Remove and Replace Front Bumper Grille and Side Emblem

Civic 01-05

  1. RogerH69
    Difficulty Level:
    The best way to remove the grille is to remove the entire front bumper and then detach the grille, but that requires jacking up the car, to gain access to the underneath of the car. However, as shown below, It is possible to remove the grille without removing the entire bumper, though I must mention access room is limited at times, especially for people with big ole chunky paws like me :Smile:

    Though the grilles on the 7th Generation Civics vary across the range, they are removed in pretty much the same way. The images below show the grille on an '05 Type-S Civic. This guide shows how to remove and replace the grille, as well as how to remove and replace the emblem on the side of the grille. It does not cover removing the main emblem in the center of the grille.

    The steps below involve putting your hand down behind the front grille, and you will come into contact with parts of the engine cooling system, which may be very hot. Be sure to let these parts cool down before performing the steps below

    Tools Required -
    • Adjustable spanner
    • Small flat head screw driver or trim removal tool
    • Philips head screw driver
    Time Required - 15 to 30 minutes, depending on whether you replace the side emblem or not

    1 - Remove the grille

    Open the bonnet and you should see a total of 10 clips holding the grille and the grille cover in place.

    You need to remove these clips by using the small flat head screw driver or trim removal tool to carefully pull the center pin in the clip up


    And then pull the center pin up and the rest of the clip should follow

    If you struggle to get the center pin out, try to use scissors, flat nosed pliers, or even some wire strippers to hook under the head of the center pin, to make it easier to pull the pin up - be careful not to cut or break the center pin (unless you have spares)

    Remove all 10 clips

    Carefully pull the side of the grille forward a little, so that you can pull it out of where it clips into the grille cover (it clips in at 5 locations, as indicated by an image further down the page).

    Do not pull the grille too far forward, as you may break the bottom of the grille. You shouldn't need to pull it any further than I have below

    Once the grille is loose of the grille cover, tilt the grille cover down, behind the grille. Be careful not to damage the radiator behind the grille

    This will allow you to slide the grille cover up between the grille and the bonnet release lever

    Tilt the grille forward to allow just enough room to get access to the clips holding the grille on the bumper. My car had 4 holes for clips, but only 2 clips. Remove these clips


    With the clips removed, you should be able to slide the grille forward (do not bend or tilt it)

    This shows the recess where the bottom of the grilles slides under a lip in the bumper. I noticed that mine was quite dirty, as shown below

    So I took the opportunity to clean under this lip, as well as the part of the bumper normally behind the grille. Much better :Smile:

    You're done. See further down the guide for how to replace the grille​

    2 - Remove and replace emblem on side of grille

    Find a flat, protected surface to lay the grille on (like a carpet or a towel, or the parcel shelf of your lil Civic :Smile: ) - do not lay it flat on the ground, as the grille may get scratched

    The emblem on the side of your grille will most likely be attached with screws as below. Use the correct screw driver to remove these screws (The eagle eyed will notice the manifold behind the grille. No I did NOT lay the grille on the manifold :Smile: )

    You can then remove the emblem from the side of the grille. My grille had accumulated a fair amount of grime behind the emblem, so I took the opportunity to give it a quick clean :Smile:

    Below shows the emblem I want to put in place of the one I removed, plus the parts used to mount it

    Attach the 2 long screw into the back of the emblem

    Place the emblem on the front of the grille and find where you want to situate it

    Flip the grille over so you have access to the rear of the grille

    Holding the emblem in place on the front of the grille, put the mounting plate over the screw

    And then attach the nut and screw it all the way down

    Once both nuts are screwed to the bottom of the screw, arrange the mounting plates so they run parallel to the emblem, so that you cannot see the mounting plates easily when viewing the front of the grille. Then tighten the nuts using a spanner.

    I also noticed that the screws were quite long and would hit the radiator behind the grille, so I cut the screws in half

    When looking at the grille with the emblem mounted, I also noticed that the end of one of the mounting plates was visible, sticking out the end of the emblem, so I cut the mounting plate a little

    No more mounting plate sticking out behind the S :Smile:

    3 - Replace the grille

    Before replacing the grille and grille cover, take the opportunity to give them a quick clean

    To replace the grille, put it back on the bumper, ensuring that the bottom of the grille slides under the lip on the bumper. The easiest way to get it right is to sit the bottom of the grille flush against the bumper and slide it forwards into place

    You should feel it clip in place, and the bottom of the grille should sit flush against the bumper

    Replace the clips holding the grille on the bumper. I found the easiest way to do this was to first insert the outer ring of the clip into place, and then insert the center pin into the clip and push it till it locks in place


    Carefully pull the grille a little forward, so you can slide the grille cover behind it. Be careful not to damage the radiator behind the grille

    And then slide the grille cover into place. Notice that there are 5 clips on the grille. These need to be carefully inserted into the matching holes in the grille cover
    This is how it should look with the 5 clips in place. That grille cover and the top of the grille look almost new compared to when I removed them :Smile:

    You now need to refit the 10 clips you removed earlier. I would recommend starting with the leftmost of the bottom 6 clips, as it needs 3 holes to be aligned properly (grille, grille cover and bumper). I found it easiest to align the holes and hold them in place with one hand

    With the other hand, I inserted the outer ring of the trim clip, and ensured it went through all 3 holes properly

    Then insert the center pin of the trim clip

    And push the pin until it fully clips in place

    Repeat this process on the rightmost of the bottom 6 clips

    Then do the other 8 clips

    And you're done

    legend-ary likes this.

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  1. legend-ary
    Fantastic write up and good number of photos!
  2. Anonymous
    Nice detailed guide. Thank you for posting.