Mud Flaps: Which Kind Are Right For You?

Since the 1970s, when the silhouetted mud flap girl started to appear on different trucks around the USA, the mud flap became the easiest accessory you could add to your ride (aside from fuzzy dice from the mirror). However, unlike fuzzy dice or cheesy car seat covers, aftermarket mud flaps are an extremely functional accessory for any off-roading machine.

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When you start upgrading your rims and tires to wider, larger and more aggressive styles, one of the first things you need to do (besides show them off to your buddies) is upgrade your OEM mud flaps. The originally equipped mud flaps on most cars and trucks are inadequate to protect your machine from the damage loose gravel and flinging mud can cause when you take your vehicle off-road.

Traditionally, a mud flap is used in combination with your truck’s fender to protect the vehicle, passengers, other vehicles, as well as pedestrians, from dirt and other debris flown into the air by the rotating tire. A mud flap is typically made from a flexible material such as rubber composite, however, there is a resurgence where stainless steel, diamond plate and aluminum mud flaps have become the “flaps of choice” for truck enthusiasts.

Rubber or Metal?

Once you start shopping for the right set of mud flaps for your ride, you can quickly become overwhelmed with the amount of choices available from your favorite aftermarket accessory company. The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to use a metal or rubber mud flap.
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  • Metal Flaps: If you are a hardcore rock crawler or find yourself driving on some sketchy trails in your truck or Jeep, you should forget about Metal Mud Flaps. Due to their ridged nature and design, Metal Mud Flaps are better suited for street use or soft sand and wet mud. Yet, aluminum and steel mud flaps still add a great look to most machines.
  • Rubber Flaps: Sure, these mud flaps may not look as wild as metal mud flaps, but if you’re driving over brutal terrain, you will want a flexible mud flap behind your tires. Where an aluminum or steel mud flap will bend or snap on a huge boulder, a rubber mat will contort and go right back in place. Plus, they are easy to clean and require no special maintenance to keep them looking pristine.

A Look at 4WheelOnline’s Favorite Flaps

All of the guys at 4WheelOnline.com already know that when you start customizing your machine, one of the first things you wannt to replace is the wimpy OEM mud flaps. Check below for a quick peek at the latest mud flaps in our inventory:
  • Owens Dually Flaps: With more tires comes more responsibility. The aftermarket choices are vast for mud flap replacements when you have four wheels out back, so it’s important to make the right choice. Owen makes some ultra-wide mud flaps that protect your rig for an affordable price.
  • The Rock Tamers:  These are made especially for dually enthusiasts who tow precious cargo. The Rock Tamers are the first ever mud flap system that offers protection your towables with an easy to install/remove mud flap system. If you’re serious about keeping your tires from tossing up loose debris, you need to invest in a set of Rock tamers. They are the most heavy-duty mud flaps on the market today.
  • DeeZee Stainless Steel: Made in the USA, these shiny mud flaps accentuate any truck on the road. Each pair of mud flaps is forged from rugged stainless steel and then polished to a chrome finish that can be easily cleaned after a day of playing the dirt. Additionally, each mat has a protective black rubber liner that defends the mud flaps from any bends that could occur from spirited driving.
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Once you’ve decided which type of mud flaps is perfect for your application, the only thing you need to do is install them. Luckily, all of the mud flaps we carry are either vehicle-specific or universally adaptable, so each pair of flaps can be installed with basic hand tools.

If you have any questions about which mud flaps are right for your off-road machine, be sure to ask the experts at 4WheelOnline by calling 813-769-2451. The guys are happy to answer any questions about their off-roading products.

By Sean Bowes
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