Replacing Your Truck Grille? Three Ways to Customize This Common Auto Part

Most trucks and cars come with a grille installed. No, not the type of grill on which you cook food--this is the protective grille on the front of the vehicle and right under the hood. This part allows more outside air to be exchanged with the heat from the engine, acting as a natural radiator of sorts. You still need the radiator inside the engine, but the grille provides an extra source of cooling power. If your grille on your truck is damaged, or you simply do not like the looks of the factory-installed one, there are a few ways to customize this auto part. 

Super-Shiny Chrome

Chrome, in silver, gold tone, or brushed nickel, all make a grille look really nice. When it is highly-polished, a chrome grille can even make an old truck look new again. Most auto accessory stores will carry the silver chrome grilles, but if you want a grille in another chrome color, you may have to special order it. The processes by which these chrome colors are applied take time, so if you do have to special order your new grille, expect a wait of about a week or two.

Electroplated Paint Color

Another way to customize your grille is with electroplated paint color. For this process, a bare metal grille is exposed to electricity and plated with a special paint that adheres to the metal and becomes part of the "skin" of the grille. Almost any color can be used, but the most popular colors are white, gray, navy, black, and red. If you want a more exotic color, like pink, for instance, that takes a little extra time to create, and it could cost you a lot more because it is a custom color.


A new trend surfacing is to take woods commonly used in creating luxury features for luxury cars and using it on the outside of the vehicle. A wood grille is very distinct, and fun and unusual touches can be added to the grille panels (e.g. carvings). To make sure the wood grille stands the test of time, it is stained and sealed with a heat-resistant and weather-resistant coating. This type of grille appeals to outdoorsy types, since it easily blends in with the woods and trees and does not cause excess reflection at night. Deer and other animals are also less likely to be caught off guard by a non-reflective wood grille than a reflective chrome one.