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Summary
  • Plastic welding, epoxy repair, bumper repair kits, and professional repair can fix cracked bumpers.
  • The best option depends on the extent of the bumper damage and how much effort and time you want to spend on the repair.
  • Repairing minor dents costs between $150 and $250.

Unbeknownst to most, the bumper is pivotal in road safety, especially during collisions. It absorbs most of the impact during low-speed collisions to protect you, your passengers, and your vehicle from serious harm and damage. It’s no wonder some states, like California, require vehicles to have both a front and rear bumper.

As such, it’s crucial to keep your bumpers in great condition, which means patching up damages, no matter how small. Luckily, there are different options to help fix scratches and cracks.

Different Ways to Fix a Cracked Plastic Bumper

car front plastic bumper cracked
It’s crucial to keep your bumpers in great condition, which means patching up damages, no matter how small.

Plastic welding, epoxy repair, bumper repair kits, and professional repair can fix cracked bumpers.

Plastic Welding

Plastic welding creates a molecular bond between two compatible thermoplastics to offer strength and reduced cycle types. There are three main steps to welding: pressing, heating, and cooling.

The plastic welding processes vary depending on the heating methods used. Common ones include the following procedures:

  • Hot air welding
  • Ultrasonic welding
  • Radiofrequency welding
  • Spin welding
  • Vibration welding
  • Laser welding
  • Hot plate welding
  • Contact welding
  • Automatic welding

Hot air welding is arguably the most flexible method. It applies to most geometries, is durable, and is inexpensive compared to the other methods. Hot air welding utilizes gas heated by the electric heating elements in the welding gun to melt and join different components together.

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It typically costs around $300 to plastic weld a car bumper. However, various factors can bump the price up, such as the extent of the damage and the preparation, disassembly, materials, painting, and reassembly involved.

Note that plastic welding works best on thermoplastic and urethane bumpers.

Epoxy Repair

Epoxy is a strong, high-performance adhesive material that resists corrosion, making it an ideal choice to repair damaged bumpers.

Epoxy repair usually involves three main steps: cleaning, mixing, and smoothing.

First, clean the bumper using a specialized solvent for proper adhesion. Mix the compound, then apply the epoxy to cover the damage. Finally, smooth and shape the epoxy to match the bumper for a more natural look.

This method of fixing a cracked bumper doesn’t take much time and effort. You can do it yourself; simply follow the instructions on the epoxy. It’s also durable, as epoxy lasts a long time.

Going the DIY route on minor bumper cracks can cost you around $100.

Some factors could skyrocket the price, like the severity of damage, materials, and labor costs if you seek professional assistance. All in all, it shouldn’t cost you more than $300 for professional epoxy repairs.

One last thing to note is to choose a bumper repair epoxy specifically designed for bumper repair. Different epoxies cater to various types of plastics and bumper materials.

Bumper Repair Kits

Bumper repair kits have everything you need to repair bumpers and bumper covers. They usually include a primer, pre-measured sachets of filler, and solvent wipes. The filler works similarly to epoxy, giving you flexibility for permanent repairs.

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Using these kits involves fixing up the cracks yourself. The process usually involves the following steps:

  • Step 1: Use the wipes to clean the inside and outside parts of the bumper for proper adhesion. Make sure to remove any shards of plastic in the process.
  • Step 2: Use an 80-grit sandpaper on the affected area to smooth out sharp or raised edges to bond better with the filler.
  • Step 3: Wipe the area with a damp cloth.
  • Step 4: Line up the bumper’s front and back with masking tape. Repair the back part first, using the solution that bonds the filler to the plastic (if included), and wait for it to dry.
  • Step 5: Apply a layer of filler over the affected area, then cut the bonding mesh to size and place it over the damage.
  • Step 6: Apply another layer of filler over the mesh to cover it up before smoothing it out.
  • Step 7: Repeat the steps for the bumper’s front side.
  • Step 8: Use wet fine-grained sandpaper to finish once the fillers have hardened.
  • Step 9: Apply two layers of primer and paint to the bumper and wait for it to dry before applying two layers of clearcoat over the paint.

Using bumper repair kits is convenient because you can fix the issues yourself. They’re also cheaper than going to a mechanic, as these repair kits only cost around $15.00.

Professional Repair

The last option for fixing a cracked bumper is to take it to an auto shop and have a mechanic look. While it will cost more than the DIY route, professional repairs are guaranteed to be of higher quality.

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Auto repair shops give different options as far as bumper repairs go. Plastic welding and epoxy repairs are usually available, but they also offer bumper replacements if the damage is severe.

Besides the guaranteed quality of work, seeking professional help also lets you have other impurities looked at. It’s your chance to have an expert assess other problems, no matter how small.

Of course, the major disadvantage of going to an auto shop is the cost. Because you’re paying for their time, experience, and knowledge, expect the bill to hover around $350, depending on the bumper’s damage.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Cracked Bumper?

The price of repairing bumpers depends on the type of damage. Minor dents are usually priced between $150 and $250, while scratches range from $100 to $300.

For severe damages like cracks and dents, the price is usually between $250 and $600 because they’ll need to reshape and repaint the bumper.

These prices vary depending on where you take your vehicle. Factors like materials used, labor cost, and others could affect the final bill.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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