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How to Unfold & Prep Your Bumper Cover for Installation

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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.

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.

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

black bumper cover
Most unpainted bumper covers come unfolded to assume a more compact form.

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 (it will need to be in the sun for up to 4 hours).

2. Open the packaging and remove the bumper cover.

3. Arrange the cardboard packaging to lie flat on the ground. This will serve as a clean surface for your bumper cover.

4. Place the bumper cover on the cardboard surface in the position shown below.

bumper cover on a cardboard

5. Let the bumper cover sit in the sunlight for three hours.

bumper cover under the sunlight

6. Once you hit the three-hour mark, reposition the bumper cover so that the front part is facing the floor. Leave it in this position for the remaining hour.

holding a bumper cover

7. The unfolded bumper cover is ready for further treatment.

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.

This takes less time but requires more effort and care.

1. Use the cardboard packaging as your work surface and place the bumper cover on top.

using heat gun to a bumper cover

2. Look for creased areas on the bumper cover. Apply heat to those areas with the heat gun.

heating bumper cover
man holding heat gun and bumper cover

3. 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.

unfolding bumper cover

4. Once the last patch of creased plastic is straightened out, you can consider the bumper cover fully unfolded.

minor scratches on a bumper cover

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CarParts.com

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In the Garage with CarParts.com is an online blog dedicated to bringing DIYers and devoted car enthusiasts up to date with topical automotive news and lifestyle content. Our writers live and breathe automotive, taking the guess work out of car repairs with how-to content that helps owners get back on the road and keep driving.

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