For decades, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class series of vehicles has been one of the most popular and most iconic offerings from the well-known luxury car manufacturer. One of the most distinctive features of the S-Class models over the years has been their barred front grille. Though this grille has changed and taken on many different forms, it has always been an integral part of the appearance of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
What is the Purpose of a Car's Grille?
A car's grille serves two main functions. The first is that it adds a distinct aesthetic appearance to the front of a vehicle. Many cars, the Mercedes S-Class models included, are almost instantly recognizable by their grilles.
The second function of a grille is to protect your car's radiator while at the same time letting enough air through to provide extra cooling. Without a grille on the front of your car, your radiator would be almost completely exposed to rocks or pebbles kicked up from the road, which could dent or even puncture it under the right circumstances.
Do Grilles Wear Out Over Time?
When most people think of a list of wearing car parts, the front grille is very unlikely to appear on that list. Grilles do, however, wear out like anything else. Unlike moving parts, engine components or other parts that are actually involved in propelling the car, nothing devastating will happen when a grille does wear out, but it will make your S-Class look less and less appealing as it gradually becomes more worn.
Why Do Grilles Wear Out?
Like other body panels and trim pieces, the grille of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class model will wear out, though this wear will not impact its functional purpose of protecting the radiator. Over time, the process of oxidation will take your grille from a sparkling shine down to a dull grey, substantially detracting from your car's visual appeal. This is especially true in places where your car is frequently exposed to road salt or heavy amounts of rain. Though the chrome itself won't oxidize, the materials underneath it can if the coating is ever scratched.
Grilles can also wear out as the result of long-term wear and tear. When you first got your Mercedes S-Class, the grille was probably in pristine condition. After several years of driving, however, dents, dings and blemishes will naturally occur. Given enough time, the day-to-day wear your grille receives will make it lose much of its former beauty.
How Do You Protect Your Grille?
With something like a car's grille, it is very possible to counteract potential damage with a little bit of forward-thinking prevention. One of the best ways to make sure your grille is protected against normal wear and tear is to cover it with a wax compound whenever you wax your car. This will not only help it keep its shine, but will also protect it against minor scratches and dings.
Another way you can protect your grille is to try to avoid driving on roads paved with gravel, dirt or loose rock. If you are stuck driving behind another car on such a road, sediment can be kicked up and hit the lower parts of your Mercedes Benz S-Class, including the grille. Though you may not be able to avoid roads like that all of the time, try not to make a habit of driving on them.
Deciding When to Replace Your Grille
Replacing a grille is really a matter more of personal preference than anything else. Some S-Class owners don't mind a worn grille too much, while it bothers others to no end. Most owners, however, will decide to replace a grille when the wear on it becomes noticeable from a cursory glance of the car. If you can't see the wear without looking very closely at your grille, you probably aren't in need of a replacement just yet.
The one instance in which replacing the grille on a Mercedes-Benz S-Class may be more than just a matter of preference is if you're trying to sell the car. Anyone who's looking to buy a Mercedes-Benz will likely be a very discerning buyer and will almost certainly give the car a very thorough inspection. If your grille is beginning to show signs of wear or age, it will probably stand out upon closer inspection and may make it difficult for you to get the price you want for your car.
Replacing Your Grille
Replacing the grille on a Mercedes-Benz S-Class model is a fairly simple process that almost anyone should be able to do. In most cases, the front grille is held in place by a combination of push pins and bolts on the top and a series of plastic tabs on the bottom. The exact configuration will vary based on what S-Class model you have and the year in which it was made.
Once you have removed the pins and bolts, press in on the bottom tabs to release them, then remove the grille by lifting it out of place. Once your old grille is out, gently position your new grille into place and press the bottom tabs in until they lock. Then, secure the new grille using the same pins and bolts you removed from the original.
Keep in mind that the Mercedes-Benz star logo piece is generally separate from your grille. If you're changing the grille out, it's also a good idea to replace the emblem at the same time so that the two match.
If you want to keep your Mercedes-Benz S-Class looking its best, a new grille may be in order. Putting a new grille on your car can help it look better overall, and it's an easy way to spruce up your car's front angle. If you need a new grille for your S-Class model, browse our selection here at shopmercedesbmwonline.com. As an authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer, we offer only the best in factory-matching OEM parts for your Mercedes-Benz S-Class.