Bumper Repair Tips


Bumpers are not constructed the way the used to be. Today most of the "bumper" part is hidden beneath a plastic shield. If you damage your "bumper," you will most likely be repairing the plastic shield, commonly called the outer fascia or bumper cover, and not the bumper itself.

If you happen to back into a post or the side of your garage, the resulting damage will probably be slightly less than the deductible on your insurance, if you were to repair it yourself. Therefore, you may want to consider performing the repair yourself, to save money but to also save the time you would have to spend waiting for someone at a body shop to perform this minor repair.

Here are some tips about bumper repair. They can help you decide whether you would like to do the repair yourself. You can read about the materials you will need, the type of effort involved and where it is best to make the repair.

You will need a dry, warm place to work on your bumper because the repair adhesives and fillers you will use, "cure" or set-up in a rather narrow temperature range. You can work indoors, but choose an area with adequate ventilation - but not in the basement because of the potentially dangerous fumes and odors the materials produce.

Bumpers are attached to the vehicle using various methods. They are held in place using tabs and screws that fit into slots in the body sheetmetal. Therefore, you may have to search to find out where the fasteners are located so you can remove them. Try underneath the trunk carpeting, and behind or under the bumper fascia.

You will find that bumpers are made of a variety of different plastic materials. And you will need to find out which one (out of a possible four or five different types) your bumper is made of, because each has different sanding and workability characteristics. But this is rather easy because the name of the plastic (the abbreviation, actually) is stamped into the back side of the bumper fascia. Yours may be made from polypropylene (PP), polyphenylene oxide (PPO), thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), polyurethane plastic rigid (PUR) or thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer (TPUR). Once you have determined the type of material out of which your bumper is constructed, you can go to the paint store or order your materials online. Hint: stay with the same brand product throughout the repair for consistency in finishes and workability.

You will most likely be repairing a tear, abrasion, or cut. Repair damaged areas from the backside of the bumper fascia and use masking tape or self-sticking fiberglass tape to temporarily hold areas together. When spreading adhesive, go easy: slopping it on heavily only means you will have more work later sanding and removing the excess.

Follow manufacturer's priming and painting instructions. Be sure to allow prime and finish coats to dry thoroughly before applying additional paint.

Once the paint is and clear coats are dry, you can re-install the bumper.