The grille in and of itself has many applications and uses, most of which people in general are not aware. When such an object with such a universal application (in this case, ventilation, among other uses) exists, it is easy to underestimate its myriad uses.
Designed to be a piece of metal, or occasionally another material, in which slits are made to allow passage of water or air but prevent larger objects from getting in or out, grilles are used in cars, factories, office buildings, and more. Although the word is of French derivation, we spell it with the ‘e’ at the end in order to distinguish it from the grill, that appliance crucial to the most American of pastimes – the barbecue.
In their use for cars, grilles allow air to circulate around the radiator and engine, to prevent overheating. Usually placed in the front of the vehicle, the grille can often be styled to go along with the car’s aesthetic design. As well as designing the interior a specific way, and painting it a certain color, a car can also be improved by a fancy or ornate grille. Depending on the make of the car – Cadillac, Jeep, Fusion – and whether or not you want to pay to have it personalized, the grille on your vehicle can appear in many different ways.
Grilles do not necessarily have to be at the front of the car. Depending on where they are mounted, their names and functions can change. The front grille, also known as the radiator grille, was the one described above; there are also bumper skirt grilles in the front and rear, fender grills, which provide ventilation for the brakes, the hood scoop grill, and roof or trunk grilles if the engine is in the rear of the car.
The “style” of the grille can also be one of two designs: the OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, design, and the custom design, designing it to the specifications of the purchaser. Obviously, the standard grille made by the original company will generally be less expensive than a custom-made one. If you are looking to purchase or reinstall a grille in your vehicle as inexpensively as possible, avoid looking to soup it up at all.
Although the functions of grilles in cars is the main focus of this article, they have many more diverse and interesting applications in many areas.