You are backing out of a parking space when suddenly you hear it: the crunching sound of your bumper making the acquaintance of a concrete light pole. You know what that means. It means you’re about to face a repair that is going to cost more than you want to spend.
Bumpers are among the most abused parts on modern cars. On the one hand, no one likes to look at a cracked bumper and think about that auto body repair bill. On the other hand, a cracked bumper is a bumper that did its job. It protected more sensitive parts of the car by absorbing the impact.
Here are three important things to know about bumper cracks – just in case you ever experience one yourself:
How a bumper is repaired depends on the material it is made of. Metal bumpers don’t crack so they aren’t an issue. As for non-metal bumpers, they are normally made of plastic, fiberglass, or a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). Straight up plastic is the easiest to repair. It’s also the least costly. Fiberglass and CFRPs are more complicated to fix.
It’s possible to observe what appear to be significant bumper cracks that are really just superficial. This can happen when the paint cracks. Cracked paint is nothing to get worked up about. A simple sanding, priming, and repainting will do the trick.
Finally, some cracked bumpers are so damaged they can be repaired. This sort of damage generally entails a significant amount of missing material or a crack that threatens the structural integrity of the bumper. An auto body professional is the most qualified person to make that determination.