How To Shop for a Grille Guard

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They have many names: grille guards, bull bars, brush guards. Whatever the name, this exterior accessory guarantees to protect your truck’s front end while giving it a custom style.

And if you haven’t upgraded your vehicle with a new set of grille guards, it’s definitely something to consider.

We’re here to help with a quick guide on how to choose the best grille guard for your truck.

Step 1: How Much Coverage Do You Need?

The first important question to ask yourself when you’re shopping for grille guards is how much coverage you want to have.

Grill guards offer a variety of coverage options:

Full Grille Guards (just like the name suggests) offer complete front-end protection by covering the entire front length of the truck. This type of grill is most often constructed from two vertical members bolted to the vehicle’s frame. Attached on top of them are horizontal tubes which cover and protect the grille and the headlights.

Center Grille Guards are constructed in much the same way, excluding the frame which protects the front of your headlights. They protect most of your truck’s front end, and also offer the option to mount off-road lights as well as other accessories.

Bull Bars are most often used on serious off-roading machines. In the past, their main function was to assist the vehicle in climbing over rocks or extreme slopes by causing it to bounce up over the obstacle. They feature tubular steel hoops which mount under the grille.

Skid Plates protect the vehicle’s belly from scraping rocks and tough terrain during off-road driving. They are great for lowered vehicles with vulnerable undersides.

Step 2: What’s Your Preferred Style?

If you don’t plan on taking your truck off the road, choose a grille guard based on its style.

A full grille guard will give your truck a classic, rugged appearance. A center grille guard will give a more polished appearance. And a Euro-style grille will accent your truck’s lines.

You also have a lot of options when it comes to finishes. The pricy polished stainless steel is the most rugged option. Its characteristics also make it the most durable and corrosion-resistant finish. On the other hand, chrome plated and powdercoatd finishes will be great for complementing your truck’s unique style.

Step 3: Do You Want to Add Accessories?

Think about what accessories you want to add to your grille guard before making your final decision.

If you want to install additional auxiliary lights or mount a winch, you’ll want to get a grille guard that’s compatible.

The point is, if you know what you want you can make your life easier by purchasing a grille guard that comes pre-drilled for lights or can accept a winch.

The Industry's Top Grille Guards

Check out this list of our most popular grille guards to compare popular options.

grilles-1 WARN Trans4mer Grille Guards
WARN Trans4mer grille guards are needed as the secure base for the brand's versatile Trans4mer winch mounting system. They bolt on directly to your vehicle's frame, and act as the founration for all other Trans4mer accessories.
Style: Modular Full Grille Guard
Material: Steel
Finish: Powdercoated
Price: from $201.68
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grilles-2 Go Rhino 3000 Series StepGuards
The grille guards feature an innovative, patented built-in step for a secure and easy step-up access into your vehicle. The installation requires a simple frame-mount process, with no drilling necessary. They are backed by a 5-year manufacturer warranty.
Style: Modular Center Grille Guard
Material: Steel
Finish: Powdercoated
Price: from $452.26
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grilles-3 Westin HDX Winch Mount Grille Guards
The guards can accommodate the majority of available winches with ratings up to 16,500 lbs. line pull. They are available with a winch tray that is pre-drilled for winch mounting. You can also choose the optional low profile MAX Winch Tray Faceplate Tow Hooks.
Style: One-piece Full Grille Guards
Material: Steel
Finish: Powdercoated
Price: from $934.05
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grilles-4 Smittybilt Grille Savers
These Grille Savers will protect your off-road vehicle on any track and trail! The savers are constructed from 3" tubular steel, come packaged with a polished skid plate, and are pre-drilled for off-road lights. They guarantee an application-specific custom fit.
Style: One-piece Bull Bars
Material: Steel
Finish: Powdercoated
Price: from $250.81
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grilles-5 Mile Marker Extreme II Mount Winch Guards
These heavy-duty guards feature a built-in winch mount which is completely welded to ensure the highest level of integrity for winches rated up to 15,000 pounds. Available with a black powdercoat or chrome finish and optional headlight protector section.
Style: Modular Full Grille Guards
Material: Steel
Finish: Powdercoated or Chrome
Price: from $344.14
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grilles-6 Westin Ultimate Bull Bars
These Bull Bars will protect your grille from damage, while giving your vehicle a tough look. They are available with a stainless steel skid plate and two light tabs for mounting auxiliary lights. The bars come packaged with all required mounting hardware.
Style: Bull Bars
Material: Steel
Finish: Powdercoated or Chrome
Price: from $432.15
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Still can't decide which grille guard is best for your truck?
Drop us a line in the comments below and we'll help you figure it out!

2 Responses to How To Shop for a Grille Guard

  1. Rohn says:

    Can you recommend a (black) grille guard for a 2016 Ford Escape that is compatible with factory installed parking sensors?

    • TDot Performance says:

      Hi Rohn,
      The Ford Escape recently got a face-lift and this means most aftermarket manufacturers haven’t developed application specific products to fit the new front end. Westin offers a grille guard conveniently fits the 2016 model: Contour Safari Bar Ford Escape 2013-2016. Bear in mind they do not specify whether this product will interfere with parking sensors. We suggest you call them directly and speak with a tech to find out at this number: 1-800-345-8476.

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