When Does a Bumper Need Replacement Rather Than Dent Repair?

image of a plano repair shop

Your vehicle’s bumpers are built to absorb the impact of a front-end or rear-end collision so as to keep you and your passengers safe. However, they can look like they have taken a beating even after a minor hit. It’s fairly easy to repair small dents and scratches on the bumpers. In many cases, paintless dent repair is all that is needed to fix cosmetic damage and minor dents. You may need full-blown collision repair if your car has experienced extensive autobody damage.

In the case of extremely damaged bumpers after a serious collision, you’re better off replacing them rather than repairing them. Because bumpers act as shock absorbers to lessen an impact’s force, repairing a compromised bumper may lead to more damage if you were to get in an accident in the future.

Damaged Connection Points

A molded bumper may look like a seamless part of your vehicle’s exterior, but it is actually a separate piece mounted to hooks and welded connection points on the frame. They are there to ensure that the force made by another car bumping into yours travels throughout the entire car evenly.

If you have a loose bumper and it moves around when you drive or push on it, it’s probably missing a connection point. If you simply attempt to reattach the bumper, it could come flying off later when you’re on the road, even under normal driving conditions. When your mechanic can remove the damaged bumper, he or she can fully inspect and repair all the connection points and other frame parts prior to installing a new bumper.

Cracked, Crumpled Surfaces

Holes, cracks and crumpled areas that result in ridges are tough to address with repairs. Dent repair techniques are able to smooth out parts of a crumpled area; however, the compromised material that is not able to be smoothed out can weaken the bumper, making it react unexpectedly in a future collision.

Cracks and holes serve to weaken the whole structure, reducing your bumper’s ability to take shocks. It may be possible to patch small cracks and holes using bonding materials, but it’s not always the best choice when you consider the compromised strength of that part. You’ll get peace of mind and a better-looking vehicle when you opt for a bumper replacement.

Widespread Denting

Dents in bumpers are typically isolated in one corner, particularly when it involves damage caused by accidents such as bumping against a light pole or a high curb. If the dent starts to spread across the bumper, looks more than just a few inches wide, or if you see many dents that overlap a big portion of the bumper, it’s more and more likely that dent repair won’t work.

Bumpers that have widespread, severe dents are usually compromised under the surface. If the foam filling or internal frame of the bumper has been broken because of extensive denting, the bumper will not perform as expected in a future accident, even if you have made the necessary dent repairs and all looks well from the exterior.

Underlying Body Damage

Accidents that dent your bumper may result in serious frame damage. A bent, twisted or cracked frame poses a big safety hazard due to the constant vibration of driving which will slowly worsen the problem. Removing a damaged bumper and replacing it once repairs are done is recommended after a serious collision, even if you don’t see much external damage.

Patching is a possible solution for very minor dents, but you have to make sure there has been no damage to the underlying metal bumper structure first, advises Family Handyman.

Why Immediate Dent Repair is Necessary

It’s human nature to put off getting a small dent repair. However, putting off this task can result in big problems later, such as:

  • Rust problems: Cracks caused by the impact allow water to get underneath the paint and clear coat where it can reach the unprotected metal of your car. That water will cause the metal to rust.
  • Long-term damage to paint: When you ignore paint damage that comes with a dent, this issue will only get worse. Those cracks will get bigger and bigger, starting to flake and peel and thereby exposing the underlying sealant.
  • Reduced resale value: Despite how well your car runs, the exterior appearance is a critical factor for anyone looking to buy your vehicle. Dents, rust spots and paint damage all reduce the asking price of your vehicle.

Contact Hance’s Uptown Collision Center

Come visit us in Dallas or Plano if you need bumper repair or paintless dent repair for your vehicle. We would be happy to accommodate you, with affordable prices and convenient scheduling. Contact us today at either location.

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