If there's one thing that you immediately notice about the Dodge Durango, it's that it has a huge bumper up front. That's a good thing, of course-all the better to absorb impact with. The bumper is such an integral part of safety-not to mention good taste-that it's impossible to conceive of anyone wanting to let their bumper fall apart. While it's admittedly a rare thing for a bumper to simply up and fall off, it does happen. The trick to heading off disaster before it arrives is to be attentive to the symptoms.
The first clear sign that your bumper might be in trouble is if you start to hear rattling up front and below. The most vulnerable points, you see, on a bumper are at the junction where it attaches to the body of your Durango. When the rattling gets really loud, there is a very good chance that the bumper is nearing the end of its service life. What you can do at this point-short of replacing the whole bumper-is to reinforce the attachment points. Surprisingly enough, putty serves as an affordable and effective quick fix.
Micro cracks-usually no greater than a couple of millimeters-are deceptive little dangers. Apart from the fact that they are difficult to spot via cursory examination, these tiny cracks give you the false impression that they're nothing to worry about. The thing with micro cracks is that they tend to slowly grow bigger and longer when subjected to constant vibration-which is what you get any time the Durango is running! Putty and even some epoxies can be used in a pinch to stem their growth. In fact, you can apply these from the inside so they are unnoticeable by everyone else.
The least common symptom of bumper trouble is discoloration on the surface or a loss of the glossy look. This is usually due to localized heat damage. So long as the damage does not extend deep into the structure of the bumper-and you can check the interior of the bumper for this-a simple re-paint will do nicely.