The effectiveness of bug deflectors is controversial. Some people insist that they work, while others swear that they don’t. Stories to support either point of view float around the internet and by word of mouth freely, and sometimes you just don’t know who to listen to. The important thing to look at first is exactly how deflectors are designed to work. The idea behind bug deflectors is that by creating a stream of air upwards across the hood of your vehicle, the air will carry bugs past your windshield and protect it from being hit. Mounting a small, angled deflector on the front of your vehicle creates this airstream effect and sets up a defense against bug splatter.
The skeptics will say that the difference is minimal. At best, they will grant deflectors a few points for looks. But the reality is that there is a compromise that some manufacturers make that affects a shield’s effectiveness, and that compromise is quality.
A good deflector made from high quality materials that is custom designed for your vehicle will be effective and provide noticeable results. Well-known brands like WeatherTech® and AVS® are produced with the aerodynamics of cars and trucks in mind, to create the most effective shield possible while also maintaining an attractive appearance.
A nice side benefit of a bug shield is that even though you might notice bugs splattering against the deflector itself, you can also bet that any rogue road stones are also bouncing off of it. It can actually help protect your vehicle against rocks that would end up chipping your hood. Effectiveness should also be judged realistically, however. Driving through a whole cloud of insects would probably still leave you with dead bugs littering your windshield unless you had a brick wall mounted to your hood. And if you aren’t moving fast enough to create a strong slipstream across the deflector, it probably won’t do anything against that walnut-sized mosquito heading right for you. Compared to lesser products on the market, the leading brands maximize the effectiveness of their products so that they work the way they’re supposed to.
The bottom line is that people will always have, and are entitled to, their own opinions. Some people will say that bug deflectors simply don’t work. Others argue that they can’t believe they never owned one. But, as with most things in life, buying quality products will get you quality results.
by Justin Gazzara on