Cheaper options for repairing damaged bumper
January 13, 2022 8:40 AM   Subscribe

Part of my front bumper is missing. Got an initial estimate for $3000 to fix, which is possibly more than the car is worth. What other options should I consider for repair or replacement?

My car is a 2010 Hyundai, 95k miles. It’s running fine but the bumper is an eyesore and probably not very safe.

My deductible is $500 but I am concerned about my rates going up although I haven’t filed a claim in years. Is this misguided?

I see you can buy bumpers online for a couple hundred dollars and I’ve watched a couple YouTube videos about installing them but can’t tell if it’s something that’s harder than it looks. Is there some sort of bumper cover I can place over it that will be secure instead?
posted by girlmightlive to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Another option is to call junk yards for a replacement bumper and just have a local shop put it on for you.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:18 AM on January 13 [6 favorites]

Bumpers you buy online will come unpainted. If you can find a used one the same colour that will save the expense of painting.

Most cases it is pretty straight forward to change but tedious involving several different fasteners some of which may require destroying to remove. If I couldn't find a YouTube video of the process I was confident in I'd just start removing bolts until I got it off. Replacements for the single install fasteners are available but will add a little cost.

However it looks like the hood may not be aligned with the headlight. If that is the case and the underlying structure is tweaked getting the replacement cover to fit might be challenging.
posted by Mitheral at 10:39 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]

Go to this site and search for the same paint code. On that site you can stratify results by price or by location, seeking out one close to you. You can probably install this yourself. As for the alignment of the headlight, you may also be able to correct this yourself (but I don't think this will interfere with mounting the bumper cover). This is what I would do in your place if I had not recently taken a blood oath to never do anything more complicated than fill my gas, air my tires, or check my oil. Good luck!
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 11:14 AM on January 13

However it looks like the hood may not be aligned with the headlight. If that is the case and the underlying structure is tweaked getting the replacement cover to fit might be challenging.

The optimist view of this means you don't have to worry so much about fit and alignment, since getting a perfect panel gap would be challenging if not impossible. So, glass half full?
posted by Kyol at 11:57 AM on January 13

Shop around car wreckers looking for a bumper the same colour. It's a common car so there should be plenty around, but you may have to wait for an exact match. If you're reasonably handy and patient, fitting it yourself shouldn't be too hard but there may be some obscure/difficult fasteners to deal with. Once you have it off, you'll be able to see any bent brackets etc and straighten them out to help with the alignment issue. Or just get a local body shop to fit it.

I would call your insurance company first and find out what the impact would be on your insurance rates. If the hit isn't too bad, $500 might be worth it to get the job done professionally and perfectly.
posted by dg at 2:00 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]

I bought a bumper for my current car through a junkyard (checked an aggregate site for places that had the right color within driving distance. Saved a chunk. Was going to put it on myself since youtube tutorials made it look doable, but ended up having the money to pay a local guy put it on. Still saved a bunch.

Sorry, I don't know enough about insurance to answer rate increase questions.

If you find a bumper from a junkyard in the right color and put it on yourself you'll get away much cheaper than that deductible though.
posted by liminal_shadows at 3:19 PM on January 13

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