5 Steps to Replacing Bumper Covers

  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Jack and Jack stands
Lug wrench
Basecoat, paint and clear coat
Razor blade
Spray bottle and soapy water

Bumper covers are used for various reasons though the two main advantages are that you can change the look of your car with a bumper cover and it can provide additional protection to the bumper and the front or back end of the car. It is best that you choose a pre-primed bumper cover as the primer will stop corrosion and help when you paint the bumper cover.

Step 1 – Remove the Old Bumper Cover

You will need to place the front of your car up on jack to remove the old bumper cover. Before using the jacks loosen the lug nuts on your tires with the lug wrench. Then use the jack to raise up the front of the vehicle and lower it onto the jack stands. Pull both of the front tires off and disconnect any of the signal wires. This can easily be done by pulling them out of the sides of the bumper so they are no longer in the turn signal socket.

Step 2 – Removing Rivets and Bolts

You will need to use the screwdriver to unhook any rivets that are holding the wheel well in place. These rivets are usually located in the wheel well. Pull the wheel covers off and set them to the side. Then remove the bolts that attach the bumper to the wheel well. Use a wrench to do this. You may need to get under the car to locate the bolts. You can normally locate the bolts if you are underneath the vehicle and looking up at the radiator. Once you have removed those side bolts you will need to remove the bolts that secure the front of the bumper onto the frame of the car. Unhook the plastic locks and remove the bumper cover.

Step 3 – Painting the Bumper Cover

You will want to paint the bumper cover before you apply it. If the cover is not already primed then applying an e-coat is a good idea. Make sure the bumper cover is free of all dirt and debris and apply the paint and clear coat in several layers. You can use wet sandpaper to sand off any imperfections, lumps or dirt. In order to keep the sandpaper wet, squirt slightly soapy water where you are sanding. The detailed instructions on painting your car will also apply to painting the bumper cover.

Step 4 – Attaching the New Bumper Cover

Check that your new bumper cover has the plastic clips that will secure it to the car. These should be included when you purchased the cover. You want to start from one side of the car and line up the clips with the holes in your car. This should be in the same spots where you detached the old bumper cover. Once they are lined up you should press the clips into place. You should hear the clips snap into place. This is best done with an additional person for help as one person can hold the bumper and the other can secure the clips.

Step 5 – Screws and Bolts

If you notice any other small holes in the new cover then you will need to screw in the bolts in the front of the car and along the wheel wells. Once the bumper is on securely you can reattach the wheel wells and tires and take your car off the jack stands.