Why buy a grille guard?
- Add tough looks that bring a serious dose of attitude and style to your front end
- Protect the delicate, expensive parts on your vehicle behind rugged steel bars that deflect potential hazards, serving as automotive rock guards
- Come in a number of shapes and styles, from standard push bars to sleek euro-shaping that follows your vehicle’s lines
- Boost your versatility to hold auxiliary lighting or a winch
A guide to the tough looks of a grille guard
It’s true that a solid grille guard serves a number of functions and utilities for your truck or SUV. Still, most people get one for looks. Adding a grille guard to your ride unmistakably means that you and your truck or SUV mean business.
Grille guards earn this reputation with their rugged construction. Employing various diameters of steel tubing bolted to heavy-duty uprights , a grille guard looks like a high-strength facemask for your vehicle. Full front end grille guards even wrap over your headlights, too – extending the appearance package across your vehicle.
There’s finish options on most grille guards, too. Generally, you have your choice of a smooth black powder coat that resists chips, scratches and ugly corrosion. Or, many grille guards offer a top-shelf polished stainless steel or chrome plated finish that oozes style.
Grille guards and front-end protection: the basics
Grille guards don’t just look tough – beneath the finish is true strength that works to keep your front end unharmed in a number of sticky driving situations. The strength is derived from both the materials used to make the guard and the way it’s mounted.
Forget soft, lightweight metal – steel is king for making a grille guard. Most of the grille guards AutoAnything offers thick-wall steel tubing for all bars and light covers, plus rugged steel sheets for the uprights. And, the entire assembly bolts directly to existing holes in your frameusing sturdy metal brackets for strength and rigidity, not to mention ease of installation.
How tough is your grille guard? It’s safe to say that attempting to drive through barriers, ramming still objects or other cars, and high-speed pushing shouldn’t be tried. However, a grille guard will safely absorb minor impacts and accomplish low-speed pushing with ease. Not to mention effective coverage against airborne road debris, rocks, and stray parking lot menaces like shopping carts.
Full front end grille guards protect another sensitive part on your front end: the headlights. If one of these gets cracked, replacement can be quite costly. Considering the automakers’ trend toward more expensive headlights, replacing a busted one can jam you for almost the cost of a grille guard. Part of your guard’s value is simply preventing expensive body shop bills or replacement parts expenses by putting tough steel in the way of potential damagers. Since your lights will be sitting pretty behind your grille guard, you might want to consider picking up a set of eye-catching aftermarket headlights.
The basics of grille guard shapes and styles
The Grille Guard
While looking at or researching grille guards, you may have heard of a brush guard. This term is sometimes an alternate name for the entire grille guard or refers to the headlight guard portion of a grille guard.
Whatever grille guard shape and style you want, AutoAnything probably has it. We showcase every kind of grille guard, from full front end beasts to small nudge bars to intricate winch grille guards. Plus, there’s standard-shaped utility designs and euro-inspired sleek models that reflect your vehicle’s styling lines.
Full front end grille guards
The original front-end protector boasts solid uprights bolted to your frame. Some grille guard models feature padded uprightsfor damage-free pushing. Bolted to the uprights typically is a bar for mounting auxiliary lights, a top hood guard bar, and shaped headlight guards (aka brush guards).
Center grille guards
The center grille guard features the same assembly as a full front end grille guard without the shaped headlight guards. They make for solid impact protection, excellent winch or lightmounting and great looks without the dominating size of their bigger brothers.
Nudge bars and sport bars
Crafted primarily for subdued looks and style, nudge and sport bar grille guards offer solid low-speed impact protection. Their short design, however, prevents these grille guards from protecting your upper grille and headlight areas.
Laying low to guard against a vehicle’s most frequently hit area, bumper guards boast padded uprights and steel tubing to stop minor fender benders from creating a $2,000 damage tab. Plus, they’re the ideal safeguard against oblivious parking lot drivers and disaffected municipal workers. Front and rear bumper guards are available for duty.
A few of AutoAnything’s full front end grille guards and center guards can be ordered with a skid plate. These tough guards, crafted from steel sheets or tubing, attach to the bottom of the grille guard for ground clearance protection. Anything you drive over—from tree trunks to parking barriers—will hit the skid plate instead of your sensitive underside parts. Not to mention the looks. A skid plate is the exclamation point on your vehicle’s frontal attitude.
Tail light guards
Ever had to replace a tail light on account of a stray rock, wayward baseball or misguided vandal? Tail light guardssurround them with a durable steel tubing perimeter and rolled steel crossbars. Tail light guards match the look of your front grille guard, and add to the tough style package on your truck or SUV.
Mounting accessories to your grille guard: quick advice
A grille guard can be a great utility station for your vehicle. There’s a multitude of lighting options which can be mounted to the center bar. Or, for off-road enthusiasts and the perpetually prepared, many grille guards can be equipped with winch mounting plates.
Most of our full front end and center grille guards come pre-drilled for attaching auxiliary lighting to the center bar. This includes driving lights, fog lights and off-road lights, which fit in a prime position for brightening the road and wiring to your vehicle’s electrical system.
Winches can be rigged to most any grille guard, but they’re best used with winch-specific grille guards and mounting systems that maximize pulling power. Winch-specific grille guards require more solid mounting to your vehicle’s frame , a task that can require cutting, drilling, two or more extra people for help, and several hours time. AutoAnything keeps its winch grille guards with other winch accessories, because these grille guards are best used by the frequent wincher and are not worth the hassle otherwise.
See our winch-specific grille guards in our winches department.
Advice on selecting the right grille guard for your truck or SUV
Selecting a grille guard for your truck or SUV is largely based on personal preference. Aside from that, there’s a few other things to consider, including:
- How much front end coverage you want
- The grille guard and style that looks best on your vehicle
- The finish color that looks best on your SUV
- The additional parts that fill out your vehicle’s tough looks package
- What other accessories you want to mount to your grille guard
How much front-end coverage do you want?
- If you want the most possible front end protection, get a full front end grille guards. Our lineup of these grille guards is extensive, and you can pick from such big-name brands as Manik, WAAG and Westin.
- When you want protection without overly-dominating looks, grab a center grille guard. Steer a course over to companies like T&H, Putco and Go Rhino for a quality center grille guard.
- For the best looks-only grille guards, select a nudge bar or sport bar. Go with Aries, Manik or T&H when you want a clean-fitting nudge or sport bar.
Which grille guard style looks best on your vehicle?
This one’s up to you—pick the grille guard that looks best for your front end. There are standard front end guards, shaped euro-style guards, and subdued single bar models. It’s all about decoration, and it’s all your choice.
- If you want the original, toughest-looking grille guard, grab a full front end grille guard.
- For smaller style that keeps a tough appearance, get a center grille guard.
- When sleek shaping that follows your vehicle’s lines, get a euro-style grille guard in a full front end, center or sport bar grille guard.
Which finish color looks best with your truck or SUV?
Grille guard come in two distinct finish looks: durable black powder coat and highly-polished. Polished models are either chrome plated over steel or feature a mirror-polish of stainless steel . Each of these finishes is available on front end grille guards and tail light guards.
- When you want the original tough grille guard look, go with a powder coatblack finish model.
- For extra shine that matches your chrome and other trim, pick a polished grille guard.
- If you want the best coverage against corrosion, select a stainless steel or chrome plated polished grille guard.
Do you want just a front guard, or more matching protection and looks?
Don’t forget about the rest of your vehicle. The tough looks and protection of a grille guard extends to more than just your front end. Matching taillight guards and even side steps are available with most grille guards. Don’t forget bumper guards, too. They can do your rear end some good!
- If you want the same combination of protection and looks over your tail lights, grab a set of tail light guards.
- For extra protection of your backside, pick-up a bumper guard to go with your grille guard.
- For the complete rugged looks package, a grille guard, tail light guards and matching nerf bars are in order.
What do you want to mount to your grille guard?
Grille guards are incredibly versatile for mounting accessories. Auxiliary lights, such as driving lights, fog lights or off-road lights, and winches are the most common items mounted to a grille guard.