How To Stop Tires From Rubbing Fender? Causes & Ideal Solutions

By David Barlow
Last updated: Nov 27, 2022
How To Stop Tires From Rubbing Fender

Tire rubs are undoubtedly an eyesore that nobody wants to encounter, but knowing how to fix tire rubbing on a fender is also beyond their ability. For more information, there can be many reasons for this matter. 

We are going to list one by one for you to broaden your knowledge so that you can know some ideal solutions as well. Take a seat and check it out.

What Causes Tire Rub?

What Causes Tire Rub

There might be several causes of tire rubs, from the changes of the wheel wells to the suspension system itself. You should read each one carefully to see if your matter falls into which reason. 

You can seek help for mechanical diagnosis and identify why tire rubs occur and how to deal with them. Let’s get started.

Install Bigger Tires

Installing larger tires is the common reason causing tire rubbing on inner fender in almost all vehicles. When you change the larger wheel and tire, they will take up more room for sure. 

As a result, there is no adequate clearance for your tire, and it has to shove against the wheel well. This happens more frequently when you are driving aggressively and usually bumping potholes. 

Change In Wheel Offset

In the case of replacing wheels, you might sometimes get trouble with keeping the suitable distance between your tire’s centerline and the wheel’s surface, which is called wheel offset. And an unmatched wheel offset leads to tire rub. 

Wheel Spacer

Wheel spacers are not out of the common tire rubbing causes. 

This issue starts with performance and style, especially when moving your vehicle’s wheel and tire assembly from the center to outward. It can improve the interior clearance but rub your fender and the wheel well liner instead. 

In some worse cases, the wheel is pushed further outside the fender due to wheel spacers. 

Replace New Tires

Some people do not believe that new tire replacements can be one of the popular reasons for tire rubbing. There is always a potential risk here, although you have followed all the manual’s tire specifications. 

For example, it happens when your old model is no longer available, and you have to choose a similar type instead. Your new tire design can be slightly different from the old one regarding tread pattern, tire dimensions, tire size, or shoulder construction.

What is more, the gap between the original wheel and your new tire, also called the wheel clearance, is too small and cannot stand the difference. 

All these differences, even the smallest ones, will increase the overall profile of your vehicle’s wheel. The result is that you make tire rubbing inside wheel well, especially in case of certain driving conditions and steering angles.

That’s why you should always be cautious about using the correct size wheel first. 

Suspension Component Issues

Apart from the changes to the wheel wells, suspension components can be another significant culprit here. If you notice, tire rubs frequently occur once you drive your vehicle over bumps or move it through corners. In this case, the car’s weight pressure is shifted to one side of the suspension system excessively. 

Over time, the springs gradually lose their elasticity, shocks fail, and bushings and shock mounts will wear down. At last, the capacity of the suspension or damping component drops, and it cannot handle vehicle load transfers or road bumps well anymore. 

Extreme Misalignment

Last but not least, do not miss out on extreme misalignment when you cannot find your problem through those above reasons.

Misalignment means your vehicle is not in the same line as the caster angle. Also, the caster angle is totally different from the specifications. This problem can be a source of tire rubbing on fender liners.

It is worth noting that misalignment issues are related to the uneven level of tire wear. You had better be careful if there is hazardous tire damage. 

Signs And Risk Of Tire Rubbing

Signs Of Tire Rubbing

Signs Of Tire Rubbing

It is quite simple for you to check and assess signs of tire rub. First, you have to keep your vehicle stand still on level ground by pulling the handbrake. Do not forget to set the mode of “Park” for the gears.

For better inspection, you can utilize a flashlight to see which area on the wheel well your tire has made contact. Rest assured that the signs of tire rubbing are relatively noticeable. 

Specifically,  the contact point of the tire and the liner of the wheel well will stick out and look like a sore thumb. Knowing that point saves you much time from thinking of an appropriate solution.

Risk Of Tire Rubbing

Tires rubbing on fenders can bring small damage to the most serious issue for any driver. However, if your car suffers from wheel well liner damage, then it is a noteworthy problem. Other concerns can be around the contact point of steering components and suspension system. 

To have everything solved smoothly, you must give your vehicle a cautious check first. Then, give all the necessary information to the garage so that they can handle that problem for you. 

In case you want to fix it yourself, please keep scrolling down to see how to stop tires from rubbing the fender. 

How To Stop Tires From Rubbing Fender?


After diagnosing all the potential problems of tire rubbing, you can join hands in preparing proper tools first. Here are what you need:

  • Wheel-arch reforming tool.
  • Jack, jack stands, and wheel chocks.
  • Spare lug nuts.
  • Heat gun.
  • Flashlight for better vision.
  • Patience because you need to spend a lot of time on repairs.

Before You Proceed

Before heading into the repairing process, you must know that it cannot be reversible. Specifically, once you have adjusted the wheel well to replace the new tires, you cannot fix it again. 

Hence, it is a must to do it carefully and properly instead of ending the process in a rush.

Remember to clean the wheel wells to make sure there’s no accumulated mud and dirt left. It will help you to measure more accurately. 

Also, you should prepare for the new shocks when the old ones have been dead. In this process, a fender roll is not really as important as new shocks. 

Repair Process

To ensure the repair process runs smoothly, you must move your vehicle to a flat surface, then take a jack to lift it up and take off the wheel under the first fender. 

Do not forget to utilize a jack stand to support the weight and allow for more vision; alsp, the hub can be balanced. Moreover, you can remove all the fender liners if needed. 

Next, let’s attach the wheel-arch reforming design and carefully tighten and secure the lug nuts. Now you can start with rolling the fender. Of course, you must heat the fender up first, then heat each corner of your car before rolling it in. 

One thing to note here is to do a gradual roll and adjust the angle as lightly as possible. Repeat this step at the other corners, and you have repaired your tires to have enough breathing space for not rubbing the fenders anymore. 

To Sum Up 

In short, tire rubs are a serious matter that any uncareful action during the self modifications and upgrades can cause. Moreover, it may originate from your vehicle’s faulty suspension system. All the potential causes we have mentioned above for you to check out your car carefully.

David Barlow

Automotive Experts at World Tire Review

Hi everyone, I’m David (Tireguy). I believe that finding tires can lead to a lot of confusion and frustration for almost every driver. That’s why I would like to bring my experiences and knowledges to develop World Tire Review blog, it will give people a deeper understanding of what choosing the right tire is really like!