How to Repair a Plastic Bumper
A plastic bumper repair is an easy weekend body repair job to help beautify your car by getting rid of deep scratches and cracks. One option for this type of repair job is to use a fiberglass body repair compound such as Bond-O. However, there are a number of companies that produce a plastic bumper repair kit. Listed below you will find a listing of tools and materials that you will need and the steps required for plastic bumper repair.
Tools and Materials
You will need to decide whether you want to buy a specialized kit made especially to repair a plastic bumper or a plastic body repair compound such as Bond-O.
- Your desired repair medium, specialized kit or Bond-O kit
- 80 grit sandpaper
- File or cut off tool with grinding wheel installed
- Aluminum tape or similar-NOT duct tape
- Bumper touch up paint kit
- Drill with wire cleaning brush
- Safety glasses
- Rubber gloves
- 200 grit sandpaper
- Rubber sanding block
Step 1: Wash the Affected Area
Thoroughly wash the area surrounding the crack in your bumper. You must remove all contaminates from the bumper for this process to work. There are also specialized plastic bumper cleaning solvents that are ideal for this.
Step 2: Stabilize the Crack
This is very important. Hold the two sides of the crack in proper alignment. Use the aluminum tape on the exposed (outside) side of the bumper to hold the two edges of the crack in proper alignment.
Step 3: Wire Brush Underside of Bumper
Use the wire wheel to clean an area that extends one to two inches on either side of the crack for the whole length of the crack. Use the 60 grit sandpaper to roughen up the surface of the bumper.
Step 4: Apply Strengthener
With a plastic bumper repair kit, this will be a wire mesh that is “welded” into the plastic of the underside of the bumper and gives strength to the repair. With a Bond-O type kit, this will be an adhesive wire, fiberglass or plastic mesh. If you are using the kit, you will need to use the soldering iron type tool to heat the wire mesh and plastic to embed the mesh in the plastic. The Bond-O kit will have the mesh applied to the surface.
Step 5: Apply Filler Material to Underside of Bumper
Be generous here. Scoop the filler material on the applicator and pressing firmly, wipe it across and into the crack in the bumper. Smooth the material flush with the bumper. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Step 6: Apply Filler Material to Top Side of Bumper
Remove the aluminum tape from the top side of the bumper. Use the cleaning solvent to remove any residual adhesive. Use the 60 grit sandpaper to roughen up the surface of the bumper for one to two inches along the length of the crack. Use firm pressure and generously apply the filler to the top side of the bumper. Allow to dry completely.
Step 7: Sand and Touch Up Paint
Once the exterior filler material is completely dry, you need to sand it flush with the rest of the bumper. Affix the 200 grit sandpaper to the sanding block and sand the whole area of the crack until the filler compound is flush with the rest of the bumper. Completely remove all dust and grit from the bumper surface and carefully use the touch up paint to paint over the area of your repair of the plastic bumper.
Following the above outlined steps can help you save as much as $1000 by repairing a cracked plastic bumper on your own.