Tech Article Title Author Date
How Splash Guards Can Damage Your Audi Christian J. Long 1999

If you are considering installing the Audi splash guards to your A4, heed this warning about possible damage they can cause to your paint, and how to prevent it.

The A4 has a splash guard accessory option that you can purchase through your local dealer. In the interest of better prices, you should look to purchase them through Clair Parts Express, which discounts OEM Audi Parts (see link section of A4.org for web site address and contact info). These will run you around $20-$30 a pair, and will take 45 minutes or less to install. The installation is quite easy, so do not be persuaded by your dealer to let him "professionally install" the parts for their usual high labor charges. You will find detailed step by step installation instructions here in the A4.org FAQ section in a separate article.

These splash guards are beneficial if you live in an area with a high incidence of inclement weather, or have upgraded your tires to the 225 or 235 wide size. With a wider tire size, you will increase the area of the tires that lie outside the wheel well, and risk more road debris impacting your painted surfaces. The splash guards will help keep your car clean for a longer period of time by extending the protection of the wheel wells, and protect the paint from any sand/rocks/gravel/dirt that you tires may launch into the car's painted surfaces.

The problem with these splash guards is that they are prone to scratching your paint in the area of contact with the body. I discovered this when I had to remove my rear splash guards for some detail work I was performing on my A4. The paint on the rear bumper underneath where the splash guard overlaps the paint was scratched somewhat deep due to the mounting of the splash guards. I pulled the front splash guards off, and they were scratched as well, but not as severe as the rear bumper.

To prevent this damage from occurring on your Audi, I would recommend purchasing a set of the clear StonGard™ clear protection tape. This adhesive is similar to the body protecting tape you see on Porsche 911s and 944s around the rear wheel wells. Apply the tape over the car's paint in the areas where the splash guards will be in contact with the car's painted surface. With this paint protection in place, you will then be able to install the splash guards with no fear of paint damage.