Why Do Cars Have Fake Grills, Fender Vents, Or Exhaust Tips (Answered)

Automobile drivers today give equal emphasis on looks as much as they do on vehicle performance, safety, and comfort.

Manufacturers on the other end are placed with the challenge of keeping the cost down but at the same time improving the looks, design, and aesthetics of the vehicle.

Car grills, fenders, and exhaust tips are some of the areas that improve the look of your car, without too much engineering cost.

Here’s Why Cars Have Fake Grills, Fender Vents, Or Exhaust Tips?

A fake grille, fender vents, or exhaust tip is most often installed on a car for aesthetic reasons.

Audi Q3 2000 front side grill
Audi Q3 2000 front side grill

These parts are modular and easy to replace which is why they are preferred over the original design.

Also, vehicle owners can usually install them themselves since they are inexpensive and easy to maintain.


Why Do Cars Have Fake Exhaust Tips?

2019 Audi A6 fake rear exhaust dual tip
2019 Audi A6 fake rear exhaust dual tip

Faux exhaust pipes are often installed on automobiles for aesthetic reasons.

A ring of plastic chrome surrounds the black plastic tip, giving it the appearance of an exhaust tip.

The fact that designers don’t need to consult engineers before formulating the aesthetic qualities of a vehicle’s exhaust tip also lessens coordination between engineers and designers.

As a result, engineers are also free to design their own exhaust tips, which are usually turned down to face the road and expel their gasses below the bumper rather than through it.

They are sometimes installed by owners as a way to customize their vehicles or make them look a certain way.

They can make a car stand out or even give the illusion that the car has a more expensive design.

They are also usually easily interchangeable so owners can change their minds about the look of the car and just change the exhaust tip as they choose.

Saves Money For Manufacturers And Buyers

A vehicle’s production cost also plays a role. The most minor things can lead to big costs when it comes to production line efficiency.

In other words, if a worker does not spend as much time aligning exhaust pipes to bumper cutouts, then the production process can be more efficient.

You can fabricate an exhaust system more easily and at a lower cost if you eliminate the chrome tip.

It also saves on the upfront cost of a vehicle.

Owners can choose vehicles that may not necessarily have the look they want, but do fit their budget and then later add these extras when they have the money and time.

For Safety Purposes

In this regard, the vehicle is also considered to be safe.

Especially if you keep your engine running harder than usual, your car’s exhaust pipes will heat up. The heat released by the exhaust tailpipe could melt rear bumpers, especially if they’re enclosed by plastic cladding, which might be a concern for those with exhaust integrated into their bumpers.

As a result, the tip metal may also expand quite significantly as a result of the high heat.

Consequently, an exhaust tip’s position when parked and cold may differ noticeably from when it’s being driven with a hot engine.

Maintaining its clean look over time is also easier.

The chrome exhaust tips on your vehicle can become dirty over time, especially if you drive a diesel vehicle.

As a result, OC car owners may become concerned about the appearance of their car’s rear bumper and tips due to the buildup of exhaust soot.

In order to keep the exhaust from pointing straight back, some car manufacturers designed the original exhaust tailpipe pointing down rather than straight back.

It will then be possible to hide the real exhaust tips behind the bumpers by integrating fake exhaust tips.

Why Do Cars Have Fake Fender Vents?

Fake fender vents are sometimes added by a car manufacturer to create a unique look without any added expense.

If car manufacturers were to make actual vents, it would cost more time and require more money.

This would mean they would charge more for the vehicle as well.

Fake fender vents give the look of real fender vents with a sporty look even though they have no functionality.

Sometimes car owners choose to purchase aftermarket fender vents themselves. These are usually easy to install and allow them to customize the look of the vehicle.

Why Do Cars Have Fake Grilles?

2019 Audi A6 fake front left grill
2019 Audi A6 fake front left grill.

Due to the need for fuel efficiency, fake grills are better than real ones. Creating turbulence in the airflow around a vehicle is the last thing a designer wants.

Drag is created by turbulence, and that negatively affects fuel efficiency.

Manufacturing fleets are required to have high fuel economy, thus margin losses across high fuel-efficiency cars force manufacturers to sell more efficient vehicles (often at low margins) to counteract margin losses across cars that are less fuel efficient.

Grilles are one of the first things people notice on a vehicle because they are on the front.

Real grilles allow air to flow into the engine while also keeping out debris.

Fake grilles sometimes cover the real grilles and add a unique look while still allowing the grille to function as it should.

Adding stylish grilles that also function would require more engineering and more money for car manufacturers and buyers.

Fake grilles give the same aesthetic for a more affordable price.

Does Having Fake Grills, Fender Vents, Or Exhaust Tips Negatively Impact Car Performance?

Subaru blue 2003 hood with fake nostril
Subaru blue 2003 hood with fake nostrils.

It is possible for an addition or modification to affect the performance of a car.

There are certain styles and dimensions of exhaust tips that may affect performance, although not all of them.

The diameter of exhaust tips can vary from 1.5 to 4 inches.

Many car lovers enjoy the throaty sound produced by wider exhaust tips, which allow more fumes to exit quickly.

The engine sounds full and well-functioning when it is running. The narrow exhaust tip, on the other hand, produces a raspy noise, which isn’t usually desired.

It is possible to get air into the engine compartment through an opening at the front of the vehicle. As a result, nothing overheats because the air cools the radiator and the engine. Car grilles are installed to cover this hole by manufacturers. Air is allowed to flow freely under the hood while road debris is protected from damaging engine parts.

Electric cars, however, don’t have combustible engines or radiators to protect them, so more people are driving them today. However, automakers still use grilles on these cars, again just to improve the aesthetics of the front view of the car.

While some use fake electric cars strictly for aesthetic reasons, others use them to cool battery systems. Aerodynamic features like grilles can help vehicles accelerate faster while reducing drag.

If fake vents are applied over real vents, they can cause problems with the vehicle’s performance, since they do not add anything to it. By extracting hot air from the engine, vents help keep cars cool. You might not be able to run your engine as cool if the fake fender vents cover up the real ones.

The more weight the car has the slower the acceleration, and the more force required to accelerate a heavy vehicle, the more fuel it uses.

Using lightweight car components, such as carbon fiber instead of steel, can reduce a vehicle’s weight and increase its fuel efficiency.

A study conducted by the U.S. energy department found that reducing a car’s weight can save approximately 1-2 percent in fuel consumption.

Which Cars Have Fake Grills, Fender Vents, Or Exhaust Tips?

While these things can be added to almost any car, there are some vehicles that come with these features already installed. A few examples include,

  • Mini Cooper JCW
  • Honda Civic Type-R
  • Kia Stinger
  • Mini Cooper Sr
  • Mercedes-Benz CLA250
  • Fiat 595 Abarth
  • Subaru BRZ
  • Lexus IS-F
  • Audi A6

Final Thoughts

Design becomes much easier to create cool-looking rear and front bumpers when designers don’t have to consult the powertrain engineers about the aesthetics of the exhaust system, exhaust tip or fake grills and vents since they can be integrated more seamlessly with the rest of the vehicle’s bodywork if designers don’t have to consult the engineers about it.

Adding these parts to a car gives the same look as the original sporty performance cars, but for a much more affordable price.


Who Decided That Fake Exhaust Pipes Were a Good Idea? | Web2Carz

How Does Exhaust System Affect Car Performance – Read Here (carfromjapan.com)

Opinion: Manufacturers Need To Stop Making Fake Exhaust Tips (hotcars.com)

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