As you may have heard, in New England, we have rusty cars. Lots of them. It’s disgusting. The best that we can hope for is that our fenders and suspension don’t fly off unexpectedly on the highway. Because that kind of stuff actually happens around here. Quite regularly, I see control arms rotted in half, entire mufflers in the middle of the road, and struts where the lower coil mount snaps off and allows the coil to stab the tire.
Being a car-guy, I like my cars, so one of the actions that I enjoy doing every few months is cleaning debris out of my front fenders. It’s strange, I know, but I do it regularly with hopes that it will make some kind of difference in the life of the vehicle. That being said, I never keep a car long enough to find out. It’s a blessing and a curse I guess.
So anywho… I usually start by staring at the lower section of my fender to figure out what needs to happen for me to get the gross stuff out.
On my 2005 Subaru Impreza, I began this process by removing the black plastic inner fender. Behind it is where I found about 3 lbs of dirt, mud, sticks, bugs and pine needles… Notice how lovely the area looks with that pollen covered water line. Nice.
I then removed the two lower bolts that hold the fender to the body. This allowed me to pull the fender away from the car and clean the yuck-pile out from the back of it. Yes, this is still real life. Your fenders probably look similar. Go clean them. Run, don’t walk.
From there, I dump out all of natures goodies that cause my crusty lifestyle, and then I think some happy thoughts.
Obviously making this area as clean as possible is the ultimate goal. So I usually spray it with the water hose quite a bit, and hope that I don’t soak my interior too much.
Unfortunately for me the rust has already started to show its stupid rust face. So, I took it upon myself to dry the area really well, and then soak it in a seriously awesome coating of POR-15… Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of that step.
Lastly, I reinstalled the fender with a liberal coating of antiseize on the bolts. That way they will probably come out the next time I clean this area. Hopefully doing this will slow down the rotting of my front fenders. I’m not sure if it really will or not, but it feels like a good idea. What do the bottoms of your fenders look like?