Fender (vehicle)

Fender (vehicle)

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Encyclopedia
Fender is the US English term for the part of an automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

, motorcycle
Motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

 or other vehicle
Vehicle
A vehicle is a device that is designed or used to transport people or cargo. Most often vehicles are manufactured, such as bicycles, cars, motorcycles, trains, ships, boats, and aircraft....

 body that frames a wheel
Wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...

 well (the fender underside). Its primary purpose is to prevent sand, mud, rocks, liquids, and other road spray from being thrown into the air by the rotating tire. Fenders are typically rigid and can be damaged by contact with the road surface. Instead flexible mud flaps are used close to the ground where contact may be possible.

Sticky materials such as mud may adhere to the smooth outer tire surface, while smooth loose objects such as stones can become temporarily embedded in the tread grooves as the tire rolls over the ground. These materials can be ejected from the surface of the tire at high velocity as the tire imparts kinetic energy to the attached objects. For a vehicle moving forward, the top of the tire is rotating upward and forward, and can throw objects into the air at other vehicles or pedestrians in front of the vehicle.

In British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

, the fender is called the wing (this usually only refers to the panels over the front wheel arches, in modern cars, since the rear 'fenders' are more an integral part of the car's body shape). The equivalent component of a bicycle
Bicycle
A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

 or motorcycle
Motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

, or the "cycle wing" style of wing fitted to vintage cars which is not integral with the bodywork, is called a mudguard in Britain, as it guards other road users - and in the case of a bicycle or motorcycle, the rider as well - from mud, and spray, thrown up by the wheels. However, the term mudguard appears to have been in use in the U.S. at one point. The American author E.B. White, in an October 1940 Harper's essay, Motor Cars, refers to "...mudguards, or 'fenders' as the younger generation calls them."

In German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, it is known as a Kotflügel.

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, a minor car accident is often called a "fender bender".

Trucks and automobiles


In current US auto industry nomenclature, usually only the panels over the front wheels are called fenders. The auto industry changed from rear fenders bolted onto a quarter panel to an enlarged welded on quarter panel that fulfilled both functions. There then was only one piece where there had previously been two, and name of the larger welded piece, the quarter panel, survived the consolidation.

The bolted panel which covers the wheel on dual rear wheel pickup trucks is called a fender. A pickup truck with a separate bed but without bolt on fenders has a bedside, which performs the function of a fender. When the side of the bed is welded to the cab, as with the Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Avalanche, it is called a quarter panel.

While the standard of bolted versus welded normally applies, there are some exceptions. Although attached by welding, the panels over the front wheels on cars such as the early 60s Lincoln Continental, the Corvair, and the early 60s Chrysler Imperial are called fenders. Similarly, even though bolted on, the panels covering the rear wheels on the Saturn S series are called quarter panels.

A common accessory on pick up trucks are fender flares, which blocks mud and stones and/or covers rust. They are sometimes used by manufacturers on models that have wider tires than basic models. Using this method, the manufacturer can provide the needed tire coverage without having to stamp a different metal fender, bed side, or quarter panel for what may be a relatively low production model.

The terms have evolved to be determined mostly based on location. Fenders are at the front. Quarter panels are at the rear, with an exception made for dual rear wheel trucks, where the panel at the rear is called a fender.

For vehicles with a narrow car body that exposes the tire, the fender is an exposed curve over the top of the tire. For wide body vehicles that cover the tire, the fender forms the wheel well surrounding the tire, and is not directly visible from above the car body.

Wheel wells tend to be much larger than the diameter of the tire, because they do not move with the tire suspension and consequently must be large enough to allow the full range of tire motion on the suspension without touching the interior of the wheel well. More elaborate designs include fender skirts
Fender skirts
Fender skirts, known in Australia and the United Kingdom as spats, are pieces of bodywork on the fender that cover the upper portions of the rear tires of an automobile.-Functions:...

 for enclosing the outside edge of the wheel well, and stylized pontoon fenders
Pontoon fenders
Pontoon fenders are a type of automobile fender.Originally the term referred to a design prevalent in the United States in the 1930s where front fenders encased a wheel and terminated in a teardrop point, remaining distinct from the running boards or the body of the car...

 for exposed fenders.

Certain types of cars with narrow bodies, such as the Lotus Seven
Lotus Seven
The Lotus Seven is a small, simple, lightweight two-seater open-top sports car produced by Lotus Cars between 1957 and 1972....

, Allard, and Caterham Seven
Caterham Seven
The Caterham Seven is a super-lightweight sports car produced by Caterham Cars in the United Kingdom. It is based on the Lotus Seven, a lightweight sports car sold in kit and factory-built form by Lotus Cars, from the late 1950s to the early 1970s...

, use what are called cycle fenders in the US or cycle wings in Britain, for their resemblance to those used on bicycles. They are attached to the wheel suspension and remain at a fixed distance from the tire regardless of wheel motion, and can therefore be much closer to the tire than fixed wheel wells. This was popular on early Classic Trials
Classic Trials
Classic Trials are one of the oldest forms of motor sport, dating from the beginning of the 20th century. In those days, the challenge was just to make a long road journey. The three Motor Cycling Club long distance trials in the UK – the Lands End, the Exeter and the Edinburgh – date...

 cars because the fenders were lightweight and allowed for a thin streamlined body. They persist on cars wanting a "vintage" look.

Bicycles and motorcycles


There are generic fenders for bicycle
Bicycle
A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

s that can be fitted to most bicycle frames. These catch and redirect road spray thrown up by the tires, allowing the rider to remain relatively clean. They are relatively uncommon on bicycles in the more car dependent English-speaking countries, as bikes in these countries tend to be sports-oriented, with minimal clearance between tires and frame tubes for fenders, or are only ridden in clement conditions, although there are a few fenders that are designed to be attached to the seat post. However, European utility bicycles, traditional roadsters
Roadster (bicycle)
A roadster, aka English roadster, is a type of utility bicycle once common in Britain and still very common in Asia, Africa, Denmark and the Netherlands, however, during the past several years, traditionally styled roadster bicycles have gained considerable popularity in the United States and...

 used in developing countries, serious touring bicycle
Touring bicycle
A touring bicycle is a bicycle designed or modified to handle bicycle touring. To make the bikes sufficiently robust, comfortable and capable of carrying heavy loads, special features may include a long wheelbase , frame materials that favor flexibility over rigidity , heavy duty wheels , and...

s, and beach cruisers are nearly always fitted with fenders, universally known in British English as mudguards. They are also fitted to motorcycle
Motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

s.

In the UK it is a legal requirement that a motorcycle should be fitted with mudguards . While motorcycles are invariably fitted with mudguards, only touring cycles generally have fully functional mudguards. Some machines can be seen with a stub of a mudguard only a few inches long, which satisfies the legal requirements but does not actually provide any protection from thrown mud and spray.

Sporty-styled or racing motorcycles sometimes come with, or have added as an aftermarket accessory
Motorcycle accessories
Motorcycle accessories are features and accessories selected by a motorcycle owner to enhance safety, performance, or comfort, and may include anything from mobile electronics to sidecars and trailers...

, a "hugger" rear fender, attached to the rear swingarm and very close to the tire, rather than attached to the rear subframe and away from the tire. Conversely, the practice of removing the front fender and reducing the size of the rear fender produced the bobber
Bobber (motorcycle)
A bobber is a custom motorcycle that usually has had the front fender removed, the rear fender "bobbed" or made smaller, and all superfluous parts removed to make it lighter.- History :...

customization style of the 1950s onwards.