Whether you find yourself in a road accident or you accidentally hit a pillar in the parking lot, your car’s bumpers are the first point of contact between your vehicle and anything beyond it. Despite that, your front and rear bumpers aren’t meant to repel whatever they hit.
What they primarily do is absorb some of that impact, reducing the damage to the rest of the car while also lowering the risk of injury to the people inside.
Simply put, your bumper is designed to take a fair bit of punishment. That might make it sound ‘disposable’, but should you repair or replace your bumper when it gets damaged?
That’s what we’re going to figure out in this article. As it turns out, there are some situations where bumper repair is the best thing to do. Still, there comes the point where you’d be better off replacing the bumper altogether.
Let’s find out what makes the difference between those two options.
What Are the Most Common Types of Bumper Damage?
The most common types of bumper damage are scratches, dents, cracks, and breaks.
As your car’s ‘first line of defence’, your bumper is in the receiving end of all sorts of damage. Still, it’s essential to understand that not all damage types are the same. Instead, they can each be put into the four distinct categories mentioned above.
But what difference does it make if your bumper is damaged by scratches, dents, cracks, or breaks? Well, it’s because each type of damage calls for a different kind of repair.
And as you’ll see below, some kinds of damage can’t be fixed with bumper repair, requiring you to replace the whole thing.
How Are Bumpers Repaired?
You should repair your bumper if it’s damaged by scratches, dents, cracks, or slight breakage. However, the exact type of repair will depend on the kind of damage that it has suffered.
Here’s how some of the most common types of bumper damage can be fixed.
Light scratches are probably the most common type of damage a car bumper will ever experience. These could be caused by a gentle scrape against another car or against a wall. A passerby who accidentally brushes their luggage up against your vehicle could also leave light scratches on the bumper.
Scratches might be annoying, but they also happen to be the easiest type of bumper damage to fix. With just a little bit of wax, you can buff out light bumpers scratches without a problem. The friction from buffing will help you fade out those scratches, making them practically invisible.
Deeper scratches, however, will need an application or two of epoxy paint to cover it up. That way, it’ll blend in with the rest of the bumper and be harder to notice.
More substantial impacts can cause dents to form on your car bumper. Repairing a dent in your car bumper is almost the same as fixing dents on the vehicle’s body. However, it could be argued that it’s much easier to fix on a bumper.
Basically, the repairer will gently push on those dents and ‘massage’ the bumper back into its original shape. As a separate or additional technique, some repairers may use a vacuum device to suck the dent outwards, as well.
In many cases, applying a new layer of paint may be unnecessary.
Cracks on a car bumper are somewhat trickier to fix. Firstly, having a crack means that there’s a gap in the bumper’s material. Because of that, cracks must first be covered with filler before you can paint over them to blend in with the rest of the bumper again.
The deeper the cracks are on a car bumper, the more the bumper’s structural integrity is compromised. So, fixing deep cracks with filler and paint is not enough to get the job done right. On top of that, the bumper must be reinforced with a mesh to ensure that the bumper can offer at least some protection to the car again.
The most severe type of car bumper damage is a break. Yes, it’s still possible to fix breaks, and the techniques used are similar to the ones used when fixing cracks. Gaps are covered with filler, while mesh reinforcement will also need to be applied.
Still, all of that will depend on how severe the break is and where it happened on the bumper. For example, a minor break towards the side of the bumper might be fixable. However, a significant break right in the centre might not be something that you’d ever want to attempt to fix.
When Does a Bumper Need to Be Replaced?
An experienced and qualified repairer will do a careful assessment of your damaged bumper and tell you whether or not it can be fixed. Depending on the damage’s type and severity, it might be simpler and safer to replace the bumper rather than insist on more bumper repairs.
Some perfect examples of this are when the bumper has an excessive amount of severe cracks or breaks that are impossible to fix. At this point, the bumper’s structural integrity is undoubtedly compromised, making it unsafe to use on your car.
Besides that, significant paint damage is also a factor that might make it more feasible to buy a replacement rather than pay for more repairs.
Lastly, a bumper replacement is undoubtedly a wise choice if the bumper’s hooks or mounts are broken. These are the small parts that keep your bumper attached to the car. So, if they’re broken, that increases the risk that the bumper may fall off while you’re driving on the road.
Besides being very embarrassing, that kind of situation poses a danger to you and other cars on the road.
Learn Something New about Your Car Every Day!
To find out more about repairing a car bumper or any other part of your vehicle, check out the blog over at Carpart.com.au. There, you’ll find frequent updates that will help you become a better-informed car owner whether you’re in Australia or anywhere else in the world!
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By Ray Hasbollah