the process of replacing a fender on a car is not that difficult to do. However, if it does prove too difficult for you to accomplish on your own, you can always take your car to an auto repair shop to get it done. However, by doing it yourself, you can save yourself a great deal of money that you can use for other purposes, so it may be worth it for you to give the DIY way a try.