The best mud flaps

Exterior Accessories

If you frequently embark on interstate travel, it’s a good idea to have a spare set of mud flaps with your basic automotive tools and accessories. In the event your existing mud flaps deteriorate or fail — it’s easy enough to install new ones next time you stop.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which mud flaps are best?

Mud flaps aren’t just for protecting the vehicles behind you from dirt, debris, and water, they’re also effective at protecting the undercarriage of your truck or SUV.

There are countless mud flaps on the market but finding the right set for your truck or SUV can be challenging. Not only do you need a set that perfectly fits your vehicle, but it’s important to make sure they’re tough enough to withstand various road conditions, too. According to many truck owners, it’s not a decision to make lightly.

Fortunately, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about mud flaps in this buying guide. We’re also including a few recommendations, such as our favorite set, the Plasticolor Mud Guards. These top-rated mud flaps are best known for their solid performance in extreme temperatures.

Considerations when choosing mud flaps

Fit

With design differences among trucks, there aren’t universal mud flaps. Rather, mud flaps are unique to the make and model of a truck. With that said, some mud flaps fit more than one make and model. In order to find a set that fits, refer to the manufacturer’s compatibility chart.

Drill vs. no-drill flaps

To determine whether you need drill vs. no-drill mud flaps, take a quick look under the wheel well. If you can’t locate any pre-drilled holes in the well, you need to buy drill mud flaps. As the name implies, you need to make the holes yourself and attach the mud flaps accordingly.

If the truck has pre-drilled holes in the wheel well, choose no-drill mud flaps to match with their alignments. No-drill mud flaps are make- and model-specific. It should also be noted that the rear wheel wells may require different mud flaps than the front wheel wells.

Installation

It’s common for mud flaps to come with all necessary installation hardware, such as self-tapping screws. Some truck owners prefer using nuts, bolts, and washers instead. Washers help to prevent the bolt from cutting into and wearing down the mud flap.

Features of mud flaps

Popular materials

Mud flaps are made of thermoplastic, rubber or aluminum.

Thermoplastic, also referred to as plastic or PVC, is easy to mold and inexpensive to manufacture. These mud flaps tend to be somewhat rigid, so they may trap snow in wheel arches.

Rubber mud flaps are mostly used for big rigs and 4 x 4s. They’re flexible and durable, plus they can be cut to a custom size. Rubber mud flaps are also effective at preventing debris buildup.

Aluminum mud flaps have a crisp, shiny finish that adds some style to trucks. Some of these mud flaps are reinforced with rubber in heavy-wear areas. Unfortunately, they’re not flexible, so they’re prone to dents from debris at high speeds.

Durability

If you drive your truck in average or temperate weather conditions, basic mud flaps are effective. If you embark on cross-country trips across several types of weather, it’s better to choose mud flaps that can withstand temperature extremes, including high heat and sub-zero.

Mud flaps price

Entry-level mud flaps are typically made of plastic or rubber and cost between $18-$35. Mid-range mud flaps may offer better warranties and run between $25-$50. Premium mud flaps include some branded designs and range in price from $35-$100.

Mud flaps FAQ

Q. Do mud flaps have warranties like other vehicle accessories?

A. Yes, though it varies considerably among manufacturers. Many mud flaps come with one-year warranties, though some come with limited lifetime warranties. Regarding the latter, manufacturers may have stringent coverage policies, so be sure to do your research on what’s covered before you buy.

Q. Why do mud flaps crack?

A. Cracking is typically the result of prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures. While some cracks can be repaired, many truck owners simply buy new mud flaps once they see this sign of wear.

Mud flaps we recommend

Best of the best

Plasticolor’s Mud Guards

Plasticolor’s Mud Guards

Our take: A set of traditional mud guards designed to withstand weather extremes.

What we like: Made from special PVC that won’t crack in high heat or sub-zero temperatures. Doesn’t dent or scratch easily, even when driving at high speeds.

What we dislike: Fit isn’t really geared toward smaller trucks and SUVs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck

Red Hound Auto Premium Heavy Duty Molded Universal Mud Flaps

Red Hound Auto Premium Heavy Duty Molded Universal Mud Flaps

Our take: These affordable mud flaps give maximum coverage with a perfect contour.

What we like: Comes with a universal fit. Made of heavy-duty polymer. One-stop protection for the vehicle against mud, water, rock and dirt.

What we dislike: It doesn’t come predrilled, so it takes time and money to install these quality mud flaps.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Husky Liners’ Mud Guard Set

Husky Liners’ Mud Guard Set

Our take: A solid choice for truck owners who prefer a set that offers a near-custom fit.

What we like: Made with high-grade thermoplastic that holds up well to weather extremes. Designed to cover the maximum width of tires. Made in the USA.

What we dislike: Requires specific mounting hardware. Not compatible with select trucks.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Trending Stories

Tennessee at the Olympics

More Tennessee Olympians