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Car Grilles: Aesthetics and Function?

Car Grilles: Aesthetics and Function? 



In automotive technology, a grille covers an opening in the body of a vehicle, allowing air to enter and exit. Most vehicles have grilles on the front of the vehicle to protect the engine radiators. Grilles evolved from the installation of gravel shields to protect exposed radiators, which were first used on cars in the early 1930s.

The original purpose of the front grille was to generate air flow under the bonnet to cool the engine. Our brain imagines the front of a car as a face, with headlights and grille as its mouth so designers worked out this idea to give the car a certain look.

Most people think of a car grille as only an aesthetic part of the vehicle but the function of this car part is more than that. So, what are the other functions of a car grille?

Air Circulation Helper

Covering the car's front end, the grille allows air to get through its gaps. So, while protecting the engine from road debris, its main function is to help air circulation in the engine room - allowing the air to cool the moving parts under the hood. Acting as a supportive role to the radiator, the air that comes through the grille cools the temperature of the water in the radiator to avoid overheating.

Aid Aerodynamics

Integrated into a vehicle's aerodynamics, the car grille's design aids aerodynamics by shifting the air through the grille, the side, and top of the vehicle, reducing the impact of air resistance greatly. Without an opening, air resistance would build-up against a vehicle and impact its speed.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the different kinds of grilles there are based on their design. 

Mesh Grilles


A simple and elegant type of grille, the mesh grille is the grille of choice for many of the world's biggest luxury and sports car brands. On the OEM and aftermarket sphere, these grilles are always in high demand. Depending on the complexity of the design of the grille, this external car accessory is either made in one plate or is bonded through.



Mesh grilles can come in many different types of materials: aluminium, stainless steel, ABS plastic, etc. One thing for certain with these types of grilles is that regardless of their material they will come with a chrome finish, metal polish or a powder coating - usually black.


The two types of mesh that you can get are fine mesh and heavy mesh. The main difference between the two is that heavy mesh designs give off an elegant vibe for the car because the design of the weaves is closer together. On the other hand, in the heavy mesh designs the weaves are further apart which results in a  more macho vibe for the car.


Billet Grilles 


When shopping for aftermarket models, you’ll probably come across billet grilles the most. Billet grilles are usually built from either high-stock aluminum or steel. The high quality material serves as an extra layer of protection for your vehicle while also adding a polished finish. This design is usually thin lines with a few thick lines in the middle. 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. 


Some of the wide variety of grilles available at Trade Vehicle Parts: 





Alfa Romeo 147 2001-2005 Front Main Grille Black With Chrome



Ford Transit Connect 2009-2013 Main Centre Front Grille



Land Rover Discovery 4 Facelift 2013-2017 Front Main Grille Black



Mercedes A-Class W176 2012-2015 Front Bumper Lower Centre Grille

  Find The Exact Parts For Your Vehicle


To sum up, we can see that a vehicle’s grille is a fundamental part of a car’s look. But beyond that, grilles play a role in cooling down your car’s engine, improving its speed and performance. You can find a large range of grilles at affordable prices right here in our store. With our VRM Lookup you can find the parts that only suit your vehicle - no more hustling around!

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