I haven’t seen a mud flap on a modern car in quite a while and the reason why they are disappearing is due to their ineffectiveness. They didn’t really protect anything behind a vehicle from getting dirty with mud. For many people, they were also a pain to clean. You can still install mud flaps onto your vehicle if you find them useful. Below, you will find out all about the history of mud flaps and their pros and cons.
Why don’t cars have Mud Flaps anymore?
So, most models that used to have mud flaps installed by the manufacturer no longer have them anymore. But mud flaps can still be a good idea if you are in the right situation. So, let’s learn about why car manufacturers stopped installing mud flaps on vehicle models. Also, there are many advantages and disadvantages of having mud flaps behind the wheels of your vehicle.
Why car manufacturers stopped adding mudflaps to most vehicles
It was once extremely common to see mud flaps behind the tires of many types of vehicles. This includes trucks, SUVs, and vehicles designed for off-roading and rough terrain. And you can still see mud flaps behind the double wheels of 18-wheelers. Plus, the installation of mudflaps on most passenger vehicles was because of a law created in the 1970s.
As you have probably guessed, the mud flap kept mud from spraying all over the people who were standing behind the vehicles and trucks. If your vehicle got stuck in the mud, you needed to drive out of the mud. The two back wheels may not be able to get the traction to drive out, but anyone pushing from behind would not face the wrath of disgusting sludgy mud.
However, mud flaps aren’t very good at doing their job. Any person or object behind a vehicle trying to get out of mud, would definitely still be sprayed. This is part of the reason why manufacturers stop adding mud flaps to vehicle models that once had them.
So, in what situations would mud flaps come in handy, and which ones would show that they are not as effective as they should be?
Advantages of using mud flaps
● One major advantage of using mud flaps is protection from rocks. Any flying rocks caused by the rolling tires will hit the flap instead of your vehicle’s undercarriage. Rocks fly up and hit the undercarriage of your vehicle all the time. But you may only notice it when you drive through a construction site or a road that has a lot of dirt and rocks.
Most of the rocks that hit your undercarriage are small pebbles. However, all it takes to ruin your day is one good-sized rock to fly up and hit a tube or cable and cause a leak or a dent. Mud Flaps did a good job at protecting your vehicle against flying rocks.
● Another reason to have mud flaps behind your tires is to prevent water and rain from coming into contact with your undercarriage. It may not seem like a big issue for water to splash against the metal parts of your car. But you need to remember that too much water can cause rust and corrosion.
Mud Flaps are a great tool to place onto your vehicle if you live in an area that has constant rain and humid weather for many months out of the year. If hot weather is months away, protecting the metal undercarriage from rust is critical.
● Off-Roading vehicles still have mud flaps attached to the back of their tires. Mud Flaps are there because they protect the undercarriage and the metal from flying rocks, twigs, debris, gravel, sand, and mud.
These vehicles are designed to travel in rough terrain, and they need all the protection they can get. Plus, mud flaps can help the owners of an off-roading vehicle by preventing a lot of maintenance and cleaning.
Disadvantages of using mud flaps
● Above, I said that mud flaps could prevent rust from forming on the undercarriage and the metal parts of your vehicle.
However, if mud flaps are not used the right way, they can also cause rust and corrosion in the same area. This usually happens if the mud flaps are not the right size or are installed incorrectly.
● You have to keep your mud flaps clean. Owning mud flaps means that you have another part of your vehicle that you must wash and clean when you wash your car.
Sometimes the mud flaps on your vehicle will be so filthy, you will have to come home and hose them down before the mud and dirt cakes onto the rubber. So, they do require extra maintenance and care.
● Some pre-installed mud flaps were too big for the vehicle they were placed on, and they dragged on the ground. You can’t just use any size mud flap with any vehicle. It has to be the right size for your vehicle or else the mud flap will curve.
The mud flaps won’t be able to protect your vehicle from flying rocks and mud. If you are currently experiencing this issue with the mud flaps on your vehicle, have them removed. Purchase custom-made mud flaps for your vehicle. They will perform much better than the ones you have now.
On the whole, the automotive industry started phasing out the use of mud flaps because customers didn’t benefit from them. But there are definitely some situations where having mud flaps on your car or truck can come in really handy.
Preventing damage from flying rocks or constant rain are situations where mud flaps would be extremely useful. But if you do want mud flaps on the back of your vehicle, buy flaps that are the right size for your vehicle. If you don’t know how to install mud flaps onto your vehicle, there are plenty of mechanics who can do it for you.