How Much Does It Cost To Replace Rocker Panels?

Upgrading your vehicle can be both fun and practical. With so many possibilities to choose from, you may have difficulty making up your mind. However, it’s easy to overlook one key component: rocker panels. Whether you need to know how much to replace rocker panels or why they’re so important in the first place, this guide can provide the answers and guidance you seek. 

Factors to Consider

Rocker panels are core components of your vehicle’s body. They’re rigid horizontal parts that link the front and rear ends, preventing the middle from collapsing. Additionally, they aid in your vehicle’s handling and help maintain structural integrity during a collision. 

When purchased new, your vehicle likely came with OEM rocker panels. However, there are several reasons you may need to replace them:

  • Rust/Corrosion:  Rust spots and metal corrosion weaken the structural integrity of your rocker panels. 
  • Exterior Damage: Major collisions or even minor dings can eventually become big problems. Left alone, they increase the risk of corrosion and rust. 

Fortunately, you have many replacement options. Welded rocker panels are a more permanent solution, they require an experienced welder to install them. Slip-on rocker panels are easier to attach, but you’ll need to ensure that all fasteners, screws, and rivets are properly tightened — otherwise, they could loosen while you’re driving. 

Breaking Down Labor Costs

How much does rocker panel installation cost? If you’re DIYing it, you’ll pay for the panels themselves plus any additional tools and accessories you need. Depending on the type you need, you might pay anywhere between $150 and $1,500 for a single panel. If you’re dealing with minor rust spots, you could likely sand, repatch, and paint them for between $100 and $500.

Not sure whether to repair or replace your panels? You’ll need to consider some key points when making your decision. First, look at the seriousness of any rust spots. If they’re merely on the surface, you may be able to get away with sanding and repainting. If you see extensive rust damage or if any portion of your panel is corroded, you must replace the entire thing. 

If you must install new rocker panels, you’ll need some basic tools. Welded panels will require welding skills (or a friend with these skills). Once your new panels are on your vehicle, keep them maintained by cleaning them regularly. Removing rock salt, dirt, water, and other debris prevents rust and corrosion before they start.

Other Repair and Replacement Options

Rocker panels are an essential component, but other upgrades can contribute to your vehicle’s looks, structural integrity, handling, and safety. Swapping your factory shocks for performance aftermarket versions improves ride quality and may last longer than stock editions. For instance, Fox Shocks replacement parts include 2.0-diameter and 2.5-diameter shocks — the former for everyday driving and light off-roading and the latter for heavier off-road use. 

While you’re working on your vehicle, it’s also wise to be mindful of unexpected issues. For instance, a P0449 code Chevy error indicates a problem with the evaporative emission control system. No matter what you need to repair or replace, choosing a reputable online auto parts retailer ensures you enjoy both exceptional quality and service. 

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