Grille Guards On Cars – Would You Do It?

Grille guards, or bumper guards, are popular on trucks and SUVs, probably because they’re so darn useful. You can use them to protect your truck or SUV’s front end from animal strikes, damage while off-roading, etc. Truck and SUV owners also like grille guards because they look tough (check out this Westin Grille Guard – nice, right?), and looking tough is never a bad thing.

But what about cars? More and more car owners are mounting grille guards on their vehicles – do they belong?

Grille Guards - Mercedes

Image found on

What’s a Grille Guard Actually Supposed to Do?

While the name “grille guard” implies that these accessories protect a vehicle’s grille from damage, that’s not always their purpose. For most users, grille guards do one or more of the following:

  • Increase durability of the front end, particularly against animal strikes (eg, hitting a deer or elk on a rural road) and off-road obstacles (like stray tree branches)
  • Give vehicle owners a way to push objects without damaging bodywork
  • Provide a mounting point for additional lighting and/or a winch
  • The often look really nice

To be fair, there’s debate among automotive enthusiasts about the purposes outlined above. A cheap or poorly designed grille guard (and there are a few of those on the market) isn’t really capable of protecting the vehicle if/when an animal strike occurs, and these low quality units do almost nothing in the event of a crash. A lot of lower quality grille guards bend when they’re used to push, and some of them don’t stand up to the elements without rusting or pitting.

Sidebar: This is why StreetSideAuto recommends buying a high quality grille guard.  The “savings” you get on a low quality grille usually comes back to haunt you.

One the other side of the coin, some say that grille guards work a little too well. Many wonder if putting a grille guard on a vehicle makes them dangerous and increases the odds of injury to passengers in other vehicles if involved in an accident.

But the real question is, if there’s a debate about the usefulness of a grille guard on a truck, there’s got to be a debate about the usefulness of one on a car.

When Grille Guards on Cars Might Make Sense

Here’s probably the strongest case anyone can make for mounting grille guards on cars: nearly every police car has them. Police cars have push bars and/or grille guards because they sometimes need to push cars out of the roadway, and on rare occasions police officers will use their cars to execute the famous “Pit Maneuver.”

But what about civilian cars – do they need a grille guard? A good grille guard can protect your lights and bumper cover if you were to hit something like an animal or tree branch. if you have a need for extra lighting on your car, a grille guard could come in handy for that too. But it’s admittedly hard to imagine most car owners needing a grille guard…

Examples of Guards on Cars

Grille Guards - Mustang
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After searching online through forums, I’ve found that most people who put grille guards on their cars are intent upon creating a certain look.

Grille Guards - Small Car

Image found on Flickr

Just like with any accessory, on any vehicle, there’s always the overdone ones out there. The oversized ones and the make shift grille guards are the hardest to look at.

Grille Guards - Off Road

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Others you can look at and their function is obvious.

Grille Guards - Corvette
Grille Guards - Corvette

Corvette images courtesy

Then there’s the gray area, I’ll let you decide about this one…

Grille Guards - Makeshift

Image found on

The Question Remains…

What we want to know is, would you ever put a grille guard on your car? Why or why not?

4 Replies to “Grille Guards On Cars – Would You Do It?”

  1. I want to put a grille guard on my van because I work at night delivering products in rural areas and have hit deer twice. Last hit totaled my van. When I replace it I will be getting a grille guard.

  2. Most bull bars, grille guards are designed for trucks and SUVs, there’re not many products specially designed for cars. If people need to buy protection for their car bumpers, they always have to buy those rubber bumper protectors instead of grille guard.

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