Off-roading is an adventure of its own, but even upgrading your vehicle can be exciting. You have many choices for improving its performance, handling, safety, comfort and aesthetics. If you’re new to off-roading, you may be wondering about grille covers and how they differ from grille guards for trucks. In this brief guide, you’ll learn about grille covers’ functions and benefits.
What Is A Grille Cover?
You may know that a grille guard is a cage-like accessory that fits neatly over the bumper and grille. Most versions cover from the bottom of the front bumper up to just below the hood. Thanks to this design, grille covers can do their jobs while still allowing air to pass through and ventilate the engine.
On the other hand, grille covers use a completely different design. Instead of looking like a cage, a grille cover is a flat piece of material that fits over your grille to help regulate your engine’s temperature. They prevent cold air from passing right through the grille and impacting engine performance. Some products, such as the Fia grille cover, accommodate bug screens to prevent bugs from getting on your radiator and engine.
Grill Covers Can Prevent Truck Damage
How fast do you drive on off-road trails? It depends on the type of ground you’re covering. Snow, mud, rocks, standing water and heavy brush all pose their own challenges. Difficulty increases with technical trails, which means you need to go slower. And on extreme terrain such as what’s on the Rubicon Trail, your top speed may never surpass 5 MPH.
Moving slower may be a godsend when it comes to collisions. Logically, you have a higher risk of severe vehicle damage and injuries with collisions at high speeds. However, even hitting a deer at 20 MPH is no walk in the park. According to the latest statistics, around 80% of vehicle-wildlife collisions involve deer. But moose, elk, bears, coyotes and even stray dogs can wreak havoc on your vehicle. The larger the animal, the more likely you are to sustain physical injuries.
You may see the terms “grille cover” and “grille guard” used interchangeably, but there are key differences between the two. Depending on what models you buy, you can install both on your truck at the same time. A grille guard such as the Westin HDX is most effective during low-speed collisions, protecting your bumper and grille plus your headlights from serious damage.
Grille Guards Vs. Bull Bars
While shopping for truck accessories, you may also come across bull bars. These add-ons fit up and over the front bumper of your truck, paired with a skid plate to protect its vulnerable undercarriage from debris. Like grille guards, bull bars are primarily designed for off-road vehicles. They also help reduce severe damage in animal-vehicle collisions.
Grille guards, grille covers and bull bars all have their purposes and benefits. No matter which ones you purchase for your vehicle, make sure you shop at a reputable parts and accessories retailer specializing in off-roading products.