As truck owners become accustomed to their truck, they often look for ways to upgrade or modify their truck in order to make it better suit their specific tastes and needs. In your efforts to upgrade your truck and make it perfect for you, you will find that few truck accessories are as easy to install as a good bug shield. After a simple, 5 minute installation, your truck can be free of bugs on the hood and windshield as well as protected from possible dents, scratches, or cracks.
Although many think of the old, straight, flat plastic bug guards of the early 1990s when they hear "bug shield", today, bug and stone deflectors are contoured to the shape of the vehicle's hood, making them nearly seamless with the front of the truck. The question, for most prospective buyers, is whether they still can keep the hood and windshield clean of bugs.
After recently reviewing an AVS bug deflector for Truckchamp.com, I can definitely say that although the overall footprint of the modern bug deflectors is smaller, they still get the job done. Sure, they may not be able to deflect rocks like the old straight deflectors, but lighter insects, such as love bugs, are easily moved away from the windshield, and besides, they look much better than the older models. For the most part, on a darker colored truck you can barely see them.
1. Finding The Right Bug Deflector
A simple search on sites like Truck Champ or Amazon, or on any auto part site will show there are several good choices for your new bug deflector. AVS, WeatherTech, BestInAuto, and Wade are all good choices. Each have a slightly different profile and hug the front of the truck differently so a good bit of your decision will be personal preference, and looking through different options is recommended.
All of the black or "smoke" colored bug deflectors will range from $40 - $60, but you also have the choice of chrome, camo, flag designs, and more (these can cost quite a bit more). You will want to make sure there is at least a 1-2 year warranty on the items in case of factory defect. Many, though, include a lifetime or a limited lifetime warranty against certain types of defects.
2. What Tools Will You Need?
Bug Deflector Hole
Installing the Bug Shield is probably the easiest part of the process. The only tool you will need for most installations is a Phillips head screwdriver. If you don't have any modifications to your hood or an antique or classic car, the website or store you buy from will be able to send you a deflector that has holes that match up to holes already drilled on the underside of the hood of your vehicle.
In rare cases, you may need a drill and drill bit to place holes for the deflector. If that is the case, you will need to match up the drill bit to the inserts the screws go into. Your installation instructions should give an exact size needed. Be certain to line up where the deflector will go and mark where each of the wholes will need to be drilled.
3. A 5 Minute Bug Shield Installation
Bug Deflector Anchor
First, you will want to take everything out of the package and be sure that you have all parts needed to install the deflector. You should have screws, washers, and anchors, most likely four of each, along with the bug shield itself.
Next, take the shield and place it against the raised hood to make sure the profile fits on the front of your hood. It should line up with the holes on the underside of the hood and still have at least a quarter inch gap on the top side between it and the hood. You definitely do not want an area where the deflector touches or could touch the hood. Just a short time of contact would leave you with an area where your paint is worn off or damaged.
Third, place each of the anchors in the desired holes and begin the screw (with washer) through the deflector into the anchor. Begin each screw and tighten them about halfway and then take a final look at the deflector to make sure it is centered horizontally and has space at the top of the deflector.
Finally, tighten each of the screws hand tight. Caution, if using a drill for this part be sure not to over tighten the screws which will crack the deflector.
If you have no holes for the anchors, or the holes are not in the same areas as on the deflector, refer to the information above as to drilling appropriate holes in your hood.
Caring For Your Bug Deflector
Once you have your deflector installed, be sure to occasionally clean out between it and your hood. If done on a semi-regular basis, a quick spray from a water hose will get pretty much anything out from behind the deflector.
As the deflector ages, you may wish to spray it down with armor-all or another product to keep it from cracking on the surface. Such cracking if let go will cause larger cracks to develop and possibly run to the anchor area.
WheelScene from U.S.A. on October 27, 2017:
Great article, handy tips included, great use of photos and videos to help tell your story :)