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Your Radiator Support (Radiator Support Panel) worn out? » Read more about common malfunctions • Repair • Replacement manual
The front mask or radiator support panel is a component made of metal plating, connected to the frame at the front end of a car. On many cars, the mask is screwed on. Some vehicles have their front mask welded to the bodywork. The detachable version is more common as it must be replaceable for repair after accidents. Function of the front mask The front mask connects both internal wings of the car front. It therefore has an important task for the stability and structural integrity of the car. Its main task is offering support for the many car front components: lights, bumpers, radiator and radiator grille, blinkers and many more are screwed onto the front mask. Front mask defects The front mask is a welded metal panel. As for all metal parts, rust is its worst enemy. Front mask are generally not zinced, but only sealed with hammer-blow finishing paint and can over time develop fissures, from where the rust starts to bloom. The most common defect of the front mask is the result of collisions with damage to the car front, which is always quite devastating. The front carries the lights, the radiator grille, the radiator with fan, parts of the air conditioning, the blinkers and fog lamps, the bumpers with proximity sensors and much more. This makes frontal collision expensive when it comes to repairs. However, cars are built in such a way, that its front can be disassembled and therefore repaired. For the chassis of the car to become damaged so seriously that it is irreparable, the collision impact must be very high. Replacing the front mask The front mask / radiator support is deeply integrated in the front. As it supports all the front components, these must be removed prior to disassembly of the front mask. This is a lot of work. An experienced DIY'er can save a lot of money by trying this himself. It is important to ensure that the airbags cannot be activated. Many components are mounted with plastic clips and special care must be taken. These clips and cones can easily break and their replacement is expensive. After correct preparation, the front mask replacement is quickly done. It is mounted on the right and left with several bolts, which must be loosened to replace the car part. Possible chassis damage can quickly be determined: if the spare part doesn't fit in the screw holes, the frame is possibly warped. However, there could be other reasons for installation difficulties of a front mask. Beware of cheap offers The right fit is most important for spare part metal plating being screwed on. Many spare part manufacturers consider the measures of a component a recommendation rather than a standard specification. Half a millimetre offset can considerably complicate the installation of a front mask. Those who prefer not to waste time on drilling and probing should start with choosing OEM-quality. A reworked and ill-fitting spare part can lead to assembly problems. A crooked mounting of bumpers, radiator grille and lights spoil the entire look of the car and bad collision repair and maintenance is visible for all. OEM-quality saves time and money In our shop we only offer OEM-quality to our customers. Our front masks / radiator support panels have the exact measures matching the car manufacture as they apply to original parts. This makes installation of our metal panels especially simple. Costs vary considerably depending on the car. The components vary according to car design in size, function and dimension. Prices start at 50 euro (£43), though can be as high as several hundreds of pounds if applying to high-end vehicles.