How car valance makes your vehicle better

Updated Jun 12, 2019 | Same topic: Technical Car Terms to Know

There is a car item that is usually forgotten, the car valance. It is not as important as brakes or mirrors, but it is not useless. Now let's define car valance and how important it is to your car.

Do you usually pay attention to the panels placed on the front or at the rear of your car? They are called valance. It might be strange for most of you because it is rarely called out. Therefore, many people just think they are for decorations and less useful.

On the contrary, car valance is important as the way it is. Let's help you to have a better understanding of the car valance and how important it is. 

1. To define car valance

Valance panels are thin and slim pieces found under the car bumpers. Its primary purpose is to direct airflow or filler body panels. Most people would be more accustomed to the terms ‘bumper valance’ and ‘valance panel’ as these two are most commonly used.

If you are pertaining to valance as a non-automotive term, it is defined as a piece of material usually hanged lightly from a bed, shelf, or a table with it being in strategically placed to hide whatever is underneath the structure. It conceals and at the same time becomes a means of decoration. You can think of it somewhat like a curtain.

Valance, when used in the world of automobiles are panels purposefully placed on the front and/or at the rear of the vehicle. All cars regardless of model and type can have a valance installed to it. What makes it unique when it comes to its exact positioning is the degree of aerodynamic effectiveness that needs to be achieved.

Valance panels

Valance is panels purposefully placed on the front and/or at the rear of the vehicle

A valance in simplest terms is a small panel trimmed and placed low to direct the airflow with almost the same concept as an air dam works. At the same time that it can be a narrow strip, it can also be a larger piece with an incorporated airflow lip at the foot.

Usually, a car would have two detached valance panels found either in the front of it or at its rear. One of these two panels will be for the passenger side and the other one for the driver’s side. Note though that these are not whole strips but segments only. This will not cover the entire width of the car’s front or back but only meant to take and hide the corner sides.

Car enthusiasts may also refer to car valance as ‘front lower bumper trim plates’ or ‘front lips’. It looks simple and not really connected to any other vital parts of the car, it's special as many other small but meaningful items as well. 

car valance sample

Car enthusiasts may also refer to car valance as ‘front lower bumper trim plates’ or ‘front lips’

There are instances though those car owners install their bumper valance to cover some areas that they don’t want to be exposed. If placed in the front, these panels are very useful in hiding and protecting the radiator’s lower part.

Meanwhile, if placed in the rear, the valance panel can help bridge the small distance between the dual exhaust pipes found on the opposite sides of the car.

Usually, the car valance is of the same material as the car bumper. Different materials can be used though in certain circumstances like an older car model with steel bumpers can have a combination of steel and chrome as valance panels. Plastic valance panels are getting extremely popular nowadays.

White car and car valance

The car valance is usually of the same material as the car bumper

Lately, though, you might notice that more cars are sporting real low hanging front valances. Yes, it is the newest trend, but it is also because of the new rules set about by the Federal Fuel Economy.

The new requirement encourages automakers and car owners to rally aerodynamics as a means to increase fuel economy consciously, and car valances can provide that boost needed.

2. Why do cars have valance?

The answer is quite simple and straight-forward. It is for protection and styles.

Car valance usually is the receiving end of the impact that the car is subjected to when it comes to road debris. It absorbs the blunt that the car’ undercarriage should be receiving. This, in return, protects and prevents the spare parts below in incurring any damages.

And we not only mean here debris but all factors and contaminants that a car can be exposed to like grime, mud, and sand among others. It will stop the direct contact of these impurities to the chassis so premature wearing out of the frame is prevented.

Aside from acting as the first line of defense, installing a lower valance not only protects the car itself, but it also helps the driver to safely maneuver the car. A valance can help facilitate better airflow under and over the body of the car.  A car valance helps achieve a safer car operation all the time.

Car valance

Car valance usually is the receiving end of the impact that the car is subjected to when it comes to road debris

A clean car inside and out, top to bottom is an impressive car even without the frills and high-end add-ons. A simple car valance can help you achieve that clean looking car. Considered by many car enthusiasts as a staple, it is also a quick and smart way to add style and flair to your car.

While it functions to be a covering panel, it also gives flair by making sure that the skeletal body of your car is not exposed. The unpainted areas usually at the underside of the vehicle can easily be concealed, adding the wholeness and appeal to the vehicle. It makes the car look together and presentable from all angles, top to bottom.

A clean car

A clean car inside and out, top to bottom is an impressive car even without the frills and high-end add-ons

Like any other car part and with your car valance being the front line to the grit and bump, it is essential that you take the time to maintain and take care of it regularly prompting for a replacement if needed. It is prone to be cracked or dented by rock hits among other road mishaps.

If you fail to keep it in tiptop shape, then it won’t be that effective in protecting your car’s mechanisms from below. At the same time, a cracked or dented car valance won’t also be pleasing to the eyes and would be better off removed.

Changing and installing your car valance can be done at the comforts of your home. It is a simple process, and the time it takes for it to be replaced is relatively average too. Repairing it first before the replacement of some car parts might also be a sound idea first if you’re working on some scratches or just minor maintenances.

There are options for you to consider should you opt to repair and replace. Going to your trusted mechanic and car expert is always the sound choice when in doubt.

Your car mechanic can surely prove you with the recommendations and expertise not only in getting your car valance back in shape, but they can also give you the best deal and logical resources.

>>> Click here for more useful tips and advice for car owners

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez


Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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