DETAILING MY CAR > How to Fix Scuffs and Scrapes From a Bumper

How to Fix Scuffs and Scrapes From a Bumper

IMG_5737Plastic Auto Bumper Repair

I am going to share some options for getting minor body damage repaired on your car’s plastic covered bumpers. These are the minor scuffs, scrapes and shallow dents we get from things like parallel parking. Nowadays, bumpers are actually made in three layers. Depending on the severity of damage there is an inexpensive way to fix them. This subject came up all the time while running my detail shop. Don’t let a little bumper bump bum you out.

A few years back I needed some minor repair and repainting on my back bumper. I came out of the grocery store and saw that someone had lightly backed into my car. I was so upset I almost dropped my Oreos. It only caused some minor denting and some scratches in the paint. I thought about calling my insurance company – but I didn’t want my rates to get jacked up. So it was time to do a little research.

What is a Plastic Bumper Anyway?

Just about every late model car has a plastic bumper cover. They aren’t chromed steel anymore – and haven’t been for years. The bumper is actually a bar of metal – usually aluminum mounted on a type of shock absorber. It is covered with a rigid foam pad. Next, this is covered up by the shaped plastic bumper cover. This piece is painted to match the car. The first two shops where I took the car wanted to just replace the entire plastic cover and the foam backing pad – not fix the minor damage on it. The bumper repair costs ranged from $1000 to $1500 at the time. Plastic bumper repair costs can be all over the map.

Now keep in mind that this was minor damage. There were no holes, tears or huge dents in the plastic cover. Some less fanatical owners would have just lived with it. I couldn’t. My next choice was to have the bumper cover fixed and repainted. The estimate for this work at a body shop was about $700 to $800. Having been in the car business, I know that auto dealerships didn’t pay this type of money for minor fixes – they are too cheap! So I called some of my contacts at a few dealership service departments and found out there was another option. Bumper repairs shouldn’t be so tough.

Same Day Bumper Repair Businesses

There are companies that come out to you and do “same day bumper repair.” These folks repair and repaint your damaged bumper cover without replacing it. And they don’t have to repaint the entire thing. They fill in the minor dents, sand down the body work, and then apply new paint using an airbrush touch-up method. Then they use a heater to dry and harden the paint. The last step is to buff out the new paint so it matches the shine on your car. This beats leaving your car at the body shop for days and having to rent a car. Prices for this type of repair run from $300 to $400 on average. That is much better on the wallet. Check out these “same day” repair guys online – or just call your car dealership’s service department and get a referral. It’s great to have some options for fixing minor damage.

Now we have learned that there are several ways to go about having a damaged bumper fixed. You can have the entire thing replaced and repainted. You can have the damage filled and the whole thing repainted. Or, you can go with a “same day” bumper repair business that just fixes the damaged area and airbrushes it to match the rest of the bumper. So before you sink big money into a repair, check and see what your options are – you could save quite a bit of money along the way. Just remember: It’s a bumper, and they’re going to get bumped.

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