Sports cars are more powerful, more attractive, and also more expensive than standard models. In fact, most sports cars are too expensive for many people to buy. The extra money brings in more power, better handling, exotic materials, and cutting edge technology. Because of the very powerful engines in sports cars, their bodies have certain features to handle the stress and the heat. These range from tougher materials to better aerodynamics.
Vents and mesh grilles, though they are usually present on other cars as well, are more prominent, and sometimes more numerous, on sports cars. There are several ways drivers can customise non-sport cars and make them look like sports cars. However, one of the simplest is by adding vents, or by replacing existing vents and grilles. Buyers should know what types of sports-themed meshes and vents are available, and how to choose the right ones for their cars. Finally, they must know how to find and purchase mesh grilles and vents from a reliable source.
What are Meshes and Vents For?
Engines lose power when they heat up too much. Keeping them cool is essential. This becomes even more important if the car is a sports car in a race, with a powerful engine generating a lot of heat. In most cars, vents are used to direct cool air towards the engine or radiator. The vents may be located on the front and side of the car, or in some cases, on the hood. The vents in the front of a car are usually one large, central vent for the engine or radiator, and smaller vents lower down that are used to cool the front brakes. Many cars also have small vents in the back to cool the rear brakes. Almost all cars with high performance engines have vents on their hoods (also called scoops) to force more air into the engine. Another type of vent is called a "roof scoop" and is mainly used to cool the interior of rally cars.
Grilles are used to cover vents, and protect engines, radiators, or other components from debris and projectiles that could damage them. The grilles are open enough to allow airflow, but they stop larger objects from passing through. A car's grille is often used as a design feature as well. An example is BMW's recognisable, kidney-shaped grille. Mesh grilles are a type of grille made of woven mesh.
Types of Sports-Themed Meshes and Vents
Owners of non-sports cars can quickly and easily give them a sporty look by using sports-themed meshes and vents. There are several different types available, classified based on material used, method of fastening, finishing, and style.
Vents are part of a car's body. Adding new air vents that are functional would require the removal of some part of the existing body. However, if the purpose is to make a car look sporty, there are vents called "simulated vents" which can easily be attached to a car's body. These include hood scoops, roof scoops, side scoops, and side vents. They are not functional, but they look like authentic vents. Buyers should know that non-functional scoops may degrade the performance of a car by increasing drag.
Grilles Classified by Mounting Location
Buyers looking for aftermarket grilles of any type, including mesh grilles, may find them classified based on the location they are made for. The following are the most common locations for mounting grilles. They correspond to the standard locations for the different vents in a car.
- Radiator grille
- Front bumper skirt grille
- Rear bumper skirt grille
- Fender grilles, also called "brake ventilation duct covers"
- Hood scoop grille
- Roof grille
- Boot grille (for rear engine vehicles)
Different Grille Fastening Methods
There are two common fastening methods used when installing aftermarket grilles. The "bolt over style" is easier to install as compared to the "replacement style". Buyers should consider their skills with tools, or the availability of a mechanic, when choosing grilles based on fastening methods.
Bolt-on Overlay Style
Bolt over style grilles are simply bolted over the existing manufacturer's grille, hence the name. No drilling or cutting is required. The installation is simple, taking about 30 minutes to complete, and makes use of hidden bolts, brackets and clamps. This style may not be as neat as using replacement style grilles since the original grille can be seen below the new grille.
Replacement style grilles are installed after the original grille is removed. This style requires some drilling and cutting. Most grille manufacturers provide instructions, but if buyers are not comfortable with the task, they should have the grille installed by a professional.
Different Grille Patterns
There are two types of grille patterns: billet grilles and mesh grilles. Billet grilles are machined grilles. The most common type of billet grille is the bar billet grille. Mesh grilles are made from woven mesh, typically stainless steel. Mesh grilles are used on high-speed cars, and adding a mesh grille to a car can give it a sports car look.
Materials Used for Vents and Grilles
Different materials are used by manufacturers to make vents and grilles for cars. They each have different appearances and characteristics. The three most commonly used materials are described below.
Most factory installed grilles are made of this material
Plasticity increased by casting ABS plastic with different admixtures
Malleable and ductile
Can easily be shaped
More durable than aluminium
Ideal for off-road driving
Most aftermarket mesh grilles are made of aluminium or stainless steel. The grilles are available in a range of different finishes and styles.
The Different Grille Finishes
Buyers can choose from a range of grille finishes to suit their cars, and tastes. In fact, when it comes to custom finishes, there are so many types that a comprehensive list is not possible. In most cases, the finish is not dependent on the type of material used.
Type of Grille Finish
Made of aluminium or stainless steel
Base material may be ABS plastic
Chrome top layer
Powder coated grilles
Grainy surface obtained by sputtering
Many different styles
A type of custom finish
The frame, the mesh, or both may be painted
Mesh is usually painted the same colour as the body
Frame is usually painted in a contrasting colour
When it comes to choosing custom finishes, there are infinite options. There are numerous manufacturers who specialise in making custom grilles for many different types of cars. Most of them offer unique finishes, like leopard skin grille finishes, for example.
Choosing Sports-Themed Meshes and Vents
Most aftermarket mesh grille manufacturers make grilles for specific car models. When choosing a sports-themed mesh or vent, the first thing to do is find the ones that match the car. Once buyers know what is available for that particular model, they can then choose the one that best suits their tastes and requirements.
Finding Sports-Themed Meshes and Vents on eBay
Buyers looking for sports-themed meshes and vents can choose from a wide collection on eBay. There are grille meshes and vents suitable for many different types of cars. To quickly find an item, buyers can use the search bar on the eBay home page. The search bar is also available on other pages on the site. If the results of a search are too many, buyers can find more relevant results by adding descriptive keywords to the search term. For example, a search for "aluminium racing grille mesh" lists fewer, more relevant results, than a general search for "grille mesh".
Since it is impossible to handle an item when buying online, buyers should ask sellers if they have any questions regarding the item. Buyers must also review a seller's return or exchange policy in case an item does not meet expectations. Buyers can save on postage and shipping costs by choosing sellers nearby and arranging for a local pickup.
Sports cars with high performance engines require more cooling as compared to standard vehicles. As a result, they usually have a higher number of vents. High speed cars also make use of mesh grilles to cover these vents. Sport cars are fast, powerful, and handle well. They are also expensive and beyond the reach of the average person. However, it is possible to give any car a sportier look by using sports-themed meshes and vents. Buyers should know that aftermarket hood, side, or roof vents do not improve the performance of their cars, and in most cases actually degrade performance because of added drag.
Mesh grilles, on the other hand, do not degrade performance, and can make a car look different. There are different types of grilles and they may be classified based on how they are attached to a car, their material, their finish, or their pattern. Buyers looking for sports-themed meshes and vents online can choose from a diverse collection on eBay.