The Different Types of Car Grilles: Top Reasons to Install One

car grille

Your vehicle’s grille is one of its most defining features, and one of the first things that people notice. In fact, a well-designed model can be the identity of an entire brand, which is why both manufacturers and owners take them seriously, whether for aesthetic or functional reasons. People who aren’t car-savvy might wonder “Why do cars have grills?” Well, besides enhancing the aesthetics of your car, they also improve the ventilation of the engine’s compartment and prevent overheating. Some models also offer extra protection, especially when driving off the beaten track.

There are three basic types – mesh, billet and CNC grilles. All of them are different in terms of appearance and performance. If you’re looking to buy a new car grille for your vehicle, you should get a good understanding of the differences between the different types so that you can make a well-informed buying decision.

Mesh Grilles

mesh grille

These are simple and elegant, which is why many of the world’s largest sports and luxury car brands have chosen them. They are always in high demand in the aftermarket and OEM sphere. Mesh grilles are made of either a single plate or are bonded or weaved through, depending on the complexity of the design. They can be made using a range of materials, the most common of which are ABS plastic, aluminium and stainless steel.

However, no matter what material they’re made of, most grilles come with a metal polish, a powder coating that’s usually black, or a chrome finish. You can also decide between a heavy mesh and a fine mesh. The difference between the two types is simple – fine mesh weavers are closer together, meaning they’ll give your vehicle an elegant feel, whereas heavy mesh designs are further apart, giving your vehicle a more rugged feel. The ideal one for you will come down to personal preference.

Billet Grilles

billet grille

When shopping for aftermarket models, you’ll probably come across billet grilles the most. They feature thin lines with a couple of thick lines in the middle. The term ‘billet’ was coined from the billet that forms when iron and aluminium are purified. Billet grilles are typically made of aluminium or stainless steel. Even though there are ABS plastic versions as well, the metal ones are more popular. Similarly to mesh grilles, billet grilles come with a chrome plating, metal polish or powder coat. Furthermore, they come in two types – horizontal and vertical. As their name implies, horizontal billet grilles feature thin bars stacked with a few heavy bars horizontally, whereas vertical models feature vertical bars.

CNC Grilles

cnc grille

Computer numerically controlled grills are manufactured with the help of a computer. This means that you can shape and design your vehicle’s grille however you want, including intricate patterns and shapes. Even the finishing of the grille and the rough edges are all glossed over with extreme precision. In other words, you can get a personalised model for your vehicle to make it stand out from the crowd.

If you’ve decided you want to get a new car grille, then you should also consider getting a protector (guard). Grille guards are extremely useful accessories that can improve the functionality, safety and appearance of your vehicle. Here are a few reasons why you should consider investing in a guard.

First and foremost, they work well with other accessories, such as tow hooks and auxiliary lights. You can install extra driving, fog or off-road lights on your vehicle, as long as you’re certain the grille can host them without becoming a safety hazard. Next, they can protect your front end in minor accidents and if you come in collision with an animal like a kangaroo. Basically, grille guards offer similar protection to bullbars. In some events, you can even use them to slowly push a sedentary object away. While this may damage your guard’s finish, it’s a good way to make your way around the bush.

However, keep in mind that this only applies to low-impact, low-speed crashes. In a high-impact, high-speed crash, the guard can be crushed back into the grille, and it may actually damage it more. These products aren’t designed to allow you to drive around and just slam into things. They’re designed to look tough and protect your vehicle from minor glancing damage.

You can find a large range of car grilles for sale and grille guards online at affordable prices. You can opt to install them yourself or have them installed by a mechanic. While installing them yourself is a relatively simple endeavour, it does require some basic tools and skills. If you don’t possess the necessary tools and skills, the job is best left to an experienced mechanic. Although a professional installation may cost extra money, it won’t break your bank, and you’ll have peace of mind that everything is fitted properly.