Circle Auto Protect Blog

How You Can Save Money by Fixing a Bumper Scratch On Your Own

Oct 16, 2019
Michael Robinson

Has this ever happened to you: you’ve been out and about for work, errands, and various activities, taking care to park your car a safe distance away from other vehicles, but you return to find that your bumper has been scratched and dented?

It’s just a “cosmetic” issue– but it turns out repairing the bumper can be a major cost.

You can fix a damaged bumper on your own. It will involve some effort and tasks like grinding, sanding, and painting, but in the long-run you can save money and keep your car looking sleek and shiny.    

Here’s a list of step-by-step instructions so you can go right ahead and fix that bumper scratch all by yourself: 

1.    Supplies You’ll Need

•    Wrench, Screwdrivers, Ratchet/Socket Set
•    A Repair and Refinishing Filler Kit (make sure it matches the material of your bumper)
•    Plastic Fenders and Door Skins (these should be made from the sheet molding compound)
•    A Prep Solvent (this removes oil and debris to maintain adhesiveness)
•    Automotive Spray Primer
•    Automotive Spray Clear Coat
•    Paint (this should be matched by the factory)
•    Sandpaper (both fine and coarse)
•    Sander
•    Scuff Pad
•    Towel
•    Grease Remover
•    Putty (specifically to fill scratches)

2.    Fixing the Bumper

You want to set up shop so that’s you’re working in a warm, dry environment.

When you’re repairing the bumper, it’s important to know that what you’re really focused on is the exterior layer of plastic or sheet metal. This layer has actually been designed to deform and deflect on impact (so a dent is no surprise!), in order to protect your vehicle as whole.

The first task is to remove this exterior layer. You’ll want to look for screws and bolts around the trunk, hood, lights, and/or wheel walls. 

Once you’ve removed this exterior layer, you want to check the label to confirm the exact type of plastic material it is made out of (e.g. PP. PPO. TPE, PUR, TPUR). You’ll want to make sure to use a filler that will be compatible.

Next, you’ll want to scuff and clean the damaged area and let it dry before wiping the area with the prep solvent. Once the solvent dries, sand it with the sand paper. Then use a sander appropriate for the kind of plastic you have and create a V-shaped grove in the damaged area.

Now, you’re ready to spread the filler to repair. Follow the directions of the kit – you may need to use the included tape to add structure to repair a tear or cut.

Once everything has hardened, you can sand off and clean any excess. You can go over the bumper again to fix any surface imperfections so that you restore the correct contour. The process may take multiple coats.

3.    Fixing the Paint Job

Now that the bumper is repaired, I’s time to paint.

You want to start by applying the sealer, letting It dry, applying the primer, letting it dry, and then sanding to remove any imperfections.

Next, make sure the surface area is clean and smooth and apply the basecoat of paint. Then follow the manufacturer’s instruction to create a matching paint job for the bumper.

Once it’s dry, apply the clear coat twice and let it dry overnight – you are now ready to re-install the bumper!
If you want to learn more about how to save on the cost of auto repairs, reach out to us here at Circle Auto Protect and find out about the coverage plans we offer. We can help you go to an ASE certified technician and save money.

Give us a call at: 833-247-2530 (833-CIRCLE0). Or, you can get a quick quote for your vehicle here!



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