bumped bumpers

Do you recognize the punched-in soft spot in the bumper below, has it happened to your car?

a pushed in bumper corner
bumpers are built to withstand a straight-on low speed impact, but most cars have little side or corner support behind the plastic bumper cover.

with the rear bumper cover removed you can see the rear bumper has padding on the back but not on the sides. this is true of most cars

subaru forester with a bumped in corner
the right rear corner area is the hardest to see when backing up. This is a wr blue Forester X Sport 2007/2008 model


bump... ouch... the plastic cover is pushed in. Off to the body shop to be replaced

This area used to be part of the metal front fender or rear quarter panel.
Now that area is part of the plastic bumper cover.

Replacing or repairing a damaged bumper cover certainly costs a lot less than repairing a metal fender or quarter panel.
And a bumper cover weighs less which helps fuel economy.
Those are both big advantages.

But the bumper cover could have some internal reinforcing to minimize this type of damage.


body shops replace a lot of bumper covers. Reportedly a few upscale cars companies have reinforced the bumper corners.
bumper covers are lightweight
bumper covers, also known as bumper skins,  are lightweight plastic shells to cover the bumper support.

With the bumper cover removed, you can see the rear bumper works very well to minimize parking lot bumps and thumps, but doesn't do much for corner crunches.


it can happen to any car, any manufacturer. Unbolt the plastic cover and put a new one on.


even SUVs


and heres one with the front bumper and fender removed.
You can see the front bumper support isn't going to be much good if the car is hit in that side soft spot in front of the wheel

the days of metal bumpers wrapping around to protect the side is long gone

a 1967 Mustang with a real metal bumper that goes around the corner of the fender. The fender is also metal, and today it would be very costly to fix a dent, so the plastic cover has an advantage but would work better if it was reinforced. 
the rear bumper on the 67 Mustand doesn't doesn't protect the metal quarter panel. These days that lower area part of the quarter panel is part of the plastic bumper cover. Another benefit of the plastic bumper cover is that is doesn't rust.

an older Subaru... this metal bumper absorbs impact because its has a shock absorber. The fender and quarter panel is metal.

a truck body is metal which is why a lot of older trucks have serious rust issues

some vehicles don't have anything to dent


time to call the insurance company and replace or repair the bumper cover


this bump actually tore the bumper cover exposing the end of the support

It just would be good if the plastic bumper cover had some internal stiffening material or reinforcement


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