Do Mud Flaps Increase Drag?

Naomi O'Colman

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Do Mud Flaps Increase Drag

Do Mud Flaps Increase Drag

Mud flaps are an often overlooked addition to a vehicle. They are there for one reason, and one reason only: they protect the car from dirt and debris kicked up by the tires. Do mud flaps increase drag? The answer is no, but that doesn’t mean they don’t do their job well. Mud flaps will not create any additional drag on your vehicle whatsoever!

Do Mud Flaps Increase Drag?

Mud flaps are useful for reducing the amount of time that you need to take care of your car by keeping mud and debris from getting into certain parts. They also create wind resistance as a result of their shape, which can slow them down.

Adding mud flaps increases drag by blocking the streamlines around the wheel. As a result more power is needed in overcoming air resistance, so you should make an effort to keep your car’s drag as minimal as possible.

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However, Mud flaps cause less drag on the car and do not affect gas mileage.

Are Other Mud Flaps Better For Drag?

Yes, some recent versions of mud flaps have ventilation holes in addition to providing protection against the hazards of loose debris.

Louver style mud flaps allow air to pass through the flap but still retain the benefits of a traditional mud flap.

They are mostly fitted on large trucks and SUVs. These cars have low mileage per gallon. You can improve the gas by converting it in all areas.

What Are Mud Flaps?

An under-car mud flap is a large flap made of various materials that covers the tire from beneath and back.

Mud flaps are usually installed on the front and rear of a vehicle’s tires in order to protect the inside of the bumper from being damaged by debris thrown off by cars or trucks.

Mud flaps are considered an accessory rather than standard equipment on many cars because they require installation after assembly. However, large trucks and SUVs typically come with mud flaps installed from the factory.

Types of Mud Flaps

A variety of mud flaps are on the market, and they can be grouped by their material type, size, and intended use.


Rubber mudflaps are more flexible, easy to bend and move about. They can effectively stop flying debris and is much more durable for off-road use.

Soft rubber that has been galvanized will not only be stronger, but also more durable. Mud flaps are usually made to withstand any harsh conditions, like changing temperature.

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Rubber mud flaps are inexpensive and easy to replace because they’re only sometimes cleaned or replaced if damaged.

Mud flaps are fitted on the back of your wheel well through pre-drilled holes and nuts. If they’re not, you can get a professional to do it but I would never recommend trying this on your own if you have no experience in automotive maintenance.

Certain types of mud flaps can still function adequately in contact with the road surface because they are flexible.

Polymer Composites/Plastic

The hard properties of plastic make it a popular choice among car owners because it can last for long periods without showing damage. Plastic appears to be more resistant to external penetration than rubber.

Plastic is very durable and can even stop heavy projectiles from traveling through it.

Mud flaps can provide benefit in that they keep dirt off of your vehicle’s undercarriage, but they have downsides as well. They are made out of plastic which if put under too much stress is brittle and could break and it can stretch if set up under too high of temperature.


These are the heaviest and strongest mud flaps, providing a higher degree of protection.

Stainless steel mud flaps are available in either lacquer coated or powder coated finish.

When traveling on rough terrain, mud flaps are a must as they protect the underside of your vehicle. Aluminum is an excellent material for creating these, being both strong and lightweight.

Aluminum mud flaps are desirable for those facing harsh terrain because of their durability and affordability.

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Universal Flaps

Universal flaps are the flippers that come factory tailored to fit most vehicles including sedans, pickup trucks, SUVs, and heavy machinery.

They can be installed from an old vehicle to a new one with little effort.

Mud Flaps Advantages

  • Protect your car from rust and corrosion
  • Protect other vehicles and road users within close range while on the road.
  • Enhance the overall aesthetics of the vehicle.
  • Available for purchase at many stores and are simple to install.

Mud Flaps Disadvantages

  • Improper fit or installation can cause a mud flap to slide off and break away from the tire.
  • Plastics mud flaps are more prone to breaking than rubber because of their rigidity in contrast to the flexibility of the rubbers.


Mudflaps is a significant invention for the automotive industry. The mudflap plays an important role in preventing damage to your own car and that of others. They are one of the most important accessories you can add, not only for aesthetic purposes but also for functionality.