What is a wheel well on a car?

This is a little embarrassing, but I’m a first-time car owner and don’t know much about how they work. I keep hearing the term “wheel well.” Can you tell me what a wheel well is on a car?

Heather Bernhard · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
No need to be embarrassed! None of us know much about cars when we
first start driving
. But a wheel well on a car is exactly what it sounds like—the opening, or space, in the car’s body where the wheel sits.
While they sound pretty basic, wheel wells have a really important job. They stop dirt, mud, rocks, and other debris from being thrown into the air from the rotating tire. This keeps your vehicle and anything else on the road (including pedestrians) safe.
Wheel well liners (or fender liners) are barriers that go in the wheel wells between the wheel and the fender and are usually made of plastic. While wheel wells protect your vehicle from debris, wheel well liners protect your wheel wells from debris.
Basically, their purpose is to stop anything like slush or road salt from ever reaching the wheel wells in the first place—thus stopping it from getting into your engine bay or other parts of your car.
For further protection, you can purchase a wheel well liner. Some brands are sold pre-cut to fit the most popular brands of cars and trucks, but you can also have them custom-made for your vehicle.
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