Maintenance Tips for the Toyota Tacoma Bug Shield
If you often drive your Toyota Tacoma off-road, all the more you need to install accessories for extra protection such as the Toyota Tacoma bug shield. This does a great job by keeping bugs and road debris away from the hood and the windshield. But because of its function, all the more you need to give it extra TLC. Thankfully, bug shields are not that difficult to clean and maintain, requiring only the most basic of tools and supplies and costing only several minutes to an hour of your time.
Regular care and maintenance of the bug shields in your Toyota Tacoma will not only keep them looking vibrant but also ensure their continued performance for years to come. In this guide, we've listed down some pointers on how to maintain the Toyota Tacoma bug shields.
- Clear out bug splatter with penetrating oil.
Bug splatter is the top source of stains for bug shields, and it can quickly reduce into an ugly mess especially when driving through areas with heavy vegetation. And if regular washing doesn't remove all of the stains, you might want to try penetrating oil. Spray the oil directly on the stain, let it sit for around 10 minutes, and wipe it with a clean rag. Make sure not to get any of the oil on the headlights or windshield as it can leave an unsightly film that's hard to remove. If the penetrating oil still doesn't work, you may consider using a automotive dirt and stain remover to remove the bugs.
- Don't lean on or place heavy objects on the shield.
The bug shield is not designed to support a substantial amount of weight, and doing so would put undue stress on the shield, causing it to bend or snap from the strain.
- Keep an eye out for cracks.
Cracks are the most common problems with bug shields, which are often caused by hitting rocks, walls, vehicles, or other hard objects. Even insects can cause the bug shield to crack if the truck is fast enough. Minor cracks can usually be fixed with solvent cement, although serious cases are best left replaced instead.
Tips on Installing the Toyota Tacoma Bug Shield
Installing a Toyota Tacoma bug shield can be quite a relief if you often drive near areas where there are large bodies of water and thick vegetation as these can save you a lot of time washing off bug residue as well as mud and debris from the hood and windshield. You also won't find it difficult to find mechanics willing to install bug shields on your pickup, but these accessories are also easy enough to install by yourself. This will save you a significant amount of time and money compared to having it done in the shop, provided of course that you install it properly. In this guide, we list down some tips to help you install bug shields on Tacoma pickups correctly.
Tip #1: Wash the hood before starting.
Bug shields are typically mounted onto the front of the hood via an industrial-strength adhesive tape, but the tape will not stick properly if applied on a dirty surface. A quick wash of the hood using your preferred car shampoo should effectively fix this, although make sure to dry off the hood thoroughly afterwards as the tape will also not adhere to a wet surface.
We also recommend using an alcohol wipe to remove any residue of grease or car wax from the hood. Many bug shield kits come with a set of cleaning wipes included, although a typical cotton wipe and rubbing alcohol would do just as well.
Tip #2: Pre-fit the bug shield on the hood.
Even if the bug shield you purchased is indicated as designed specifically for the Toyota Tacoma, it never hurts to pre-fit the shield on the hood first. Sans the adhesive tape, position the bug shield on the designated area of the hood; the edges of the shield should line up properly with the hood. Make a mark on each side of the hood so you'll be able to determine where to mount the shield.
Tip #3: Install rubber bumpers on areas where the bug shield will touch the hood.
Constant contact of the bug shield on the surface of the hood will cause it to scrape the paint off over time. To prevent this from happening, you should place rubber bumpers on areas where the bug shield touches the hood of the truck.