Bumper Retainer Buyer’s Guide
- The bumper retainer is a bracket made from sturdy materials that keep the bumper cover in place and protects it against physical distortions.
- The bumper retainer increases the bumper's ability to absorb the physical shock of an impact.
- A replacement bumper retainer attaches to the bumper’s edges and reinforces the vehicle’s existing bumper retainer.
- The qualities that you should look for when shopping for bumper retainers include sturdiness, compatibility with the bumper, appropriate location on the vehicle, and a color that matches your car’s paint job.
- Bumper retainers cost anywhere between $0.31 and $156.
The bumper serves as the first line of defense for any vehicle. It reduces the damage received by an automobile during low-speed collisions by absorbing as much of the impact as possible. It also screens against debris thrown up by the wheels of other cars.
Aside from protecting the car, the bumper also reduces the risk of occupant injuries. Lastly, it also reduces the risk to any pedestrians who happen to get hit by the car.
A bumper is more complex than it seems. The visible part of the body panel is the bumper cover, and the grill is often attached to this. This outer panel hides other components like the bumper retainer that links the cover to the rest of the vehicle.
What is a bumper cover retainer?
Sometimes called the "bumper cover retainer" or "bumper cover mount," the bumper retainer is a bracket made from sturdy materials. Found on both sides of the vehicle, it is more rigid than the panel it holds in place since the retainer is not intended to crumple like the bumper cover.
As its name implies, the bumper retainer makes sure that the bumper cover stays where it is. It also protects the cover against physical distortions that would compromise the panel’s sturdiness. Further, the brackets affect the aesthetic appearance of the vehicle, so picking the right color may make the bumper easier on the eyes.
What does a bumper retainer do?
Most importantly, the bumper retainer increases the bumper's ability to absorb the physical shock of an impact. The higher the shock absorption capacity of the bumper, the less damage it and the rest of the car take when they bump into something sizable.
An effective bumper makes a repair job cheaper and faster. Minimizing the damage sustained by the car during an accident reduces the number of broken parts to repair or fix. Instead of having to haul your vehicle to the nearest auto repair shop for a costly repair job that may take many days, you will only need to worry about smoothing out the scratches on the bumper.
What is a replacement bumper retainer?
Sometimes, the bumper retainer that comes with your vehicle’s bumper is not sturdy enough for the job. That means the bumper cover is more vulnerable to getting severely damaged during collisions.
Most bumper covers use molded plastic as their main material. The bumper also has a metal reinforcement bar that serves as its spine. Some bumpers may contain polypropylene, a type of plastic with excellent shock-absorption capacity. But even the sturdiest plastics have limitations on their durability and rely on bumper retainers for extra strength.
One way to increase the sturdiness of the vehicle’s bumper is to get a replacement bumper retainer. Made from stronger materials, these long brackets attach along the edge of the bumper. Adding a replacement retainer to a bumper will increase the panel’s resistance to forceful impacts.
Once reinforced by a replacement bumper retainer or two, the strengthened bumper will become capable of absorbing more punishment. The retainer helps protect the external frame and the internal parts from getting damaged or destroyed during collisions.
Picking the right bumper retainer for your car’s bumper cover
Be it a new bumper retainer to replace a damaged one or a replacement retainer to shore up a bumper cover, there are several qualities that you should look for when shopping around.
To best support the bumper cover and protect the vehicle, a bumper retainer requires high-quality materials like aluminum or steel. You may further strengthen the part by giving it a primer finish, and the priming coat also serves as a better surface for finishing paint.
The bumper retainer must fit your vehicle’s bumper to a tee. After all, a bracket that doesn’t have a secure grip on its mounting cannot give its bumper cover the stable and strong support that it needs to withstand a collision or crash.
To that end, get a part that is compatible with your vehicle’s body. A bumper retainer specifically designed for your car will perfectly match its molds and deliver the best protection. Look for direct fit retainers on the market.
If for some reason you only have universal fit bumper retainers available, take care when you check the dimensions and patterns of the new part. Bring the old bracket so you can compare it with its successor. If the new retainer doesn’t fit as snugly as the old one, you may need to adjust it on a fabrication table.
Depending on your vehicle’s model and the type of bumper retainers it uses, the mounting points for the brackets may show up on different areas of its body. Take note of the area that needs replacement.
Further, some bumper retainer designs can fit on the mounts on either side of the vehicle. You won’t break a sweat while replacing them.
Conversely, other retainers only fit on their specific mount. In their case, a part intended for a mount on the driver side won’t fit on the passenger side mount.
Who says you can’t combine style and functionality? Many people may not even know that the bumper retainer exists inside the bumper cover. But those with an eye for details will appreciate aesthetic touches, especially if you intend to enter your ride in a car show.
As much as possible, go for a bumper retainer with a color that matches the paint job of your car. If none of those are available, get one with a primer coating and paint it yourself. Other options include glittering chrome and subtle black.
How much is an OE bumper retainer replacement?
CarParts.com offers bumper retainers that cost anywhere between $0.31 and $156. Please remember that this price range is exclusive to our website and you may come across higher price tags in the market. The retainers are available individually, in pairs for the front or rear bumper, or as part of a bumper kit. By entering the year, make, and model in the filter tab, you can find a bumper retainer that matches your car.
Simple Reminders When Purchasing a Bumper Retainer
Bumpers are installed in almost every vehicle that rolls out of the manufacturing plant. They are there to be the first panel to take the hit when collisions happen. If you are to dissect the assembly, you will first find the bumper cover, the outermost panel that you can see when everything. Behind it is the bumper retainer. This part is the link between the body of the car and the bumper cover. It holds the panel in place intact. Here are some simple reminders you need to remember when purchasing a bumper retainer.
Compatibility with your vehicle
Part of making sure that you can properly put the bumper assembly back together is by getting the correct parts. This applies to the bumper retainer. We have already established that the retainer is an essential link in this ensemble. This is why you need to get the one meant for your vehicle. While searching for it, take note of its fitment. It should be compatible with the body of the specific year, model and trim of the your ride. Getting the match would mean that the part will fit snugly on the molds of the body and align properly on the mount provisions on the cover. There are direct fit products available in the market so it is fairly easy to get one that will perfect right off the bat.
However, if you are left to choose from universal parts, you will have to do a little bit more measuring and comparison. Take a careful note of the bolt patterns, dimensions and other factors essential for proper fitment. Using this also might require you to do some fabrication work to further secure the assembly.
Choosing for the correct mounting area
The retainer is located in different mounting points in the body of your vehicle. While choosing from the parts that are compatible with the ride, you should consider which area needs the replacement. Is the part mounted on the driver or passenger side of the vehicle. Also note whether it is meant for the front or rear bumper. For some vehicles, retainers can come off as fairly similar for both sides while others are specific to certain areas only.
Matching the color with your ride
Although the bumper retainer is often hiding from plain view, you can still toy around with the color options available in the market. This can work most especially when you are building a show car where almost every corner of the vehicle is inspected by the judges. For this, you can choose a product that has been coated with primer. From there, you can blast some paint to it to match the color of your ride. There are also those that are chromed for very flashy appearance. However, if you want to keep things a little more subtle, you can go for just black paint. Anyway, the retainer should be tuck snuggly behind the bumper cover. It will make things simple and you will not have to mind getting the correct mix of paint to blend in with the rest of the car.