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Deflecting the Bugs and Rain with Tacoma Bug & Window Visors

Deflecting the Bugs and Rain with Tacoma Bug & Window Visors

Bug deflectors and window visors are simple accessories that make your Toyota Tacoma more functional. They protect your vehicle from on the road hazards and allow you to be more comfortable, while also adding some personal style. Let’s go into a more in-depth discussion of these accessories.

Shop Tacoma Bug Deflectors

A bug deflector is a simple modification, but effective at keeping your Tacoma free of bug guts and carcasses. Rather than smacking into your hood's paint, the deflector does exactly that. Window visors, on the other hand, are perfect for drizzly days when you want to keep the windows cracked open.

Tacoma Window Visors >

What are Bug Deflectors & Rain Visors?

A bug deflector is a semi-upright, contoured piece of material that is attached to the leading edge of the hood. It is designed to protect the hood, as well as to keep airflow moving over the windshield of the vehicle.

Rain visors are molded and contoured pieces that attach to the top edge of each window of your Tacoma’s doors. They are designed to keep rain out when the window is opened slightly, or to ventilate the interior of the car while parked.

They keep dust out while off-road with the window open slightly, and allow smoke to escape the interior while smoking, without having to open the window fully.

The Benefits of Having Both for Your Tacoma

Having a bug deflector will protect the front of your Tacoma’s hood from having dead bugs accumulate and possibly damage to your paint. It will also protect the hood from stone chips and small dings.

The bug deflector also redirects the flow of air over you hood, windshield, and roof. This will help to keep the windshield clean. If you have a cap on the back of your truck, it will also help to keep the rear window cleaner.

Window visors will allow you to open your windows a small amount, without letting the rain in. They also allow you to leave your windows open slightly when the vehicle is unattended.

Leaving the windows cracked without fear of weather intruding facilitates lower interior temperatures and less odors from the heat of the sun. Additionally, because the visors are usually made of a tinted or solid material, they block some bright sunlight and allow for better vision near the edges of the windshield and the tops of the side windows.

Both of these devices also enhance the appearance of your vehicle. They give a mild custom appearance when installed and will help to set you apart from other Tacomas on the road.

Bug Deflectors and Rain Visors: Materials Used

Bug deflectors can be made of a few different materials. Deflectors made of ABS thermoplastic are the lowest profile. They are usually offered in a painted-to-match your vehicle color, or a chrome finish. Modified acrylic visors have a medium profile and are the most common. They come in a variety of colors, from clear to dark smoke, as well as painted with various designs. They are also available in chrome.

The biggest, highest profile bug deflectors are made of thermoplastic olefin (TPO). The strongest of the plastic-type material bug deflectors are made of polycarbonate. They provide the best protection against cracks and chips. They are also available ranging in color from clear to dark smoke gray.

The last material bug deflectors are available in is stainless steel. These are of a rigid design and are incredibly strong. Stainless bug deflectors are polished to a brilliant shine.

Most window visors are made of ABS thermoplastic or modified acrylic. They offer flexibility and UV resistance.

Visors are available in colors ranging from clear to dark smoke, as well as chrome and paint-matched colors. It is worth mentioning that visors for some older vehicles are also available in polished stainless steel.

Slim Profiles Versus Full Length Designs

Slim profile deflectors sit close to the Tacoma’s hood and are contoured closely to the shape of the hood. These deflectors offer great looks and an almost OEM appearance.

They deflect air slightly upwards, helping to reduce the impact of smaller bugs and stones. They typically only extend as far as the edge of the hood. Full length, high profile bug deflectors are spaced further away from the hood than the low-profile design. They curve back and upward further and direct the airflow upward further. This is helpful to direct larger bugs and stones away from your hood and windshield.

These deflectors usually extend all the way from one edge of the vehicle to the other.
Depending on vehicle model and brand/model of bug shield, there are two different ways to mount your bug deflector: tape on and bolt on.

The tape on type of bug shield utilizes double-sided 3M foam tape to adhere to the underside of the hood. Most bolt-on style deflectors use bolt holes already drilled in the underside of the hood for factory trim.

Simply remove the factory bolts, mount the shield, and replace the factory bolts with the new bolts included with the deflector. In some rare instances, you may have to drill holes in the underside of the hood.

In Channel Designs Versus Tape-On Designs

In channel design window visors use a flange on the outside of the visor, that slides up into the window channel. The visor is held in place by tension. Some applications also use the 3M tape to hold the visor to the inside of the window channel without contacting the paint. This design offers a slim, low profile look because the mounting flanges are hidden up inside the window channel. They also are easily removable if necessary, with zero damage to the vehicle.

On the flip side, in-channel visors can require bending and significant force to lock them into the channel. One must be careful while doing this as the visors can break. Some consumers have reported that after time, in channel visors can loosen, rattle, and even fall out completely. Routine inspection of your Tacoma’s visors is recommended.

Lastly, they come in contact with the very top of the window. This may facilitate damage to the visor or the top of the window, from operating the window up and down.

Tape-on visors are incredibly easy to install. Simply clean the vehicle’s surface with the included alcohol wipes, pull off the backing of the 3M foam tape, verify alignment, and stick the visor onto the vehicle. Because they rest outside the window, they provide a larger area of protection around the outside of the window. They also do not contact the window, so there is no risk of damage to the visor or the window when opening and closing the window.

Tape-on visors also have some negative points to mention. They are not easily removeable, and if removed or broken, they will leave behind adhesive residue. This can be a downright pain to remove. Also, because the mounting flange adheres to the outside of the window frame, they have a bulkier, less low-profile appearance.

To install the in-channel type window visors, adhere to the following steps:

  • Clean the inside and outside of all of the windows you will be installing visors on
  • Lower all windows fully
  • To install the front visors, position the visor so that the bottom end of the front edge is resting outside and on top of the window sill weather strip
  • With the leading edge of the visor slid into forward window channel, bow the visor outward (towards you) and slide the rear flange upward and into the rear window channel, leaving ½" of space between the top window channel and the top of the visor
  • Starting at the front of the window, twist and slide the top flange into the upper window channel
  • Apply a little outward pressure on the inside of the visor, in order to properly seat the visor in place
  • Repeat procedure on opposite side front window
  • To install the rear visors, check to see if there is adhesive tape on the upper flange. If so, remove the backing from the adhesive tape
  • Hold the visor at a slight angle and slide the front and rear flanges into the front and rear window channels
  • Slide the visor upward as you straighten its orientation
  • Slide the visor fully upward into the upper window channel
  • Again, apply a little outward pressure on the inside of the visor to fully seat it in place
  • Repeat procedure on the other rear window
  • Pull the bottom of the visor slightly outward while you roll up the window. This will help to make sure the visor is seated fully. Pulling outward on the visor is only required for the first time you roll up the window
  • Repeat the window roll up procedure on the other 3 windows
  • Allow vehicle windows to remain closed for 12 hours
  • Enjoy your new window visors!
Fitment includes: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Pre-Runner, X-Runner, SR, SR-5, TRD-Sport, TRD-Off-Road, Limited, TRD-Pro