When I got my first car twenty years ago, I was clueless when it came to maintaining it and keeping it in a roadworthy condition. As a result, I had to pay for costly repairs that could have been avoided if the car had been looked after better. I learned my lesson and started reading everything I could about basic car maintenance. I started this blog to share what I've learned in the hopes it will save other new drivers making costly mistakes. I blog about a variety of topics, such as troubleshooting uneven tyre wear, the benefits of regular servicing and maintaining your car during the winter months. I hope you find my blog useful.
Nudge bars are installed in the front of the vehicle to protect it when you take it off-roading or when you're driving in rough terrain. The bars nudge or tamp down vegetation and brush in front of your vehicle so you can drive through it better, and also offer protection from something getting stuck in the front grill. There are many different types of these nudge bars available, from full grill guards to just simple bull bars installed in the front of your car, so note a few of their differences and some tips for choosing between them.
1. Full grill guards
Full grill guards wrap slightly around the sides of your vehicle, over and around the headlights. This offers maximum protection for these lights, so they don't get scratched or cracked from vegetation or brush hitting the side of the vehicle as it gets tamped down. If you have aftermarket lights installed and want to protect them when off-roading, full grill guards are the best choice.
Note, however, that full grill guards may be heavier than other types of guards and may weigh down your vehicle. If you drive a lightweight truck or SUV and want a full grill guard, choose aluminum over steel so you know your vehicle can manage this added weight.
2. Center grill guards
Center grill guards may not protect your vehicle's headlights very well, since they're installed just in the center of the vehicle and not over and around the lights. If you have aftermarket lights installed and it would be expensive to replace one if it got cracked or scratched, a center guard may not be a sufficient choice. However, center grill guards can be more lightweight than full grill guards so they may be better for lighter vehicles if you prefer steel over aluminum. They also don't have the dominant look of a full grill guard; if you don't want a guard to detract from the body of your vehicle, opt for a simple center grill guard.
3. Bull bars
Bull bars are often considered more subtle than actual grill guards, as these are just a bar that curves around the center of your vehicle's front and then attaches under the bumper. They can be better for when you don't want a full guard to detract from its overall look. However, since a bull bar is just one bar that curves around the front of your vehicle, it doesn't offer the same protection as actual grill guards, which are usually several horizontal bars that provide a barrier across a vehicle's grill. A bull bar may not stop vegetation from actually getting stuck in the grill of your vehicle, so be cautious about choosing one if you often go off-roading through areas with thick brush.