We know that fenders are required for your car for a lot of different safety reasons, and that is why there are some states that do legally require cars to have fenders.
In that regard, what about fender liners? While fenders are indeed important, can you actually drive your car when you don’t have an inner fender liner?
Driving without inner fender liner
You can drive without an inner fender liner but it is not recommended that you should do so. That is because the inner fender liner protects your engine compartment from the rocks, debris, and mud thrown by the front tires. You will be exposing your engine parts to more wear and tear without a fender liner.
Just because you can drive without an inner fender liner, it doesn’t mean that you should. There are no legal requirements as to the inner fender liner, but take note that the inner fender liner is there for a good reason.
Driving without one will only expose your engine compartment and the different parts and components in it to damage, and that is not something you want happening.
What is inner fender liner & why is it important?
One of the car components that people often forget exists is the fender, which can be found right between the front door and the front bumper. The fenders are basically the curved area surrounding the tires.
So, while they may often get overlooked, fenders are very important because of the fact that they shield away anything that can be thrown by the front wheels as they are rolling. Your front tires spin forward and will bring along different things as they are moving. This includes things such as rocks, debris, mud, and snow. Essentially, the fender protects the people and the other cars that can be hit by anything thrown by the front tires.
In relation to that, the fender is also there to make sure that your car is protected as well. This is where the fender liner comes in, as it is one of the parts and components that make up the entire fender. If you look under your front tire you will see a solid plastic protective covering between the fender and the engine, that is called the inner fender liner or just fender liner.
So, is the inner fender liner important?
Yes, the inner fender liner is very important because it serves a specific task. While the fender was made for the purpose of keeping people and cars protected from anything that can be thrown by your front tires, the fender liner is there to make sure your car is protected. That is because the fender liner is the barrier between the fender and the engine compartment.
Fender liners are usually made of different materials such as plastic and metal. However, newer cars come with thermoplastic, which is a material that is non-corrosive, durable, and capable of withstanding different environmental conditions. That said, the material is there to make sure that the engine compartment and the different components inside it are protected from anything that is thrown by the front tires.
Basically speaking, while the fender is there to protect other people and cars from the rocks, mud, and snow that can be thrown by your car, the fender liner is the component that keeps your car protected from the same objects. This means that the entire fender system serves a dual purpose: to protect others and the car from anything that can be thrown by the front tires. And that is why the fender liner is very important.
Can you drive without an inner fender liner?
Now that you know the role of the inner fender liner and its importance to the vehicle, what does it mean when you drive without it?
Can you still drive your car if you don’t have an inner fender liner?
As of this writing, there is no law or anything else that says that you are required to have an inner fender liner. Even though some states have laws regarding fenders, they seem to be silent in relation to the inner fender liner, which also has its own important role to play, albeit not as prominent as the role of the fender.
In that regard, you CAN drive without the inner fender liner because it is not a requirement under any jurisdiction. So, having a damaged inner fender liner or having none at all should not stop you from driving your car.
Then again, just because you CAN drive without an inner fender liner, it doesn’t mean that you SHOULD. We have discussed how important the inner fender liner is, and that leads us to our next discussion.
What happens if you drive without a fender liner?
So, while you may not be required to drive without an inner fender liner, what happens if you do drive your car without it?
Basically speaking, anything can happen if you drive your car without the fender liner. That is because, again, the fender liner is there to protect the engine compartment from anything thrown by the front tires.
In that regard, without the inner fender liner, your engine compartment will be exposed to different things such as rocks, debris, mud, or snow while you are driving. While most of those objects are not entirely enough on their own to completely ruin the parts and components found inside the fender liner, you should still know that their effects will accumulate over time.
Just imagine exposing your engine compartment to snow (for those living in snowy areas) or mud (for those living in rainy regions). The different parts and components inside the engine compartment should be strong and sturdy enough to handle moisture, but exposing them to moisture on a regular basis will allow the damage to accumulate faster. Essentially, you are opening your engine compartment to different conditions that will eventually pile up and damage the different parts and components inside.
In short, there should be nothing wrong with driving without an inner fender liner because your car should do fine without one. However, we do not recommend that you do so because the wear and tear on the engine compartment’s parts and components will accumulate much faster. This will lead to possible damages that are going to be quite expensive to repair.
So, what we recommend is that you should only drive without the inner fender liner when it is damaged and you are looking to drive it temporarily until it gets fixed. But do not drive your car without an inner fender liner on a permanent or long-term basis.