Plastic Bumper Dent Removal

Old 04-25-08, 08:51 AM
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Plastic Bumper Dent Removal

Good morning again,

In a recent incident (no pun intended), a tree jumped out from the woods and dented the rear bumper on my wife's Toyota. The body shops all say that bumper replacement is the only option ($$$$). There are a few companies around here (as recommended by some friends) that specialize in bumper dent removal and refinishing (evidently they pop out the dent, fill if needed and repaint). It makes sense, but is this a valid option? Of course, the cost is what intrigues me, but I don't want to flush cash down the toilet either.

Thanks a bunch!
Old 04-25-08, 08:58 AM
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those plastic bumber covers are only semi it has a crater in it, correct?

i used a heat gun once and popped one out for a friend on a 2000 windstar. Yeah...the paint remained cracked but I actually got it to pop out pretty uniformly and with the crater gone, your eyes are not drawn to the damaged area so easily. you might try it and see if you can live with it before you spend any money on it.

take your time and warm it slowly, keep the heat moving as you can cook the paint if you hold it too close or too still...gently begin pushing from'll be able to feel it as it becomes pliable...until you have the whole area pushed back out. I used a bunch of rags over my fist to push as the plastic gets pretty warm.
Old 04-25-08, 09:00 AM
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Dave, I'm sure one of the auto experts will be here soon, but heck, I've fixed small dents and dings in plastic bumpers all by myself. I was lucky and the creased/cracked paint was barely noticable. I have seen several magazine articles about doing it yourself as well.

I wouldn't hesitate to check into these repair services, but it would depend on the extent of damage to the steel underneath, I would think.

Heck as a matter of fact, I messed up a ladies Camry rear bumper, and the dealer body shop repaired and repainted the cover, instead of replacing the whole thing.
Old 04-25-08, 09:07 AM
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It all depends on how bad it is and good you want it to turn out. They are repairable if the dent just needs popped out and filled. There's material for that type of repair that you could do yourself. It about like a Bondo type of repair. If it's an older car or one that less than perfect doesn't bother you, an average person could do a decent job on it.

The repair on the bumper isn't near what the painting of it is though. If you do all the priming, flex additive and what ever paint you need, it can all add up. If it's a white pearl tri coat, only someone who is very good at it will get it to match.

You run into a problem with a DIY job since you have no place to go with the leftover paint, cost of the gun/equipment, place to do it, etc.. You can get it premixed in an aerosol can, but that is a compromise in quality.

You can always rationalize doing it yourself with "hey, it'll get hit again sometime, anyway".

Hope this helps,

Old 04-25-08, 09:17 AM
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Thanks for the rapid replies!!

I do not intend to do it myself, but I am looking at some of the independent people who do it for a living (not the big body shops). It sounds like it is doable, and in the hands of a professional, hopefully it will look good (they claim to match the paint and finish it up as good as new). The difference is several hundred dollars between dent repair and bumper replacement!

Y'all have convinced me it is at least looking into.

Old 04-25-08, 10:59 AM
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Have you actually priced bumper covers, Dave; some are not that pricey, although you would need to paint them. Here's example (you didn't say year & model, but here's an '01 Camry):

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