If you were recently in a collision where someone hit your plastic bumper, or you accidentally backed into something, you may be looking at ways to fix it. Before heading to an auto body repair shop, it can be helpful to try and tackle this project on your own. Here are some tips for fixing your own plastic bumper:
Clean the Bumper
Before you start patching it up and repairing, the plastic bumper needs to be cleaned thoroughly. You can look at this like you are cleaning out a wound. Look at the damage of the bumper and see if there are deep holes or scratches in the bumper.
If so, use any small tools you can get your hands on to clean out these holes and make sure no dust or debris is lodged there. You may need to enlarge the hole slightly in order to clean it out thoroughly, but don't worry, you can repair this later on. If you have pieces of bumper that don't look like they could be repaired, it is better to just cut them off.
To clean up burrs on the plastic bumper, smooth it out by using a high-grit sandpaper. Scuff the entire bumper with your sandpaper and make sure it is cleaned on all sides.
Reinforce the Area
It helps to reinforce the area of repairs before you start adding the filler. Mesh or auto repair cloth both work well for this purpose. Cut a piece of cloth that is slightly larger than the hole you are repairing, and soak it in fiberglass body filler. Press the cloth to the back side of the holes you are going to repair. This allows it to create a barrier behind the hole, so that the filler has something to attach to when being applied.
After you have the patch in place, you can start adding your filler. The fiberglass reinforced filling product is highly recommended for this type of repair work because it has a lot of strength and durability. When applying filler, add just one thin layer at a time, and let the layers dry before adding another. Once you have added a sufficient amount of filler product to the front of the hole, sand it until smooth.
Paint the Bumper
The last step to repairing a plastic bumper is painting the area. Use a spray paint that matches the color of your plastic bumper. Most of these bumpers are a color that is easy to match, such as white, black, red or gray. If you are having trouble finding the right color, the sales associate at the auto supply store should be able to help you out. Follow the instructions on the can for spraying the bumper, adding as many coats as you think it needs.
If you have a large amount of damage to your bumper, bring it into an auto body repair shop. They will either repair the damaged parts, or replace the entire bumper. To learn more, contact a company like Foley Auto & RV Repair with any questions you have.