Plastic Bumper Repair: How does it work?
November 22, 2023

If your car sustains damage to the front or rear bumper, you might be able to have it repaired, rather than replacing the whole thing. Here we cover everything you need to know about plastic bumper repair, including how it’s utilised at our Activate Accident Repair bodyshops

Can a plastic bumper be repaired?

Yes – depending on the extent of the damage, it’s possible to repair a plastic bumper rather than having it replaced. This usually applies to scrapes, scratches, cracks, and small holes – which can be filled and painted to match the original finish, using spot repair methods.

However, a plastic bumper won’t be repaired if:

  1. The Damage affects the structural integrity of the bumper
  2. The manufacturer’s guidelines specify that the part needs to be replaced
  3. The repair can’t adequately restore the part to its original finish
  4. The repair risks interfering with any vehicle sensors/safety equipment

If any of the above apply, then the bumper will most likely need to be replaced completely.

How are plastic bumpers repaired?

The methods used to repair a plastic bumper depend on how severely it’s damaged.

Minor damage

For minor scrapes, chips, or scratches, a SMART repair may be carried out – during which the part remains on the vehicle, damage is filled, and paint is blended to match the original finish.

More extensive damage

If the damage is more extensive – like large dents or cracks – the bumper will be removed from the vehicle. Any dents will be removed using specialist suction tools, cracks will be welded, holes filled, and the bumper painted to match the original OE finish.

Note: Once a plastic bumper has been repaired, any onboard safety features present on the vehicle should be recalibrated to the original manufacturer settings. This is particularly important for vehicles with ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), which often have sensors fitted to or beneath the bumpers.

Watch: How Activate Accident Repair fixes plastic bumper damage

Throughout our UK network of Activate Accident Repair bodyshops, we use ‘repair over replace’ methodology where possible to restore plastic bumpers to their original condition. Here’s a short video from our team in Warrington, explaining exactly how it works:

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