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Splash Guards, perfect fit needed? Long term issues?

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Old 05-22-2018, 10:31 AM
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Splash Guards, perfect fit needed? Long term issues?

I installed the OEM splash guards myself over the weekend, however, there is a very small gap (about 1 mm) left on a quarter portion of the guards between the body panel (so 3/4 of the guard is totally flush, 1/4 sticks out just a wee bit), a bit more on the rear passenger side. I read posts on here where these gaps closed over time for one person. Any one has any experiences with this? I did use high quality 3M synthetic wax sealant on all body parts where the guards meet the paint but wondering if I should have also used paint protection film/tape as well? How serious are chances of long term paint damage from this? I noticed a very slight clear coat mark near one guard (may just have been from re-seating the guard once or twice to get a better fit) but that was easily buffed out using a finishing polish.

I've already fiddled around a bit with them and don't want to waste more time unless this is a serious issue (not sure if the gap will ever be water tight) esp if it improves over time? On a related note, one of the rear self tapping screw seems to be stuck if I try to loosen it (will loosen only a little bit and then just move around), any tips on removing if/when I do reinstall the guards? A vice grip plier is the only thing that comes to mind but somewhat wary of using that in such a tight space.

This is not an aesthetic issue since no one besides me will likely ever notice the gaps.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:35 AM
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Also wondering, if the gaps do not reduce/eliminate over a few weeks, if taking a hair dryer to heat up the plastic a bit and bending the gaps in may work?
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Old 05-23-2018, 07:36 PM
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I installed my own a few weeks ago and could not get a perfect fit either. Even after several redo’s. I’ve looked at other MDX’s, even on dealers lots, and didn’t see many perfect fits. I just applied a few coats of wax around the areas where required and will just let it go. I’d be more concerned if I lived in the winter salt belt. But frequent washing should remedy worries of damaging salt build up. Also water should have a hard time lodging in the nooks and crannies unless your vehicle sits idle after getting wet.
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:22 AM
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Thanks, makes me feel a bit better. The space on the rear ones is towards the top (adjusted to less than a mm now) and on the front ones, it's mostly towards the bottom though less than the rear. Given the tolerances on the body panels themselves and the inner linings I doubt a truly perfect fit is possible unless done at the factory with help of a heat gun (likely not worthwhile for DIY since you can end up warping the plastic too much and make it worse).
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:15 AM
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Anyone care to share pics of theirs, esp the top of the rear ones? That seems to be the most problematic for me. May get a right angle adapter for my drill to see if that can shake the screws loose as the hand stubby one can't seem to remove the top screws that go into the bracket. Unless may be I can reach under the car and unscrew the lower bracket screw from the other side (the top bracket screw comes off just fine, the lower one is covered by the guard), that way i can remove the guards and brackets as one whole and adjust the screws once they are out. Serious case of OCD about these lol.
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:57 PM
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left front, very small gap towards bottom


right front, near perfect


right rear with the most gap


left rear, small gap up top
what do you guys think, esp for the right rear?
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:29 AM
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That's about as good as you're gonna get with these - victory!
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by andysinnh View Post
That's about as good as you're gonna get with these - victory!
Agreed. I don't think a perfect fit exists. The only way they would be close to perfect would be if the guards were integrated into the body panels.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:00 AM
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Thanks andy and moose, appreciate the feedback.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:40 AM
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better close up of the right rear gap.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:28 AM
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Honda/Acura went cheap and no longer come with the molding, this is what you need.

they have light gray and black. for white car normally light gray, all other color you should get black. i think Honda/Acura stopped providing these since 2008 i think.

Amazon Amazon
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:30 PM
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Do folks usually install clear tape/ paint protection film underneath the guards to protect the paint or am I being just a bit too paranoid here?
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:56 AM
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I didn't. But for the extra protection, and peace of mind in your case, it may not be a bad idea.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:42 AM
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Reinstalled this morning after putting a 3"x 8" 3M ppf on each side where the guards meet the paint. Saw some scuffing on the rear paint already (less than 400 miles since original install) but was able to get all of it out using 3M 105 followed by 205 polish. Getting the rear guards out was a big PITA (ended up having to bend them to remove the rear anchors) because the screws that go in the spring nuts on the anchors get slightly misaligned and do not want to budge. Reconditioned them slightly using a heat gun and put back on. Some gaps remain, def. better than before but at least with the ppf on it can't damage anything.

Highly recommend people to use PPF the first time you put these on since you'll see scuffing and scratching there that gets worse over time. Only exception to this would be the ones in Canada that come from the factory where I assume would a slightly better fit and the scratches covered under warranty?

Last edited by undertaker2k8; 06-09-2018 at 11:47 AM. Reason: added pic
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Old 06-09-2018, 01:13 PM
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What happened to a Golf after 40k miles with the guards on: Be careful with factory splash guards/mud flaps -> rust magnets - TDIClub Forums
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:42 AM
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Since the factory splash guards don't have the best fit in the world, could we opt for aftermarket?
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by wvtriple View Post
Since the factory splash guards don't have the best fit in the world, could we opt for aftermarket?
None are available for the 2017+ models. The 2014-2016 ones have plenty of decent options available on amazon and ebay for as low as $30. These however do not fit the 2017+ redesigned ones since both of the front and the back fenders are slightly different, they will fit in the holes but the look will be totally off since they will not align to the fenders at all.
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by undertaker2k8 View Post
None are available for the 2017+ models. The 2014-2016 ones have plenty of decent options available on amazon and ebay for as low as $30. These however do not fit the 2017+ redesigned ones since both of the front and the back fenders are slightly different, they will fit in the holes but the look will be totally off since they will not align to the fenders at all.
Thank you, we picked up a low mileage 2014 base SH-AWD
and Iím starting to add on the accessories.
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