Quarter Panel vs Fender

Most people feel that the quarter panel and fender are the same things, but in reality, there are differences between the two. In this article, we will discuss in detail the fender and the quarter panel. Let us go straight to the discussion regarding what is the difference between the quarter panel and the fender.

Quarter Panel Overview

A quarter panel is a part of the exterior surface or the body of the vehicle. It is placed between the rear door and the boot or trunk of the car. It is designed to wrap the wheel.

The quarter panels are traditionally constructed of sheet metal. However, with the advancement of vehicle-making technology, other materials like fiber-reinforced plastic, carbon fiber, or fiberglass are also used to make the quarter panel.

The quarter panel of any vehicle is added by welding after the whole exterior body of the vehicle is constructed. If you want to replace the quarter panel of any material, it needs to be cut out of the vehicle, and then the replaced part needs to be welded back to the previous position of the car.


This requires highly specialized labor. Therefore, it is advised to repair the damaged area of the quarter panel rather than changing the full unit.

When any area of the quarter panel is damaged, the part is replaced by hammering the damaged area and then replacing it with a newer unit. Then, the new unit is smoothened and then colored so that it matches the existing original surface.

Fender Overview

Fender is a term used in America for a particular part of the vehicle, motorcycle, or automobile exterior body. It is a frame meant for the wheel and sits under the wheel.

The basic purpose of the fender is to avert mud, sand, rocks, road spray, and other liquids from being flustered or thrown in the air by the rotating tire. Sticky materials like mud make the surface of the tire smooth.

Moreover, smaller objects like stones that are temporarily sunk in the road, can hit the passersby as the speed of the vehicle over the ground increases. Small objects can fly into the air as the car moves at a higher velocity. The velocity of the tire passes on kinetic energy to the small objects.

So, to prevent small objects from hitting the pedestrians, a fender is necessary. In Britain, the fender is referred to as the wing. The fenders are also used in bicycles and motorcycles, the fender is called the wing. Vintage cars also have cycle wings fitted above their wheels.

Fenders are an important part of the exterior body of vehicles. It is also known as the mudguard, as it guards the mud and small objects to be thrown in the air.

For the motorcycle and bicycle, the fender protects the rider from the mud as well. In Sri Lankan and the Indian subcontinent, the use of the term ”mudguard” is more common. The younger generation is well-versed with the term fender rather than mudguard or wing. In the United States of America, the minor accident is referred to as a “fender bender” as it comes in contact first in case of an accident.

Difference between the Quarter panel and Fender.

Fender is a traditional term. It is basically a covering over the wheel. Everything from bicycles and motorcycles to antique cars has fenders in them. The fenders have now been replaced as the car body has been replaced as an integrated whole body.

However, people keep identifying the parts like trunks as fenders. The vehicle design has seen slow progress over the years. The designers and the engineers do not use the legacy terms anymore.

The quarter panel and rear panels are the terms that have now replaced the term fender. This phenomenon can be understood when we take the example of the dashboard.

During the 1980s, the term, the dashboard was used. Nowadays, that term is used for horse-drawn carriages. For the automobile interior, it has been replaced by the term IP or the Internet Panel.

Another basic difference between fender and quarter panel is that fender is that part of the exterior car body that is a cover for the wheels. While a quarter panel is that part of the exterior car body that is referred to the rear door of the vehicle and covers the wheels too.

Next is that the quarter panel starts from the root line of the vehicle while the fender does not. Therefore, in the automobile design, the quarter panel includes that roof pillar at the rear end of the car but the fender does not include any roof panel.

As the quarter panel includes the roof panel, it also includes the C-pillar of the car as part of the stamping. So for the design, the quarter panel is much larger in size than the fender.

Final Thoughts

At first, many will think that the fender and quarter panel are the same part of the exterior design of the car. However, if you study the design of the exterior body of the car in detail, then you would see that there are minute differences between the two.

Also, we have to consider that there are much more similarities than differences between the quarter panel and the fender. So, many people also confuse the two exterior parts of the vehicle.

I have tried to explain about the fender and the quarter panel and also the differences between them. If you have any further questions, feel free to write any comments.