Boosting the aesthetic appeal of your vehicle while adding some much-needed protection to it can be easily done with a few simple parts thanks to the great advances in the automotive industry nowadays. And that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about in today’s blog post – the aim of every accessory in this guide is to improve your vehicle’s looks and provide a greater level of protection. There are a lot of factors that you need to consider before making the right choice when it comes to these parts, which is why I created this simple guide for you.
Most people wouldn’t consider having a front grille other than the OEM, but I’m sure you know better. There are a lot of different grille styles and since none of the automotive parts in this guide can be customized that much, it’s safe to say that grilles are the most distinctive upgrade on your vehicle. Mesh grilles are the most popular type due to their interlaced design which contains metal rods crisscrossing each other. This simple and elegant design can usually be found on sports cars but you can also install them on any other type of vehicle.
They come in various materials, such as stainless steel, aluminium, ABS plastic, with a chrome finish and polished metal which gives them a more luxurious look. For a more rugged look, you can go for heavy mesh weave grilles which have the pattern set farther apart. Billet grilles, on the other hand, are completely different from mesh grilles since they feature either horizontally or vertically positioned bars that remind of a billet. Both of these types will give your vehicle a cleaner, minimalistic and more elegant look.
Vertically positioned billets usually go best with vehicles that have a tall grille. Horizontal billets can create an illusion that the billet is floating in the air if you go for one that has a polished bright metal on the edge of the front bars and a black powder coat in the background areas. There are also CNC style grilles which are what makes grilles so customizable, allowing you to have any type of design right on the grille – spider webs, punch style, and flame-like shapes.
These automotive parts will definitely add some flair to your ride as there are four different types to choose from. The most commonly used fender flares on 4×4’s are the rivet-style flares which give your vehicle an even beefier look and, of course, an extra wheel coverage. The extra-wide fender flares, which may not be the most appealing model, offer the best protection – preventing stone chips, gravel, and mud from making your vehicle a mess. While cut-out flares require some skill and experience to install them, they are a good fit if you want to have bigger tires and to explore the outback in a more adventurous style. Street style fender flares give your vehicle a more integrated look than its counterparts while also offering a solid level of protection – you can even have them match your car’s colour.
While you may think that rims and wheels are the same things, these automotive parts are actually quite different. The wheel is the disc which sits on the hub and the rim is a part of the wheel or in this case disc. What you need to know before you head out and get new rims is their size, types, material, and design. You can have either multi-piece rims or single-piece ones and while the latter ones are cheaper, they are not as easy to replace as the former. In order for the rims to fit your vehicle, you’ll need to know the diameter, width, the number of bolts, the bolt pattern and lug pattern.
These automotive parts can be found in either aluminum or steel. Aluminum is more lightweight than steel, which means it contributes to a better fuel economy. On the other hand, steel rims are more durable but they don’t make the ride so smooth. Although they can improve performance, vehicle aesthetics can also be improved with popular options like chrome rims that add shine to your car and all-black wheels which give it a sportier look.
Bumper lips or valance panels are narrow pieces placed usually under the front bumper or only on the corners in order to provide an aerodynamic airflow. Sometimes they are installed just to improve the vehicle’s appeal without enhancing aerodynamics and some provide protection for the radiator. Older vehicles usually have steel bumper lips because their bumpers are made of steel and newer vehicles come with plastic bumper lips that go with either steel or chrome bumpers. With metal bumper lips you’ll definitely get the best protection and look but they need to be installed by a professional. Plastic ones won’t give you headaches when it comes to the installation but they can easily crack from potholes or parking lot stops, especially if you get low-hanging lips.