Will a Jeep Grill Insert Cause My Vehicle to Overheat?

I hear from a lot of Jeep owners who want to install a cool-looking grill insert but worry that they will make their vehicle overheat. 

A grill insert does restrict the airflow slightly but under normal driving conditions, it should not cause the engine to overheat.

This guide should help explain the grill inserts and their potential for raising the engine temperature.

What is a Grill Insert?

installing a jeep grill insert

These are decorative pieces that are placed over, or used to replace the center of the grill that came factory installed on your Jeep. When installing a grill insert the outer shell of the factory grill and the perimeter pieces will remain the same.

Decorative Grills and Grill Inserts

There are limitless designs and colors that you can use to create a beautiful insert. Some of the most popular decorative grill inserts are:

  • The United States Flag
  • The Rebel Flag
  • The Texas Flag
  • Flames
  • Spiderwebs
  • Stars
  • Dragons
  • Butterflies 
  • Custom Names

Are There Benefits to Having a Grill Insert?

The main benefit of installing a grill insert is to “amp” up the personality and style of your vehicle. These decorative pieces allow you to create a unique signature look for your vehicle.

An insert is an after-market item designed mostly to enhance the beauty of the vehicle. They will make people turn their heads and take a second look when you drive by.

Reduces Future Radiator Problems

Other than creating a look that you love for your Jeep the grill insert could reduce the potential for future radiator concerns. The insert adds a layer of protection that can prevent something from striking your radiator and creating a hole or leak.

The inserts also catch the bugs and stop them from getting onto your grill. Your radiator will not become clogged with the dead bugs in the “love bug” season. The insert is easy to remove and clean, or you can get inventive and use a shop vac to clean off the bug matter.

Are There Cons to Having a Grill Insert?

There are cons to everything. Nothing is 100% perfect or satisfactory to 100% of the people. With that said, let me tell you that the cons of a grill insert are very low and all cons are based on personal opinions and taste.

  1. The number one con of a grill insert is the fact that they do slightly impede the airflow through the radiator. A slight reduction of air should NOT cause the engine to overheat, but it may raise the running temperature slightly.
  2. If you are driving through a lot of mud there is a chance that the mud will stick to the insert and stop the airflow you need. 
  3. If you do the installation yourself there is a minute possibility that you will damage the factory grill or the perimeter of the factory grille.
  4. Some of the manufactured inserts can be pretty expensive. You may have to pay as much as $200 or more to get the style and color of the insert you want.

Can Anyone Install a Grill Insert?

Basically, anyone can install a grill insert. You do not need a licensed paint and body professional to put the insert over your existing grill centerpiece.

A lot of people make their own inserts instead of paying the higher prices of the pre-made inserts. By making your own you can save money, and it is possible for you to create a more custom design that no one else can repeat.

What Is The Difference Between a Jeep Grill Insert and an Overlay?

An insert is placed between the slats of the grill to create a decorative or protective piece. An overlay is placed on top of the entire grill to change everything.

Overlays are often much easier to install than inserts. You do not have to get behind the slats of the grill they simply go on top.

The overlay can be used to make it appear as if you have a chrome grill when in reality you do not.

The overlay can help protect your radiator from debris and possible puncture when you are off-road driving.

You May Also Like:
1. How to Clean Jeep Wrangler Soft Top
2. How to Fix Jeep Wrangler Hard Top Leaking

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make my own grill insert for my Jeep?

Yes, you can.

What Are Grill Inserts Made From?

The favorite material is aluminum because it is strong and rust-resistant.

Do Grill Inserts Increase The Resale Value of The Vehicle?

Grill inserts are personal preference items so the effect on resale value will depend on who you are selling to.

Final Thoughts

Most Jeep owners are passionate about their vehicles. The decorative grill covers provide the owners with one more way to show off their style and make their vehicle a one-of-a-kind automobile.

About Brendan Burnett

Leave a Comment