The Nissan Patrols, especially the GU series, are top-notch vehicles with supreme quality of built that rarely needs any upgrades. However, if you are regularly heading out on off-road adventures, you might discover that the factory-installed fender flares have worn off and need to be replaced. This is because the fender flares are the part that takes the most beating. Actually, that’s their main role. These pieces of 4×4 gear frame the wheel and prevent sand, mud, rocks and other road debris from spraying into the air from the moving tires and damage the vehicle.
When needing to replace GU Patrol flares, you should pay attention to a few factors. First of all, the manufacturer’s name. Brands like Bushwacker, Prestige and Kut Snake are so popular in Australia for a good reason. These flares’ impressive designs are sure to bring quality performance as well as aesthetics to any 4×4 drive. Moreover, sellers usually offer a one year warranty for GU Patrol flares which is an even greater reassurance for a part that’s prone to a lot of damage.
Generally, there are five different types of flares on the market: street style, pocket style, cut-out, OEM and fender trim. Which one is most suitable for your Nissan Patrol depends on the tires, your driving style and taste. If you’re looking for something to make your vehicle look sleeker, the OEM are the flares for you. But if you want durability, you should invest in a nice set of street style flares that will keep the rust away from your tires. If you own a vehicle with large tires, a pocket, cut-out or extended set of flares can further enhance its rugged and tough look.
An extremely important characteristic of flares is the material they’re made of. On the market you’ll come across GU Petrol flares made out of either fiberglass or ABS injection molded plastic. The disadvantage of fiberglass models is that the paint chips easily and it can crack or break during strong impact. On the other hand, ABS plastic is more flexible and tends to absorb the energy of a particularly hard stroke. This makes ABS plastic more suitable for rough and rocky terrain. This type of material usually has a semi gloss finish eliminating the need for having it painted. Moreover, ABS plastic comes with UV resistance which protects it from brittleness and ensures that its fresh colour won’t fade away from too much sun exposure.
Another thing you should take into account is the wheel coverage the flares can achieve. A larger coverage means the tires will be better protected against road conditions. For that reason, it’s advisable to look for flares that offer at least 55mm of wheel coverage. The extra coverage will also give you the option to switch your tires for larger ones with bigger off-set rims without needing to replace the flares.
All in all, a strong set of fender flares will protect your vehicle and, more importantly, protect you and the passengers by cushioning the force of impacts. But a sleek set of fenders can also add to the visual appeal of your Nissan by keeping the chassis away and making it even more noticeable.