How-to » Body & Interior » Exterior » How to Replace a Plastic Bumper Cover

How to Replace a Plastic Bumper Cover

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Note: This is a general guide for all vehicles.

Parts
  • Buffing Ball
  • Bumper Cover
Tools
  • Screwdriver
  • DA Sander
  • 3 more tools
Difficulty

Hard

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Steps

Safety Tip:
Always wear safety glasses when working on your vehicle. Wear other personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary, for example latex gloves or closed toe shoes.

1
Remove the bumper cover from the vehicle (use a door trim panel tool for clips or screwdriver for screws). Remove all the clips/screws that are holding the bumper cover to the vehicle.
2
Once the bumper cover is removed you will need to lightly sand the scuffed area. Start with a heavier grit sandpaper working up to a lighter grit paper until the scuff is removed and the surface is smooth.
6992
3
Clean the area so that it is free of dirt.
4
Apply a thin coat of body filler to the sanded area, following manufacturer's instructions.
6990
5
Sand the area where you applied body filler until it is smooth and matches the rest of the bumper cover.
6
You will need to prep the entire bumper cover for paint. Do this by cleaning the entire cover with an alcohol water mixture. Do an initial wet sand and scuff of the paint with a Scott's bright pad, and then clean the entire cover again.
7
Spray primer onto the damaged area of the bumper cover.
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8
Mix and apply the basecoat paint onto the damaged area. Use a blending technique to blend the paint into the rest of the cover. This will allow a smooth transition of the new color into the old color.
9
Dry the bumper cover in a booth before applying a clear coat.
10
Apply the clear coat application across the entire bumper cover using a similar technique as the basecoat.
11
Allow clear coat to dry completely. Bake to help speed up the process.
12
Check for dirt in paint (dirt is trash that has become stuck in the clear coat during application).
13
Remove any large dirt with a sharp razor blade.
14
Soak some 1500 grit sandpaper in soapy water.
15
Add some soapy water in a spray bottle and spray on painted surface.
16
Use a block sander to apply even pressure when sanding.
17
Sand the area in a circular motion until all the dirt is removed.
18
Repeat the process with 2000 grit sandpaper soaked in soapy water.
19
Wipe the bumper cover down with an alcohol water mixture and re-inspect for dirt.
20
Use a polish compound to remove any swirl marks left from the sanding.
21
Re-install the new bumper cover in reverse order that the old bumper cover was removed. You may need to replace clips or retainers that were broken during the removal of the bumper cover.
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Guide Contributors

  • ARZ at AutoMD.com
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