How to Stop Tires From Rubbing Fender: A Step-by-Step Guide

The most common problem with any vehicle is incorrect tire fitment, which can lead to fender rubbing if not immediately corrected. If there’s insufficient clearance between the tire and fender, not only can it look unsightly, but it can also make a loud noise while driving and damage your tires.

To stop your tire from rubbing the fender, use the following tools; a car jack, a wheel-arch reforming tool, spare lugs, and a heat gun. You can warm and roll the fender by parking your vehicle on a flat surface, jacking the car up, removing the wheel, and attaching the wheel-arch reforming tool.

To resolve this issue, you need to ensure enough clearance between the tires and the fenders so they won’t rub against each other while making a turn. There is no one quick solution to fix this issue as it takes time, patience, and careful measurements to solve.

1. Park the Car on a Flat Surface

Whenever you’re planning to jack up your car, there are a few things to pay attention to that will make the process more effective and efficient.

First, you should always park on a flat surface. When parking on an incline, cars can roll out of the spot they are in. Additionally, even if your vehicle will not roll out of its place, all that weight resting on one side of the tires is terrible for them.

If you try to jack your car from the side of a hill with it cockeyed toward the incline, it can push against the ground and cause the jack to fail or even damage the frame of your car.

If you’re trying to jack up the car to fix your fender, parking on an inclining or declining surface can make things more complicated than they need to be.

2. Place Wheel Chocks Behind the Tires

When you jack up a car, the last thing you want is for the vehicle to start to roll.

Using wheel chocks is a simple, affordable way to ensure that your vehicle will stay in place and won’t roll away when jacking up your car.

If you have ever had to jack up your car, you probably know that it can be dangerous, especially if the vehicle is on an incline. One of the worst things that can happen is for the car to roll away.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, put wheel chocks under your wheels.

Wheel chocks are wood, rubber, or steel blocks placed behind a tire. They are essential for your and other people’s safety. If you’re looking for a great set of wheel chocks, AFA Tooling Wheel Chocks from Amazon are explicitly designed for front and back tires – letting you chock an entire axle of tires for added safety.

3. Jack Up Your Vehicle

Jacking up the vehicle refers to lifting the car off the ground using a jack – the most common tool to raise your car is a scissor jack.

Most vehicles come equipped with a jack, so there is no need to go out and buy yourself one unless you have misplaced yours.

Jacking up your car requires some strength, so be sure to get help from someone else if you need it. Moreover, ensure that no one is directly underneath the vehicle when it is being lifted – if it falls down while you are working on it, there could be severe injuries.

While the process of jacking up your car is relatively straightforward, if you need any assistance, here is a great youtube video.

4. Remove the Wheel

After jacking up the car, you must remove the wheel on the jacked side.

Firstly, you’ll have to remove the nuts with a lug wrench which also comes standard with your vehicle.

It’s important to note that the wheel should not be suspended in the air when you use the wrench to remove the lugs. The lugs are secured tightly onto the wheel for a reason, and removing them would be pretty challenging if the wheel were suspended in the air.

When jacking up the car, only jack it up a little at first. Allow the tire to still be kissing the ground. By doing this, you’ll be able to easily untighten the lugs without the wheel spinning simultaneously.

Once the lugs are untightened, you can jack the car up even further until the wheel is suspended in the air. Then take the lugs off entirely and remove the wheel.

5. Remove Fender Liner

Fender liners are a standard in modern vehicles. They consist of a plastic or rubber barrier between your car’s fender and engine.

They are used to protect the side of a vehicle from dings and scratches, but they can be detrimental when working to roll fenders. The purpose of a fender liner is to keep debris and dirt from entering the engine, which protects it from damage.

Removing the fender liner allows for more control when rolling your fenders. You’ll be able to clearly access your fender with little restriction of sight.

6. Attach the Wheel-Arch Reforming Tool

The wheel-arch reforming tool is a quick and inexpensive fix to rubbing fenders.

If you’re unfamiliar with a wheel-arch reforming tool, you might ask yourself precisely what it does. It’s a simple device consisting of two metal arms attached by a pivot in the middle, and it installs right on the hub of your tire.

The wheel-arch reforming tool will need to be placed on the hub of the tire (where you have just removed the tire from the vehicle). You’ll then need to carefully secure it by tightening the lugs.

Adjust the wheel-arch reformer so that it touches the lip of the fender at a gentle angle. Once this is complete, you’ll be ready to roll your fender.  

If you don’t have access to a reforming tool, they are easy to come by at online stores like Amazon. 8MileLake’s Fender Roller Reforming Extending Tool is the perfect buy. Not only will you be able to roll your fenders, but you can also use this tool to repair any damages sustained by your fenders during this process.

7. Heat the Fender Up

Before you’re able to roll the fender, you’ll have to heat it up using a heat gun. This will cause less damage to the fender while also making your job easier because the metal will be more malleable.

Heating the fender also ensures that there will be no presence of cracking. The heat should be spread evenly across the fender. This helps the entire process as well as ensures no damage is caused to your car’s paint job.

A heat gun is necessary to roll your car’s fender and will ultimately save you a lot of money by ensuring you do not damage your vehicle. If you’re looking to purchase a heat gun, give Seekone’s Heavy Duty Heat Gun a try.

8. Roll the Fender

When you start to roll the fender, be sure to continue to apply gradual heat throughout the entire process.

The fender should be rolled ever so slowly. It’s a tedious process, so you must ensure your total concentration while gradually adjusting the angle as you roll the fender.

If more space is needed for the tire to not rub, gently adjust the wheel-arch reformer to slowly push the fender further. This process should be completed on every fender of the car.

Rolling your car’s fender is much easier to understand when it’s seen visually rather than read about. Below, you’ll find an informative YouTube video to help you through every step:

Is Tire Rubbing Dangerous?

Tire rubbing usually appears when your tires are too big and there’s not enough space between the tires and the wheel arch. Additionally, if your tires are misaligned or have a bent wheel rim could also be the culprit.

Tire rubbing can be dangerous. When they’re constantly rubbing against a metal part, like your fender, they’ll wear down the rubber and create dangerous scratches and grooves. In the worst-case scenario, this can cause a tire blowout.

It’s also essential for any vehicle owner to take into account that if you’re hearing any kind of noise related to your tires rubbing against your fender, it’s likely that this is coming from multiple points on your car’s body.

How Much Tire Rub Is Too Much

If a car’s tires are much wider than the fenders from which they protrude, the tires will rub. This also means that no matter how much you love your car’s style, you can’t escape the fact that there will be tire rubbing – not just on sharp turns or when you hit bumps in the road. It’s happening the whole time.

For some people, this is only a minor inconvenience at first: maybe they don’t notice it most of the time, or perhaps they love their car so much that they’re willing to forgive this constant compromise. However, this indeed takes a toll on your tires.

Any tire rub is too much, technically speaking. You want to avoid the phenomenon altogether to keep your vehicle operating in optimal condition. However, tire rub tolerance levels vary from driver to driver. As soon as the issue is prominent enough for you to notice, it’s best to take action.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends replacing tires when they reach 2/32″, so it’s not a bad idea to measure the rubbing on your tires repeatedly.

In most situations, a slight rubbing is acceptable for a short period. Your tire degradation will be related to the amount of contact on the fender. However, over time this will cause you some problems and even lead to a burst tire. Your best bet is to address tire rubbing immediately to avoid this.

What to Do When Tires Are Rubbing

Tires rubbing against your car’s fender can be a severe problem, but it could also be a simple fix. Most times, you shouldn’t have to worry about anything more than maybe some scratches on your paint job.

When your tires are rubbing, you can start by ensuring that nothing obstructs the space between the tire and the fender. Otherwise, your best bet would be to roll the fender. If all else fails, you might need to change your wheels.

It’s also possible that you’ve got something in the way of any suspension components that are supposed to move – if you notice any of these things, then it might be time to get your vehicle inspected thoroughly by a mechanic who knows what they’re doing. But before you go any further, ensure you’re not dealing with a more significant issue.

Either way, it’s better to find out now rather than when an accident involving other cars and pedestrians comes from this misalignment.

Final Thoughts

The key to solving the problem of your vehicle’s tire rubbing the fender is reducing or eliminating the fender and tire space.

You can accomplish this by rolling the fender or swapping your tires for new ones (which might be the more expensive solution).

In any case, the steps discussed above should help minimize the space between the fender and tire so that they will sit flush against one another.

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