Skip to Content

Do Jeeps Really Need Mud Flaps?

Do Jeeps Really Need Mud Flaps?

Jeep is one of the few brands that are known for its off-roading prowess. Jeeps are made to take on rough terrain and extreme weather with their durable frames and robust engines. Despite being well-equipped to handle the elements, a Jeep can take a beating when exposed to these harsh conditions. This leaves many owners wondering if their Jeep needs extra protection from mud flaps.

Mud flaps are designed to protect your Jeep. These flaps, sometimes called mud guards or splash guards, can protect your investment and reduce your repair costs. However, for many Jeep owners, mud flaps on a vehicle designed to handle off-road and rocky terrain seems unnecessary.

If you own a Jeep, you may be wondering what value mud flaps can bring to your off-roading SUV. To help you decide, this article sheds some light on the benefits and drawbacks of mud flaps on a Jeep.

Why Use Mud Flaps on a Jeep?

There are many good reasons to put mud flaps on your Jeep. Not only can they protect your investment, but mud flaps can save you money.

Find all types of Mud Flaps For Jeeps Here (link to Amazon) but before you decide which to buy, consider your driving habits:

The benefits of installing mud flaps on a Jeep are:

Prevent Damage From Flying Rocks And Gravel

When traveling on rough terrain, rocks or other debris can be kicked up as you drive, especially when moving quickly. If debris hits your SUV’s sides or undercarriage, this can cause considerable damage to your Jeep.

Even gravel, broken pavement, and rocks scattered on city streets and highways can harm your vehicle. Dents and damage to the body and undercarriage of a vehicle can be costly to fix.

  • Mud flaps also protect your paint.
  • Dents caused by rocks, gravel, or other debris can scratch your paint.
  • Slush, mud, and grime that sticks to the sides of your Jeep can eat away at its paint if not cleaned off.
  • Over time, the exposed metal can be affected by corrosive substances that can lead to rust.

Mud guards can help protect your property from flying gravel, rocks, or debris if you plan to tow a boat or trailer with your Jeep.

Keep Your Jeep Cleaner

Whether you regularly go on off-road adventures or stick to driving on city streets, mud flaps help keep your Jeep clean. These splash guards can keep slush, mud, and dirt from flying up and sticking to the sides and door handles of your SUV.

Improve Performance

Snow, slush, and salt can build up on your fenders, running boards, and tires in colder climates. With mud guards, this slushy buildup accumulates on the flaps instead, making it easier for your vehicle to perform in snowy or slushy conditions.

Protect Your Passengers

If you tend to go off-road with the windows down or sides removed in your Jeep, mud guards can help protect passengers seated inside from being hit by flying debris.

Protect Other Drivers

As you drive, the tires on your Jeep can kick up mud, rocks, slush, or other debris from the road. Mud flaps can keep debris from hitting nearby pedestrians or the windshields of cars driving behind you.

These flaps can also limit the amount of water splashing onto pedestrians and cars around you when it rains.

Drawbacks of Mud Flaps for Your Jeep

For some Jeep owners, mud flaps are an eyesore. Typically made of plastic or rubber, these hanging splash guards can take away from the Jeep’s overall look.

Mud, dirt, and grime caked onto the sides of a Jeep may be seen as a badge of honor for those who regularly take their SUV off-road.

Ground Clearance

Ground clearance is the distance between the vehicle’s chassis and the ground. Higher ground clearance helps to protect the undercarriage of your Jeep.

However, mud flaps may be prone to getting ripped or torn off, as they can reduce the overall ground clearance of a Jeep. In some cases, mud flaps may even damage your wheel wells if they make contact with the road.


Mud flaps without specialized vents can push airflow in the opposite direction of the vehicle’s movement. Known as drag, this resistance can slow down a vehicle and drop its fuel efficiency.

However, most mud flaps produce minor drag on a vehicle, and in addition, their impact on a vehicle’s gas mileage is usually minimal.

Are Mud Flaps Legally Required on a Jeep?

There is no federal requirement for mud flaps to be used on vehicles. However, some states require the use of fenders or mud flaps on passenger vehicles. It is a good idea to check the rules for the state you live in.

What Type of Mud Flaps Should I Put on a Jeep?

Find all types of Mud Flaps For Jeeps Here (link to Amazon) but before you decide which to buy, consider your driving habits:

  • Plastic mud flaps are durable and can protect your Jeep from heavy or oversized projectiles. However, plastic flaps are less flexible and may break if overly stressed. Plastic flaps that hang too low and graze the pavement may be prone to breaking and can ultimately damage your vehicle.
  • Rubber mud flaps are both limber and durable. While they are more flexible and less expensive than plastic, rubber mud flaps may be less effective if hit by large or heavy debris. With their ability to bend easily, rubber splash guards can be hung low because they are usually not broken when they touch the road.
  • Metal mud flaps are the strongest, yet least flexible of all splash guards. Their immense durability makes them well-equipped to handle the continuous impact of mud, slush, or flying debris. These flaps are typically made of stainless steel, which does not rust.

Final Thoughts

Personal preference and how you plan to use your SUV are two of the most significant factors to consider when deciding if your Jeep needs mud flaps.

  • If you are an avid off-roader at heart and regularly expose your Jeep to rocky terrain and harsh elements, mud flaps can prevent damage and keep your Jeep cleaner.
  • City drivers may choose to install mud flaps to prevent snow, slush, or gravel from hitting pedestrians or cars traveling around them.

If these hanging splash guards add little value and do nothing more than take away from the look of your Jeep, it may be better to pass on mud flaps. However, for car owners who value functionality and want to protect their Jeep, mud flaps may be well worth the investment.

Sharing is caring!