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Old 06-13-2011, 01:03 PM   #1
robwormald
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Angry Tore off a fender liner yesterday... better replacement than OEM?

Picked up my WRX from the valet at the hotel I was staying at this weekend to head back home... got about a mile onto the freeway and there is an almighty bang crash wallop from under the passenger front side.

Pull off to the side and extricate the entire front fender liner from the rear wheels. Totally destroyed. Also bent the sheet metal tabs on the fender

I'd love to blame the valet but I checked the driver's side straight away and its a horrible mess of loose and missing snaps after only a month or so. I guess one of the leading edges got loose and when I got it up to highway speeds it got sucked into the tire.

Anybody replaced these with something other than the OEM replacements? Pretty sure this is going to happen again and i'd prefer not to have the sheetmetal stressed again Don't have any trust for those crappy plastic connectors anymore

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Old 06-13-2011, 01:46 PM   #2
02BlueSuperRoo
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:50 PM   #3
4wdrift
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Factory liners work just fine as long as all of the rivits are in place. Some companies that do wide body kits replace the factory stuff with the same materiels used for big rig mud flaps. Its durable and flexible, but heavy.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:11 PM   #4
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Take pics of both sides, the damage, and the loose other side. I'd head to the dealer and show them. If the issue is as bad as it seems, I would think it would be covered under warranty, and I would assume Subaru would like to know as well to develop preventative measures. If enough cars show up with the same thing, then a TSB should come about from it, and most cars will get fixed the next time they come into service. However, you do have to take the first step. Subaru can't fix what they don't know about.

I'm surprised the fender liner did any real damage, but I guess the new aluminum panels just don't hold up to any sort of abuse. Living up in Minnesota with a lot of Subaru owners who have fun in the deep stuff, I've seen a pile of pulled fender liners, bumpers, pretty much anything that can be torn off the car pretty easy. Other than the damaged plastic parts, the metal parts of the cars generally hold up very well. However, many people beating on these cars own older models that still were built with steel. I do kind of wish Subaru would start using some composite plastic parts, sort of like Buick has been doing for more than 10 years. It's light, no rust, and tough. It's always seemed silly to stick to metal for a skin material, especially a fragile metal like thin aluminum. A structural part I understand, but just paneling, it's just silly. The fiber reinforced plastics are very good these days and very easy to mold into complex shapes, varying thicknesses (structural optimization), and can be molded with the fibers already in the plastic (short strand). Maybe one day...
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:28 PM   #5
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Yep, a nice big puddle will knock those crap fasteners right off the liners, then if it's loose enough the tire will rip it off. It's happened to me twice now in the front passenger side, found all three of the push pins missing connecting the bumper the liner. I haven't managed to rip out the liner though.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:30 PM   #6
robwormald
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Back Road Runner View Post
Take pics of both sides, the damage, and the loose other side. I'd head to the dealer and show them. If the issue is as bad as it seems, I would think it would be covered under warranty, and I would assume Subaru would like to know as well to develop preventative measures. If enough cars show up with the same thing, then a TSB should come about from it, and most cars will get fixed the next time they come into service. However, you do have to take the first step. Subaru can't fix what they don't know about.

I'm surprised the fender liner did any real damage, but I guess the new aluminum panels just don't hold up to any sort of abuse. Living up in Minnesota with a lot of Subaru owners who have fun in the deep stuff, I've seen a pile of pulled fender liners, bumpers, pretty much anything that can be torn off the car pretty easy. Other than the damaged plastic parts, the metal parts of the cars generally hold up very well. However, many people beating on these cars own older models that still were built with steel. I do kind of wish Subaru would start using some composite plastic parts, sort of like Buick has been doing for more than 10 years. It's light, no rust, and tough. It's always seemed silly to stick to metal for a skin material, especially a fragile metal like thin aluminum. A structural part I understand, but just paneling, it's just silly. The fiber reinforced plastics are very good these days and very easy to mold into complex shapes, varying thicknesses (structural optimization), and can be molded with the fibers already in the plastic (short strand). Maybe one day...
I'm going in for my first 3k mile service tomorrow so I'm going to show them the damage. It hasn't visibly affected the fender as far as I can see but the metal tabs that are inside the fender were bent badly, and though I slowly bent them back they won't take much more abuse. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:31 PM   #7
02BlueSuperRoo
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Can someone take a picture of the area you're talking about so we can keep an eye on it?
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 02BlueSuperRoo View Post
Can someone take a picture of the area you're talking about so we can keep an eye on it?
sure - i'm eating lunch right now but will take a couple pictures in a few
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:37 PM   #9
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super common actually.

water, puddles, road debris will contribute to broken/worn clips....

1-2 clips become broken or loosened and next thing you know the liners are loose

if a tire manages to catch the liner, bam! they'll be torn off in a heartbeat.

This has been an "issue" since 2002.

Quite common, happens all of the time.

My liners are pop riveted into place - not lost a single one since i broke out the rivet gun

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Old 06-13-2011, 06:13 PM   #10
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Hey back road runner I don't believe there are any aluminum panels on the 2011 WRX.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:30 PM   #11
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Ya happened to my twice. Almost lost a side skirt on the highway b/c one got ripped off.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:42 PM   #12
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Mine are all zip tied on, screw those little plastic clips.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:46 PM   #13
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I've lost one as well. Whats left of it is held on with tie wraps and good intentions.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:40 PM   #14
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erik11876 View Post
Hey back road runner I don't believe there are any aluminum panels on the 2011 WRX.
I was wondering what he was talking about. I'd be stunned if anything other than perhaps the hood is made of aluminum.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:51 PM   #15
n2oiroc
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i just checked the front fenders on my 2011 wrx, they are steel. either that or magnetic aluminum.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:02 AM   #16
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just run no fender liners...i have for over 2 years and no problems
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:04 AM   #17
KaptainKandy
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Both of my liners are destroyed and being (barely) hung up by zip ties. They can be had for like $15-$20 a piece though. I have just been too lazy and cheap.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:16 AM   #18
erik11876
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It seems this quite the issue with widebody STI's and WRX's. My dealer said no one with the 08-10 WRX's has complained of the issue (could be BS who knows). Subaru fails pretty hard at attaching the bumper and fender liners to the metalwork of the car. I've NEVER had a car do this, lol.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:00 PM   #19
crschneiderwrx
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just lost my passenger side fender liner last night 2011 wrx
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:49 AM   #20
djinn
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I actually think this might be a problem with the widebody WRX's. Never had a problem with my 2010 besides the liner ripping off during winter activities, constantly removing bumper doing work on car, or missing tabs.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:27 AM   #21
HinshawWRX
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It's not really a "problem" with any certain model but can happen to anyone.

I had one rip out going over a dip in the road at about 45 once, then I decided to rip the otherside out. Gangsta.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:37 AM   #22
g-Know
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Passenger side liner and part of the driver's side have been ripped off on our 09. I wouldn't bother replacing them, all though it seems that the bumper relies on these things for support.

Can anyone recommend somewhere else to purchase them asides from the dealer?
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:32 AM   #23
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Passenger side liner and part of the driver's side have been ripped off on our 09. I wouldn't bother replacing them, all though it seems that the bumper relies on these things for support.

Can anyone recommend somewhere else to purchase them asides from the dealer?
Thats my issue. Bumper keeps popping out because I only have 1 clip on either side. Sucks.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:17 AM   #24
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My fender liner ripped off same as your and I took it to Subaru in el paso and they took pictures and pretty much told me it was my fault that the liner wrapped off. There reasoning was because there were scrapes on my front lip. The scrapes were from backing out of the driveway. I was told that because it was scraping that caused the clips to come out and then that led to the fender liner to rip off. What can I do to get it replaced other then buying the liner for $60 out of pocket. Now back home in Phoenix I took my wrx in to get the clips replaced cause they were popping out a month after I got the car (Aug 2012). So the clips coming out should be on record with Subaru. So again is there anything I can do?

Background I'm at stock ride height and haven't even touched my suspension yet so there was no reason for the clips to pop out.

Thank you for the time to read this.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:15 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robwormald View Post
I'm going in for my first 3k mile service tomorrow so I'm going to show them the damage. It hasn't visibly affected the fender as far as I can see but the metal tabs that are inside the fender were bent badly, and though I slowly bent them back they won't take much more abuse. Thanks for the suggestions.
What did subaru say about this? Was it under warranty? I have the same problem on mine.
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