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Your Wheel arch cover (wheel arch liner) worn out? » Read more about common malfunctions • Repair • Replacement manual
Clean underbody with the wheel valance
The wheel valance or inner mudguard is a component installed behind the wheels on the bodywork, in fact a plastic part, made to fit for every car type. Wheel valances are very robust and resilient. If it is broken, the driving safety is hardly ever really compromised. Nevertheless it should be quickly replaced. Repair is cheap and easy.
Wheel valance function
The wheels of a car take up dirt from the street, which is flung around by the centrifugal force, spraying it in all directions. It is important that the mud is intercepted and disposed of. This is the task of the inner wheelhouse, equipped with the wheel valance. It is made of thick, impact- and wear-resistant plastic. Impacting mud drips down and can be washed away on occasion of the next car cleaning.
Wheel valance defects
The wheel valance usually lasts a car's life time. Its weak spots are the screw holes. Vibration and twists in the bodywork can cause them to tear out. When too many screw holes are torn, the mudguard becomes unsteady. This often goes unnoticed for a long time. Yet, on the loose points of the mudguard, big clumps of dirt start to clog. These form a permanently moist environment, which can lead to corrosion damage of the bodywork. When too many carrier points of the inner mudguard are torn, the wheel valance starts grinding against the wheel or knocks against the bodywork. The noise is hard to miss.
Repairing a wheel valance
The internal mudguard is easy to repair. The car is jacked up and the wheel removed. Now you have access to the wheel valance. It makes sense to thoroughly rinse the entire wheelhouse prior to removal of the mudguard with a high-pressure cleaner. In addition to making the repair a lot more hygienic, the wheel valance's screw holes become better visible. The inner mudguard is really flexible and can be disassembled without any problem. When installing the spare part it is recommended to additionally replace its screws. The old screws are often rusty and the slotted head is often worn. With new screws the car is durably repaired at this point. Where no screws were used, the inner mudguard is often fixed with plastic rivets. These too should always be renewed. The accessory trade offers special rivet removal spanners. These also come in handy, when you want to remove the internal door trimming. For DIY'ers the rivet removal tool is a very useful and multifunctional gadget.
Buying a new wheel valance
The quality of wheel valances available in the retail varies considerably. The cheaper spare parts are different from the more expensive ones on one important point: the screw holes are not drilled in yet. The mechanic has to drill these himself when installing the component. A cordless screwdriver and a thin wood drill are necessary. Manufacturers choose this option, because the cheap wheel valances do not have the precise measurements of the serially installed original parts. The advantage of this solution is that the spare part is very cheap. These wheel valances are available starting at 15 EUR (± £13). With a bit of practice, the cheap spare parts can adequately be fitted into the wheelhouse. Original spare parts are a lot more convenient at this point. They fit to a hair in the intended spot. Its replacement goes a lot quicker. Nevertheless these are also a lot more expensive. Be prepared for the double price if you choose for an original part. Depending on car, the spare part can cost up to 50 EUR (± £45) or more.