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How To Install a Bug Deflector

Truck with Bug Deflector
A bug deflector is a great investment in your vehicle that will save you a lot of cleaning hassle. Blain’s Farm & Fleet will help you find the right one and install it.

A bug deflector cuts down the amount of bugs that hit your vehicle as you drive. It does this by creating a slight slipstream that bugs get caught up in and carried over your vehicle. They can reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning your hood and windshield, and they also look stylish.

When you buy a bug deflector, you should look for:

Durability – A deflector made of aerospace-grade acrylic are best. They are scratch-resistant and virtually indestructible.

Warranty – A good bug deflector comes with a lifetime warranty.

A sleek, low-profile design – This will reduce drag and keep your fuel efficiency up in the long run.

No-drill fasteners – Bug deflectors that use existing holes in the hood or a high-strength adhesive tape are much easier to install.

Custom fit – A bug deflector that is designed for your specific vehicle will look and work much better than a universal one.

How To Install Your Bug Deflector

You can have your bug deflector installed by the skilled technicians on one of our service centers in just a few minutes. Or, if you are a DIY Auto Repair Mechanic, we have a step-by-step installation process for the two main types of bug shields below.

(Note: This guide only addresses the installation of the most common types of bug shield. Bug shields can come with a variety of different fasteners, and not all of them use screws and grommets to attach to the hood).

Step 1. Clean and prep your hood.

Clean front edge of hood, touch up any dings or scratches with touch-up paint – it will be hard to do once the bug shield is installed.Cleaning the surface for a tape-on bug deflector will also help the tape stick to the hood better.

Step 2. Read the installation instructions. 

Read the installation instructions, confirm that there are no parts missing, and find out how your bug deflector will fasten to your hood. The most common types of fastener used are screws with rubber or plastic grommets that fit into existing holes on your hood, or high-strength automotive tape.

Step 3. Size up the fit of the deflector on your hood. 

Screw-in: Pop your hood and hold the bug shield in place to get an idea of how the shield will mount. If you have a screw-in deflector, make sure the holes in the shield line up with the holes on the underside of your hood. Now, take the deflector back down to prep it for installation.

Tape-on: Install the clamps on the ends of your deflector by using the holes on the bottom. Line up the bug deflector with the hood and mark the spots where the clips will attach to the hood. Set the deflector down and put the anti-scuff film squares in line with the marks. Now you’re ready to prep your deflector for installation.

Step 4. Prep the bug deflector for installation. 

Screw-in: Thread all of the screws about halfway into the holes on the shield. Make sure the grommets are fitted firmly onto the screws-you don’t want to risk dropping any of them into your engine compartment.

Tape-on: Start to pull the ends of the tape backing off of the tape strip. Turn them so they stick out towards the top edge of the shield at a 90-degree angle. Do this with all of the tape strips on the deflector. You should have about a two-inch tab sticking up on each end of all the tape strips when you’redone. When you lift the shield for the next step, be careful not to touch the exposed ends of the tape on anything until the shield is in place.

Step 5. Attach the deflector to your hood.

Screw-in: Lift the shield into position and make sure that all of the screws and grommets slip into the holes on the underside of your hood.

Tighten the screws down, starting from the center of the hood and working your way out to the sides. Only tighten the screws until they just start to get snug. Do not tighten them until they don’t turn anymore, or you risk cracking your shield. If the grommets start to turn before you’re done tightening your screws, use your free hand to press the shield right next to the screw to squeeze the grommet harder against the hood and keep it from turning.

Tape-on: Lift the shield into position and snap the clips onto the places on the hood you covered with the anti-scuff squares. Close the hood carefully and reach down behind the shield. The ends of the tape backing that you left sticking out should allow you to pull the backing strips off the tape strips.

Once you remove all of the tape backing, run your hand along behind the bug deflector and press it down to make sure all the tape strips are touching the hood.

Step 6. Install the bump-ons.

Both styles: Install the bump-ons to protect your paint in the event that something ever hits your bug shield and bends it back enough to touch your hood. Gently bend the shield back to find the four highest spots along the hood where the shield could bend back and touch. Clean these spots well. Some mechanics recommend alcohol cleaning pads.

Bug Deflector Maintenance

Now that you’ve installed your bug deflector, it will get a lot of bug guts on it. To clean your shield, use a bug remover cleaner and a gentle washcloth (terry cloth, flannel, or microfiber cloths all work well) to wash and dry it.


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