Should I Repair or Replace My Car Bumper Cover?

Educational

Aug 12th, 2020

Should I Repair or Replace My Car Bumper Cover?

Bumper covers — both the rear and front bumper covers — are arguably the most frequently damaged car part during accidents. If you’ve found yourself struggling to decide whether to replace or repair your bumper cover, you’ll find this post very helpful.

Repair vs Replace decisions can be somewhat tricky. We’ve all been there. Ultimately, you just want to save money. First, you think, ‘Repairing this car part is the way to go since it’s going to save me some cash’. Then you think again, “What if buying a brand-new bumper is going to be more cost-effective in the long run?’ At this point, you’re stuck in the analysis paralysis rut, not knowing which way to go. 

The question remains, what exactly should you do about that damaged bumper or bumper cover? We’ll get around that shortly, but first, let’s provide answers to a few related FAQs.

What Is a Bumper Cover and How Does It Differ from a Bumper?

A bumper cover, also known as the front fascia, is a moulded body component that's usually made of either plastic, synthetic rubber, or fibreglass. A mistaken belief amongst car owners is that the bumper cover is just a fuller way of referring to the bumper, but it’s not.

The bumper is a hidden structure behind the bumper cover designed to absorb impact in a collision. You may think of it as the first line of defence. It acts as a sort of wall between your vehicle and the other vehicle or object involved in an accident. It takes the first hit in a front-end collision, ensuring that the crucial components under the hood receive less impact, therefore reducing cash spent on repairs. 

The bumper cover, on the other hand, sits at front of the actual bumper and serves as a covering. It serves two main functions. It makes the car more appealing to the eyes, and it improves fuel efficiency by enhancing the car's aerodynamics properties. 

In some cases, like trucks and heavy-duty vehicles, the bumper is a visible solid metal component.

Can a Bumper Cover Be Repaired?

Affirmative! There are various situations when it’s reasonable to fix the bumper cover without replacing it, such as the following instances.

  • When it has just a small dent: In situations where you have only a minor cut on your bumper cover, don't fret! A technician can effortlessly pull it, repair, and repaint. 
  • When the car is an old model: In this case, it might be a difficult and expensive process getting a new one as the bumper cover for your vehicle year and model may no longer be available. It may be cheaper and easier to repair the damage than to replace the bumper cover. Checking out used car body parts is also a viable option.
  • When the car is a foreign or luxury type: Parts for foreign and luxury vehicles are usually more costly. For less common cars like Nissan 350Z, the comparatively higher price is due to the added cost of shipping them from manufacturing countries. For luxury cars, it's the different electronics devices (cameras and sensors) attached to the bumper cover that account for the extra cost. 

An extensively torn bumper cover indicates that the structural strength of the bumper itself has been weakened. This means it'll provide reduced protection in the case of another collision. The best decision under such circumstances would be to replace the bumper cover and the bumper. If the crack is not so severe, though, you could simply repair it.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Bumper Cover?

For an average vehicle, a replacement bumper cover could cost from $230 to $380 while that of a luxury car like the 2018 Mercedes Benz C300 could cost up to $730. These estimates don't include shipping and labour costs. 

Auto body shops charge from $70 to $140 per hour on the average, apart from repainting cost, if needed. The process could take around 6 to 8 hours of labour, bringing the total to $420 at the barest minimum.

All these put together, the cost of replacing a bumper could run from $800 to $1,900 (without shipping cost).

Should You Repair or Replace a Bumper Cover After an Accident?

The answer to this depends on the extent of damage to the vehicle. In a major smash-up, you will likely have more to worry about than just the bumper cover, as the bumper including the Styrofoam and brackets might have taken a significant blow. In this case, a complete replacement of the bumper cover and the bumper will be necessary. But if the damage is minor—small crack, small dent, and whatnots—you could choose the repair option instead.

Which Is Cheaper: Repair a Bumper Cover or Replace It?

Fixing minor damage to the bumper cover won't cost much. Still, depending on the dynamics of your particular situation, replacing the bumper cover could be cheaper. The only way to be sure is to compare a price quote for a repair from your technician versus a price quote for purchase.

Here are some rough figures. For minor damages to a bumper cover, expect to spend around $315 to $1,000. As can be expected, that price goes up for multiple dents and significant cracks.

Comparatively, an average car such as a 2015 Toyota Corolla could cost you around $800 to $1,000, including fixing and the price of a replacement bumper cover. In comparison, the bumper cover replacement for a 2018 Mercedes Benz C300 could set you back around $1,500 to $1,800.

Bottom Line

Without examining your bumper cover, you can’t tell outright whether you need to repair or replace it. Whatever you decide to do in the end, make sure you don’t compromise on the roadworthiness of your car in a bid to save some bucks. If you do need to get a replacement bumper cover but would like to save a few bucks, you may want to request used or new auto parts from Carpart.com.au. That’s right, we’ve got something for everybody. It’s easy, fast, and cost-effective – get a quote now!


By Damilare Olasinde