Grilles are vehicle features attached at the front end of your vehicle. Usually a grille contains the brand tag of your car. Its main function, however, is to protect the inner parts of your car like the radiator from unwanted road objects such as rocks and road debris. It also allows air intake for the radiator to reduce engine heat.
More than function, grilles take your car's style a notch higher. Grilles are accessories that accentuate vehicles' looks and bring unique impressions through exotic designs. These days, especially, car owners, don't settle for what was incorporated in their vehicles. The quest to make their cars look more and more fantastic never stops, hence the continuous installation of add-ons and features to their vehicles. After all, making your car more attractive not only increases its market value in case you'd want to resell in the future. It also gives you the car owner that rewarding feeling of proud ownership.
At present, there are various types of grilles and grille assemblies to choose from in the market. Car makers and manufacturers produce specific and identifiable grilles in unique styles, materials, colors and finishes. More often than not, these grilles come with a metal or plastic insert called the stock grille insert or body color insert.
Grille Guard Buyer’s Guide
- The grille guard provides protection against collision and other off-roading accidents.
- Also known as a brush guard, it also allows auxiliary lights and accessories to be mounted on the vehicle.
- There are four types of grille guards: full, push bars, bull bars, and front and rear bumper bars.
- Push bars are also referred to as center grille guards. Likewise, front bumper guards are also known as front runners.
- Grille guards enhance the look of your vehicle, give you peace of mind during extreme off-roading activities, and reduce your auto repair expenses.
- Grille guards range from $205 to $1,500 at CarParts.com.
Going on a trip to the countryside is a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Not to mention, it’s an effective way to gauge the off-road capabilities of your vehicle. But going off-road almost always comes with the risk of damaging your vehicle. As a preventive measure, getting your ride tuned up before the trip is highly recommended. Investing in off-road accessories like the grille guard will do you a lot of good as well because it always pays to be well-prepared.
Apart from adding to the aesthetic appeal of the vehicle, the grille guard, also known as brush guard, serves as a protective accessory for trucks and SUVs. It comes in a variety of styles and finishes like black, chrome, and stainless to suit every taste and need. With the right mechanism, it also enables adding accessories to your vehicle as well as allowing more room for personalization.
What is a grille guard?
A grille guard is a protective accessory mounted on the front fascia of your vehicle. It shields the vehicle from the damage that harsh off-road environments bring. Depending on the type, the grille guard distributes the impact that the grille absorbs during a collision.
There are two types of construction based on how they are mounted: body-on-frame and unibody. The former comes with a stand-alone frame while the latter comes with a frame that’s attached to the body. Body-on-frame grille guards weigh more than their unibody counterparts as they are engineered to take in heavier impacts.
Types of Grille Guards
Grille guards or brush guards can be classified into four types:
- Full Grille Guards
- Push Bars
- Bull Bars
- Bumper Guards (Rear and Front)
Full Grille Guards
They cover the entire length of your vehicle’s front fascia, including the surrounding perimeter of the headlights. Despite providing the body complete protection, full grille guards won’t disrupt the function of the other components near them as long as you get ones that are tailored for your vehicle. Among the hazards full grille guards protect the vehicle from are parking lot accidents and collisions with animals when driving along farmlands or into the wild.
In times of collision, push bars work by gently pushing the bumper of the colliding vehicle thus reducing damage. They are also sometimes referred to as center grille guards as they protect the middle portion of the bumper. Some full grille guards come with built-in push bars to provide added protection.
Bull bars protect the front and underneath surfaces the front fascia. These prove to be a good option for those who intend to protect their bumpers while keeping design modification to a minimum. There are also bull bar designs that come with attachments allowing you to install additional lighting and accessories. Despite their design, they are built to take more impact than full grille guards and push bars.
Bumper Guards (Rear and Front)
Rear and front bumper guards are great alternatives for those who do not intend to rough it out with their vehicles and only need minimal bumper protection. Bumper guard assemblies are attached to the vehicle’s framework. They are best used for protection against low-speed collisions. Bumper guards that protect the front of the vehicle are also referred to as front runner bars.
What are the reasons to get a grille guard?
There are plenty of benefits from getting a grille guard. After all, despite it being useful, the brush guard can be quite expensive too. If its protective features are not enough for you, the reasons below might convince you:
It’s a convenient way to add accessories
Most grille guards come with hardware and mechanisms that allow you to install accessories such as auxiliary lights or tow hooks. Just make sure to check the compatibility of the accessories you intend to mount with the specs of the grille guard assembly.
It enhances the aesthetics of your vehicle
There’s nothing like a mean-looking brush guard to make your truck or SUV look cool and aggressive. Grille guards come in a wide range of styles and designs to suit your taste.
It makes using your vehicle on extreme off-roading worry-free
The right grille guard reduces impacts and the damage your vehicle may experience in extreme off-road activities. This allows you to worry less and enjoy your off-road trips more, knowing you’ll be well-protected when faced with such situations.
It cuts down your auto repair expenses
Grille guards leave you with significantly less damage to take care of, which means fewer trips to the body shop and less automotive repair costs.
How much length does a grille guard add to a car?
This depends on the brand and style of the grille guard. Vehicle fitment matters as well. Grille guards can add as little as 4" and as long as 8" to the length of your vehicle. Choose according to how much parking space you have and how much length you are willing to work with.
How much is a grille guard?
At CarParts.com, grille guards range from $205 to $1,500. If you do not know how to install a grille guard, you should also factor in installation costs. To get the best fit for your vehicle, refine your search by indicating its make, model, and year in the search bar above. All parts and accessories are handpicked by automotive experts for guaranteed fit and optimum performance. CarParts.com only offers products from reputable brands, which takes the guesswork out of your shopping.
Things to Consider in Buying a Grille Guard
When you want to add tough looks and protection to the front end of your vehicle, buying a grille guard is always good idea. The following should help you make an informed decision when picking out your grille guard.
The function of the grille guard
The grille guard is used to fortify a vehicle's front end. Usually made from steel tubing, this accessory helps prevent front-end damage in the event of a collision. Aside from boosting the vehicle's front-end protection, this component can also be used for low-speed pushing. Its sturdy construction allows pushing with minimum risk for damage.
Another important function of the grille guard is that it's often used to mount auxiliary lights. For most off-road drivers, this is an important feature since maximum visibility is a requirement for this type of sport.
Different types of grille guards
Choosing a grille guard depends on how much protection you want for your vehicle's front end. Here are the five basic types of grille guards that you can choose from:
- Full front end grille guard- This grille guard provides maximum protection to a vehicle's front end. In some cases, full front-end grill guards are equipped with padded uprights to further cushion impact. These grille guards also feature brush guards for complete headlight protection.
- Center grille guard- This type of grille guard is essentially the same as a full front-end grille guard-the only thing missing are its brush guards. Center grille guards are perfect when mounting winches and auxiliary lights.
- Bumper guard- This grille guard is smaller and shorter compared to full front-end grille guards and center grille guards. Though it can provide adequate protection to the vehicle's bumpers, its location prevents this component from offering coverage to the headlights and upper grille.
- Skid plate- This type of guard is designed to provide protection to the underside of a vehicle. Skid plates are crafted from steel, and are usually attached to full front end grille guards and center grille guards.
Kinds of grille guard finish
These days, grille guards are offered in two kinds of finish: black powder-coat and highly polished. Black powder-coated grille guards offer better protection against corrosion, while highly polished grille guards offer a classic look to your vehicle.
The DIYer's Guide to Grille Guard Installation
If you want to give your truck or SUV an instant makeover while boosting its front end protection, then you need to invest in a high-quality grille guard. Grille guards provide instant protection to your headlights and grille, making them a popular addition to off-roading vehicles. In case you already have a new grille guard on hand, you can follow the instructions below to easily install your new auto accessory.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Tools that you'll need:
- Floor jack
- Pedestal jacks
- Grille guard kit
- Socket wrench
Step 1: Using your floor jack, raise the front end of your vehicle. Make sure the resting pad of the jack comes into contact with a solid frame of your vehicle. Never put the floor jack on the axle because it can cause the vehicle to fall down.
Step 2: Put a couple of pedestal jacks right behind the front wheels. The pedestal jacks are there for added safety, just in case the floor jack fails to handle the vehicle's weight.
Step 3: Check the front bumper of your vehicle for the mounting holes where the grille guard will be installed. If there are bolts or screws placed in the mounting holes, carefully remove them using a socket wrench.
Step 4: Check all the contents of the grille guard kit, and be sure read the installation instructions and reminders on the product manual.
Step 5: Align the grille guard's holes to the correct mounting holes in your vehicle. Grille guards are actually pretty heavy, so make sure you have someone who can help you execute this step.
Step 6: Use a washer with every mounting bolt to secure the grille guard in place. Tighten the bolts and make sure the grille guard is fastened properly.
Step 7: Lower the vehicle using your floor jack and pedestal jacks.