There are two types of splash guards in a jeep wrangler the engine splash guard and the splash guards located behind the tires, also known as mud flaps or mudguards. So, here we’re going to see how to replace splash guard and mud flaps on jeep wrangler.
Are splash guards and mudguards the same?
Yes. Both names basically refer to the same thing. Still, they have different names depending on the region you are in. Still, mud flaps are the generic name of anything that protects the body of a vehicle from debris being thrown off the tires’ treads. But most people prefer the term “splash guards” to “mud flaps.”
Functions of the mudflaps on your wrangler
Apart from splash guards protecting your wrangler’s body, they also cover other motorists’ vehicles and pedestrians. Debris that flies out of your tires might hit a pedestrian or another motorist’s vehicle, and you end up getting sued for damages. In some states, it is illegal to drive your car without splash guards.
Apart from debris, the splash guards prevent road water from splashing onto your wrangler’s body and some parts beneath your wrangler. Also, Road water has salts that influence rust.
Suppose road water splashes on your wrangler excessively, and you fail to wash your wrangler. In that case, you will end up finding rust patches on your wrangler’s body panels and also underneath. The salt in the water eats into the paint and exposing the metal, and naked metal rusts when exposed.
Splash guards also keep your wrangler clean by preventing dirt from flying out of the tire’s treads onto the body, thus reducing the amount of dirt on your wrangler.
Should you remove your tire splash guards?
If you are driving on open tarmac roads. No. The probability of running into the police is high. You also expose your car to damage caused by debris flying off the tires.
But if you are driving off-road, you can have them removed. Removing the splash guards does not improve wheel articulation, but it keeps the splash guards from getting damaged.
How to remove tire splash guards?
- Start by removing the screws on the splash guards before removing the push pins
- After the screws are out, hold the fender and pull off the splash guards, and they will come right off.
- If you want to reinstall the splash guards, reinstall the push pins before reinstalling the screws.
Some owners go higher and remove the fender flares, especially when upgrading to larger tires. Larger tires require more space between the fender flares and the tires to articulate fully, especially when off-roading.
How to remove the fender flares?
- Start with the front end. Lift your wrangler and use jack stands to keep it in place. Remove the wheels and set them aside. Removing the wheels allows for a good working space.
- Remove the pushpin on the front of the inner fender liner, then remove the two screws just slightly above the pushpin you have drawn.
- There are other screws found on the inner fender liner. One close to the two you have just removed, another accessible through a hole on the edge of the inner fender liner, two on edge across the inner fender liner. Remove all these screws, respectively
- Suppose you are installing new fenders, and they require the use of the inner fender liner. In that case, you have to separate it from the main fender flare by drilling out the rivets on the outer side of the fender flare. Separate the two using a flathead screwdriver. Remove the push pins that hold the inner fender to the outer fender flare
- Pull the inner fender flare downwards, separating it from the outer fender flare. Then remove the wire harness that is there if your wrangler’s signal lights are located on the fender flare.
- The fender flare is held onto the wrangler’s body by plastic clips running along the inner edge of the fender flare. All you have to do is yank it out. Some plastic clips might remain on the wrangler’s body. Remove them with a plastic or hardened rubber tool so as not to scratch the paint.
- Repeat this for all sides of your wrangler, making sure to get all screws and pushpins to avoid damaging the fenders when removing them. You might need to reuse them or give them to someone who needs them.
- Installing new fenders is also an easy task. All you have to do is align the fender clips onto the points that are supposed to go onto the wrangler’s body. Once aligned, push hard on the fenders and install any required screws,
You expose your engine bay to debris from the tires by removing the fenders and not reinstalling them back. The inner fender flares prevent debris, dirt, and water from getting into the engine bay.
Engine splash guard
The engine splash guard prevents water, dirt, and other debris that might damage the engine and other components in the engine bay from getting into the engine bay. It also slightly enhances the wrangler’s aerodynamics by smoothening the airflow beneath the car.
Driving with a broken or loose engine splash guard puts your engine and other components in the engine bay at risk since debris, water, and dirt get in quickly.
Parts of a broken or loose engine splash shield might also end up in the engine bay, thus causing damage. It is better to drive without an engine splash shield than drive with a loose or broken one.
Because of its location, the engine splash guard is prone to damage, especially when driving on bumpy roads and icy roads. Ice makes the engine splash guard fragile.
Thus, it breaks or cracks upon impact with something hard. Driving over a high curb and road bump also causes damage to the engine splash guard.
The engine splash guard might get loose due to a loose screw on the mounting points, and when this happens, you’ll hear a knocking sound, especially when driving at high speeds. Check that all the screws holding the engine splash guard into place are appropriately tightened.
How to remove and replace the engine splash guard?
You can get the underbody of your wrangler cleaned before you start working on the engine splash shield.
- Let your wrangler cool down, jack it up, and put it on jack stands. Raise to a level that will allow you to work comfortably underneath.
- Get underneath your wrangler with a torch and locate the engine splash guard. Locate the screws that hold it into place and wipe the dirt off the screws to get the screwdriver into the screws to remove them.
- Remove the screws and when removing the last two, hold the splash guard with one hand as you unscrew with the other one. This is to prevent the engine splash guard from falling on you.
- Set aside the old splash guard and compare its shape and size with the new splash guard to ensure it is the same size and shape. This ensures that the new splash guard will fit in the same position as the old splash guard.
- Install the new splash guard, ensuring you get the appropriate screws and get every screw position. Tighten the screws tightly to prevent the splash guard from loosening.
- Lower your wrangler and test drive it while listening for noises from the splash shield.
When replacing your engine splash guard, you can upgrade it to a better-built splash guard with stronger materials. There are strong plastic and metallic engine splash guards.
A better-built splash guard not only protects the engine bay’s components but also protects other components underneath your wrangler. Such components include the oil pan and the exhaust from heavy debris that might cause damage.
The splash guards in your wrangler protect different parts from debris, dirt, and water, which may damage what the splash guards protect. Driving without the tire splash guards is illegal in some states.
On an excellent wrangler owner having them on all the time is mandatory. Some remove the tire splash guards and the fender flares to give their wranglers that flawless look, especially if they have bigger tires installed.
You can still have bigger fenders and wider tire splash guards compatible with bigger tires. For the engine splash guard having it in good working condition all the time is vital. It protects crucial components that your wrangler won’t be drivable if they are faulty.