Replacing a fender with a used one can save time and money. If your fender is crumpled or dented, it may be easier to buy another one rather than spending the time removing the dents and repainting the current one. Used fenders often come ready-made to fit your car with little preparation needed.

Choosing a used fender:

Start by finding out the exact model and body type of your vehicle. Your vehicle's identification number contains that information. Decoding the VIN can be done online or by the used parts dealer. If you are planning to paint the entire car, you don't need to worry about color; fit is more important. If your original fender is badly damaged and you think you might be missing some clips or screws, make sure those are included with the fender or buy them new.

Before installing your fender:

When you get your fender, check it over to make sure it didn't get damaged during transport. Do a "rough check" to see if the fender matches the one on your car and will fit. If you are not planning to paint your car and the fender is not the right color, you will need to paint it before installing it. If you are doing it yourself, painting and preparation will take some time. Be sure to find the closest match to your car's color as you can or the fender will stand out. If your used fender already matches the color, touch up any scratches and any areas around the edges.

Installing the fender:

Most at-home mechanics can install a fender within a single afternoon with simple socket tools and a leverage bar. Most cars' fenders are bolted on and clipped around the bumper and headlights. It may be helpful to remove the splash guard before you remove the fender, but it is not necessary. You may need to partially remove the headlights and drop the front bumper for easier fender removal and replacement. Be sure to torque the bolts to specifications, especially around the bumper.

Buying a used fender is an especially a good choice for older vehicles where new parts don't exist or are extremely expensive. Used fenders are more likely to fit and can possibly be the exact same color as your car. Contact a used auto body parts dealer, such as those at Cottman Used Auto Parts, to get a quote and a location on the right match for your car.