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You Never Thought About a Header Panel, But Here Are 4 Reasons to Replace One

Header panels are the framework and structural supports for headlights, radiators, grilles. Here, we examine 4 scenarios where replacing a header panel is worthwhile.
Header Panels

What Are Header Panels?

Front header panels are framework pieces on your vehicle that aren't often seen, thought about, or modified. Running from left to right across your vehicle's front end, they serve as a structural support member for the headlight assemblies and grille. On newer vehicles, the header piece is usually covered completely and not easily seen. On older cars and trucks, the header piece may actually be part of the visible front end sheet metal. And on other vehicles, header pieces may serve only as horizontal filler panels between grille and hood.

Replace Header Panel On Volvo S80
The Replace header panel, as seen on a 2012 Volvo S80.

In this article, we'll look at four reasons you might consider replacing a header panel. We'll also cover OEM style replacement header panels we sell on our website - for both new and classic vehicles.

Header Panels Often Get Damaged In Frontal Collisions

Autometal Direct Header Panel On 74 Barracuda
An Autometal Direct header panel for a 1974 Plymouth Barracuda.

Regardless of their exact design and layout, header panels will usually need to be replaced after a frontal crash. Even a minor sideswipe or corner impact can bend a header significantly. Because these panels often have complex shapes, even seasoned body shop pros don't get the straightening process correct every time. Should this be the case, lining up headlamps to aim them properly may be impossible. In a worst-case scenario, uneven and unsightly gaps will be visible between headlight assemblies, grilles, hood panels, and front bumper areas. Needless to say, this devalues any vehicle significantly.

Header Panels Are Relatively Easy To Replace

Header Panel Replacement Process

Unlike most body panels, front header panels are not welded in place. Instead, they're bolted on - a factor that makes removal and installation relatively easy. So, if you're not sure a header panel has become compromised, taking it off the vehicle to inspect it from all angles is not difficult. In most cases, headlamps, grille work, and the header panel itself can be removed with nothing more than basic hand tools.

OER Header Panel On 1970 Chevy Camaro
An OER Header Panel for a 1970 Chevy Camaro.

Header Panels Are Not Immune To Corrosion

A Bit Corroded Header Panels

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. Possibly worst of all, this insidious corrosion may be all but completely hidden from sight until it's too late.

Our Replacement Header Panels Match Oem Quality, Fit, And Durability

All header panels we offer are made by manufacturers with proven track records of quality control, fit, and durability. So you can expect original equipment quality without paying high dealership markup prices.

Sherman Header Panel On 1991 Ford LTD
A Sherman Header Panel for a 1991 Ford LTD.

To help guide you to the right front header panel you need, we've set up our website to display only choices that will fit your specific vehicle once year, make, and model are entered in the Product Options field. If any variations originally existed for your vehicle, multiple choices may appear. For example, a Mercedes model featuring a grille that's integrated into the hood panel may show driver- and passenger-side header panel half-sections instead of a single full-width one.

Restoparts Header Panel On 1966 Pontiac GTO
A Restoparts header panel for a 1966 Pontiac GTO.

For the widest selection of makes and models from today back to the 1980s, we recommend K-Metal, Sherman, and Replace header panels. Got a classic muscle car? You'll find authentic reproductions of OEM equipment header panels on our Auto Metal Direct, Goodmark, Restoparts, OER, and OPGI product pages for popular models from the 1960s, '70s, and even the '80s.

Omix-Ada Header Panels
Header panels from Omix-Ada.

Jeep Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and Liberty owners will find high-quality replacement front headers from both Crown and Omix-Ada.

When you consider the high quality, excellent value, and ease of installation our replacement header panels offer, installing a new one from CARiD makes perfect sense. If you end up replacing the header panel on your car or truck, whether you do the work yourself or not, you can be confident of a job done well, and done to its fullest.

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All manufacturer names, symbols, and descriptions, used in our images and text are used solely for identification purposes only. It is neither inferred nor implied that any item sold by is a product authorized by or in any way connected with any vehicle manufacturers displayed on this page.