Stock Grilles vs. Aftermarket Grilles

Stock Grilles vs. Aftermarket Grilles

Your vehicle’s grille is one of its most defining exterior features. When it’s time to make modifications and repairs, you can go with options created by the manufacturer directly or choose an aftermarket part. Read on to learn the difference between stock grilles vs. aftermarket grilles when customizing your vehicle.

What Is a Grille?

An opening in the front of the car enables air to enter the engine compartment. The air cools the radiator and engine to prevent overheating.

Auto manufacturers place an accessory in the center front of vehicles called a grille to cover this hole. The grille allows air to circulate freely beneath the hood while shielding the engine from road debris like loose gravel. While some newer vehicles, like electric cars, don’t require them, they still use grilles for appearances.

Why Modify Your Grille

Whether you’re looking to change your car’s appearance, or you are OK with how it looks coming off the factory floor, you can benefit from changing up your grille. Here are some of the benefits of grille modifications.

Better Efficiency

The grille at the front of most automobiles is essential to having a properly functioning engine. If your grille is ineffective, your engine may begin to overheat, causing it to stall. It may also influence the lifespan of critical components if they get regularly exposed to high heat due to deficient performance. Customized grille designs enable as much air as possible to pass through your hood and near your engine, keeping it running at the proper temperature, even on sweltering days or long drives.


Your car is a mirror of you in many ways. The adjustments you make to your vehicle’s look can help it better represent how you want the rest of the world to perceive you. Custom grilles may dramatically improve your car’s outward appearance and give you complete control over form and function.

Protect Your Investment

While you want to keep any vehicle you own in pristine condition, you want to protect luxury and high-performance cars from suffering damage or mediocre performance. Manufactured stock parts like plastic grilles are vulnerable to pebbles, twigs, and other objects puncturing them. These objects can cause severe damage to front-mounted radiators or intercoolers and lead to overheating. Replacing these grilles with a better, more durable construction ensures your investment stays safe on the road.

Different Types of Grilles

When it comes to making changes to your vehicle, you should know the various options available to you. For example, each style of grille will offer multiple cosmetic and performance benefits for your car. Here are some of your choices when it comes to selecting a new grille for your vehicle.


Because of its brilliantly refined but straightforward appearance, the mesh grille is a popular choice for many luxury and sports automobiles. Depending on the intricacy of the design, this external ornament is produced with a single plate, woven, or fused.

Mesh grilles are available with a metal polish, chrome finish, or a black powder coating. You will typically choose between two distinct types of mesh. The first is a fine mesh, and the second is a heavy mesh.

Because the fine mesh threads are tighter together, it exudes a more sophisticated feeling. By contrast, the weaving of thick mesh patterns gets more spaced out, thereby giving it a more rugged look.


CNC, which stands for computer numerically controlled, grilles are easily customized to your specifics because computer-operated machines manufacture them at each step of the process. You can shape and designed your car’s grille in any way you choose, including elaborate patterns and complex shapes. Even the grille’s finishing and jagged edges receive meticulous attention.

A CNC grille is an excellent choice for people who like to have complete control over the different aesthetic aspects of their vehicle. For example, you can make a grille with flames shooting out of the front exterior or even a spiderweb with intricate patterns spanning outwards. You can accomplish virtually any kind of complex design with precision down to the last detail.


The billet pattern is often composed of thin lines with a few thick lines in the center. The phrase originated from the billet formed when aluminum and iron get refined. Billet grilles are the most common style for aftermarket parts you will run across in your searches.

Stainless steel and aluminum get widely used in the production of billet grilles. There are also ABS plastic variants, although metal versions are the most common. Like the mesh style, they typically come with a metal polish, chrome plating, and powder coat in a color of your choosing.

There are two distinct styles of billet grilles available to choose from: horizontal and vertical billet grille. The horizontal kind has thin bars piled with a few heavy bars horizontally, while the vertical form has vertical bars.

Grille Guards

When deciding on a new grille for your vehicle, you should also consider adding a grille guard. Grille guards shield the front end of your car from scratches and detail damage from high grass, pebbles, and other materials that can get kicked up in the air while you’re on the road. They can also prevent serious harm to yourself and others in case of a collision with another vehicle or animal.

Which Should You Choose?

Ultimately, when it comes to stock grilles vs. aftermarket grilles, your choice will come to your satisfaction with your vehicle’s performance and appearance. Some people are fine with the parts the manufacturer placed on their car, even if the quality and appearance aren’t to their liking. On the other hand, aftermarket parts give you more control over different performance features and design choices.

American Modified has everything you need when you’re looking to replace grilles or make other modifications to your car. We have an extensive range of performance and modification components for many different vehicles, including Ford F150 parts and accessories, among many others. Feel free to contact us with any questions about our products.

Stock Grilles vs. Aftermarket Grilles
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