A crumpled fender means an expensive repair bill. Labor costs an arm and a leg, so you may be wondering if you can replace the fender yourself. It would be a whole lot cheaper than having a shop replace the fender for you. But is it worth the trouble?
The answer depends on several factors:
- Whether you have the right tools
- Whether you have the right experience
- Whether you can weld (applicable in a few situations only)
- Whether you can spend a few hours on this job
Replacing a fender isn’t something beginners can do. So if you have no auto repair work experience whatsoever, have an auto body shop take care of the job. Skip ahead to the last section of this post for more information on this. If you have some auto repair experience, you just may pull off a fender replacement. We’ll help you determine if it’s something you can do.
The Kind Of Experience You Need To Pull Off The Job
Image Credit: DIY Mechanics
Auto body work is challenging, and often best left to professionals. Fenders are among the easiest body parts to replace. Yet, it’s still not a job for beginners. You may be able to successfully complete the job if you have the following experience:
Auto Body Repair Experience
You need to know your way around a car. To be more specific, you need to know:
- How to remove and install auto body parts
- What wires need to be disconnected first
- How to avoid scratching auto body parts when removing or installing parts
- The right tools to use
Replacing a fender isn’t rocket science, but it’s important to know how to do it right. It can be hard to get a fender to look just right after you’re finished replacing it.
A few fender replacement processes may require some welding. If it turns out that you need to weld some parts while replacing a fender on your car, you need welding experience. Without proper training and experience, it will be nearly impossible to make the weld job look good.
Before Deciding To Do It Yourself, Find Out What The Job Entails First
The replacement process varies between VW models. So you may want to find a fender replacement tutorial for your specific VW model. This way, you’ll get a good idea of how hard the job is and which tools you’ll need.
An Overview Of Replacing A Fender On A VW Vehicle
If you have the right tools and experience, you can try to replace the fender on your VW. Here’s a general overview of the process:
- Pop open the hood and then prop it up.
- Remove the fender liner.
- Remove the front bumper and all its hardware and wiring.
- Remove the bolts securing the fender in place.
- Remove the old fender.
- Install the new fender.
- Put the front bumper and fender liner back in place.
If you need more specific steps, look up a model-specific tutorial. YouTube has many different VW fender replacement tutorials. If you need more information on finding a replacement fender, check out this post.
The Tools You Would Need For A Typical Fender Replacement
The fender replacement process varies between Volkswagen models. That means you may need a few different tools to replace a fender on a Beetle than, say, a VW Bus. We still put together a general list of tools you’d need:
- Screwdriver or Torx screw bits
- Wrench and sockets
- Flathead screwdriver
- Plastic wedges
- Blow dryer or heat gun
Getting A Shop To Use An OEM Replacement Fender
If you’re not sure you have what it takes to replace a fender on your VW, it’s best to have professionals take care of it. You can get your auto body shop to use OEM parts instead of aftermarket parts. This post explains why OEM fenders are better than aftermarket ones. It also shows you how to get your body shop to use OEM parts.