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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I hope I'm posting in the right place. I want to install mud flaps on my wife's car. The front has pre-drilled holes so that is of no concern to me, but the rear doesn't. I know that to install them I will have to drill holes in the real fenders, but will that lead to rust growth? 99% of instructions say to drill holes and they don't mention rust, however the odd person on the net says they have a car that had mud flaps installed and rust began where the holes were drilled. I don't know how old their vehicles were (it's my understanding that older vehicles didn't use galvanized steel and thus were more prone to rust). I'm just wondering if I should be concerned at all or if I should somehow try to seal the holes on both sides (if possible) after I screw in the flaps. I'm not an auto expert but I like to do basic things (such as this) myself, so I thought I would ask in hopes that someone more knowledgeable than me would know.

Thanks guys!
 

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It depends on the material you're drilling through, however, this area will be very prone to rust (if it's metal) due to the salt spray from the wheels, etc. After you drill the holes put some paint there, even if it's not the same colour. Then also over the "screws" or whatever you use to connect with more paint or sealer of some kind. Flaps are not usually necessary at the rear of vehicles, especially if they are FWD. Many come with flaps at the front.
 

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I would say 'galvanized' means very little since it's a coating and you are going to drill right through it. As mentioned, paint and maybe some acrylic or silicone seal, generously applied. I have avoided doing what you are doing and have avoided rust in those areas!
 

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Not all vehicles even now have a galvanised body shell. I would not drill any holes nor allow them to be drilled in a modern car.
Once a hole is drilled there is now a gap in the manufacturers very carefully applied protective layers right through to the steel and how ever careful you are, steel + water + oxygen = rust sooner or later.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys for the feedback, much appreciated! I Think I will only install them on the front where there is already pre drilled holes, and leave the rear ones alone (it's fwd).
 

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Sealing the area with silicone calking will help. I did this on one vehicle and no rust developed. Self tapping screws were used and the silicone was applied liberally during installation, on both sides of the drilled hole. I also used a washer on the outer side of the mud flap. Some mud flaps use supplied clamps. That will reduce damage but they are less reliable in use.
 

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Why not purchase mud flaps that don't require drilling. Weathertech makes mud flaps like that. They are specific to each vehicle. I bought some for my truck and will put them on this week. I wouldn't drill into a vehicle either.

M64
 

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I've installed both. The drilled installation lasted the life of the car. The non-drilled installation didn't. That may depend on the quality of the non-drilled attachments. They were made for the car and the wheel wells had spots for the clamps as well. The clamps just bent and fell off with use. The Weathertech mud flaps may be better.
 

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Drill and install the rear mud flaps. You will get far more rust from the stones and dirt chipping the paint away than you ever will by drilling a few holes. I have worked at a few auto dealers and they always drill. My gf's car had flaps put on 6 years ago and no signs of rust. If you are really worried about rust just put a little thread lock on the screws and that will be enough to seal up the little bit of open metal
 
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