What Are Header Panels?

Categories: Engine, Performance

What Is A Header Panel?

The front header panels on your vehicle are frame pieces that are not often seen, thought of or modified. They serve as a structural support member for the headlight assemblies and grille, running from left to right across the front of your vehicle. The header piece is usually completely covered on new vehicles and is not easily seen. The header piece can actually be part of the visible front end metal on older cars and trucks. And header pieces can only be used as horizontal filler panels between the grille and the hood on other vehicles.
We’ll look at four reasons in this article to replace a header panel. We will also cover the replacement header panels in OEM style, which we sell on our website – for new and classic vehicles.

Header Panels Often Get Damaged In Frontal Collisions
Regardless of their exact design and layout, header panels must normally be replaced following a frontal crash. Even a minor impact on the sideswipe or corner can significantly bend the header. Because these panels often have complex shapes, even seasoned body shop pros don’t get the straightening process correct every time. If that is the case, it may be impossible to line up headlamps to target them properly. In a worst-case scenario, uneven and unsightly gaps between headlight assemblies, grilles, hood panels and bumper areas at the front are visible. This, of course, devalues any vehicle considerably.

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Header Panels Are Relatively Easy To Replace
The front header panels are not welded in place, unlike most body panels. Instead, they are bound – a factor that makes it relatively easy to remove and install. So, if you’re not sure a header panel is compromised, it’s not difficult to take it off the vehicle from all angles. In most cases, headlamps, grill work and the header panel can only be removed with basic hand tools.
Header Panels Are Not Immune To Corrosion
While rust isn’t a common problem on header panels the way it is on fenders, rocker panels, and quarter panels, it does sometimes occur. It may be from previous damage that wasn’t repaired properly, or it may the cumulative result of winter road salt spray collecting in pockets that can’t be accessed with soap and water. Perhaps worst of all, this insidious corrosion can be hidden from sight until it’s too late.

Our Replacement Header Panels Match OEM Quality, Fit, and Durability
All header panels  are manufactured by manufacturers with proven quality control, fit and durability records. You can therefore expect the quality of the original equipment without paying high markup prices for dealers.
In order to guide you to the right front header panel you need, we have set up our website to display only choices that are entered in the Product Options field that will fit your specific vehicle once a year. If there were original variations for your vehicle, there may be several choices. For example, a Mercedes model with a grille integrated into the hood panel can display half – sections of the driver and passenger – side header panel instead of one full – width section.