Older cars are notorious for rust, especially in areas where they use a lot of road salt during the winter, and one of the parts that will typically rust out easily are the fenders and the quarter panels on cars. A relatively inexpensive way to fix the fender is to purchase a good one from a salvage yard that will fit on your car. Replacing the fender is a project most car owners can do by themselves. Here is how a car owner can replace the fender on a 2000 Honda Civic.
Lower Bumper Cover
There is one bolt behind the front bumper cover that you have to remove before you can take off the fender. You don't have to completely remove the bumper cover to reach the bolt, but you will need to remove some of the bolts holding the bumper cover onto the car so you can lower it enough to reach the bolt for the fender.
To lower the front bumper cover, raise the hood on the car to expose the plastic fasteners connecting the top of the bumper cover to the front of the frame on the car. The fasteners have two parts: a plastic bolt and a plastic body that expands when the bolt is screwed into it. Unscrew the plastic bolt in the fasteners with a Phillips-head screwdriver and remove them. You can pop the fastener bodies out of the frame with a flathead screwdriver. You also need to remove a regular bolt inside the wheel well. This bolt is located where the bumper and fender meet.
Remove Fender Bolts
There are three mounting bolts that connect the top of the fender to the frame inside the engine compartment. Unscrew and remove the mounting bolts. You should have a small container nearby to put the bolts in so you don't lose them while you are working.
You must remove the fender bolt inside the front door jamb on the side of the car where you are replacing the fender. Open the front door to expose this bolt. The bolt is located just above the top door hinge on the car.
There are several plastic fasteners like the ones used to hold the bumper cover on the car underneath the fender in the wheel well. Remove the fasteners like you did for the bumper cover. The fender should now lift right off of the car.
Install New Fender
Set the new fender into position on the car and bolt it to the top of the frame. Don't tighten the bolts down hard so you can move the fender around to line it up to the other bolt holes. Replace the bolt in the door jamb and in the wheel well behind the bumper cover. You can now tighten all the bolts. Raise the bumper and fasten it to the car in the opposite manner in which you dropped it down. Close the hood and go for a short drive to make sure the bumper cover and fender are securely attached to the car.