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Summary
  • Most unpainted aftermarket bumper covers come folded to assume a more compact form, but they’ll unfold into their proper shape once they’re warmed up properly.
  • You can use natural heat from the sun to restore the bumper cover to its original shape.
  • You can also unfold the bumper cover indoors by using a heat gun.

If you’ve just received your bumper cover, you may be wondering why it’s folded.

Most unpainted aftermarket bumper covers come folded to assume a more compact form. Folding our bumper covers allows us to help our customers enjoy savings on shipping costs. Since they’re made of shape-memory plastic, they will unfold into their proper shape once they are warmed up properly.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to unpack, unfold, and get your bumper cover ready for installation.

1. Remove the bumper cover from its packaging.

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step 1 remove bumper cover from packaging

Take extra care when using a blade or knife to open the packaging to avoid accidentally damaging the surface of your bumper cover.

2. Look for the instructions in the box and read them carefully.

step 2 look for instructions on bumper cover installation

3. Check the bumper cover for major scratches or defects.

step 3 check bumper cover for scratches or defects

If you see any minor scuffs, don’t worry—your bumper cover comes pre-primed for protection and should be scuffed completely before applying your chosen primer and paint.

There are two ways to unfold your bumper cover. Depending on time constraints, available space, and weather conditions, you can either do this outdoors or inside your home.

Outdoor Method

This approach makes use of the natural heat from the sun to restore the bumper cover to its original shape.

It takes much longer but does not require any tools.

1. Find a spot that gets a lot of direct sunlight, and place your bumper cover on a cardboard or a soft surface facing down.

outdoor method bumper cover direct sunlight spot

It’ll take anywhere between one to four hours to unfold, depending on how warm it is.

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2. After two to three hours, flip your bumper cover so it faces forward.

outdoor method flip bumper cover so it faces forward

3. Flip your bumper cover and leave it face up for the last hour.

outdoor method flip bumper cover and leave it face up for the last hour

4. Test fit your unfolded bumper on your vehicle.

outdoor method test fit your unfolded bumper cover

Indoor Method

If direct sunlight is not available or if you have no outdoor space, you can also unfold the bumper cover indoors using a heat gun.

If you don’t have a heat gun, you may also use a blow dryer. Although it may take longer, it’ll still get the job done.

1. Position the bumper with the creased areas facing the front. Hold the heat gun several inches away from the creases and keep it moving.

indoor method bumper cover position creased areas facing the front

2. Avoid pointing the heat gun at one spot for too long as excessive heat can distort or melt the plastic. Keep the gun moving to spread the heat evenly across the surface of the bumper cover.

indoor method bumper cover keep the gun moving

3. Test fit your unfolded bumper on your vehicle.

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indoor method bumper cover test fit bumper cover

If some parts need more work, you may repeat the process and use your heat gun until it’s completely straightened out.

Once your bumper cover is fully unfolded, you can proceed to priming and painting it.

Shop this Project

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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.

File Under : DIY , Car Body Tagged With : ,
Garage Essentials
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Kandy Lytle

I’m wanting to order an after market viper bumper kit for my 2003 dodge neon srt 2.2
But i cannot get it to come up when I’m searching

Eddie Joe

Wow, unbelievable

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