The average factory bumper is designed to protect your vehicle in case of a minor accident. Bumpers can absorb the impact at slow speeds and help to minimize the damage that results from collisions. They also make up the face of the car together with the headlights and front grille.
Custom bumpers, on the other hand, are bumpers that are installed to increase wheel clearance. Some are made from stronger and heavier material, such as thick welded steel, that provides extra protection to the vehicle and the passengers. Most options offer style and improve the aesthetic appeal of your car.
There are mainly two types of car bumpers: front bumper and rear bumper. Both perform the same function, which is to absorb shock from minor collisions at low speeds.
Besides, they also enhance a car’s appearance. They can add to the car’s aerodynamic design and help redirect air as the car moves. This prevents drag and ensures the vehicle moves with minimal resistance. The best bumpers in the market today balance between providing much-needed protection and adding aesthetics.
Custom off-road bumpers are designed for trucks. They increase the ground clearance and help to achieve steeper approaches. This means that you get to climb over large debris and obstacles with ease. Off-road bumpers also come with a provision for attaching accessories.
You can mount a winch, a hawse fairlead, or a roller depending on the bumper you choose. Others have mounts for attaching D-ring shackles. These allow you to use straps, snatch blocks, and cables to pull yourself when stuck. Also, some provide mounts for LED lights that increase illumination in pitch darkness.
The average custom body kit shouldn’t cost you more than $16,000. However, there are full custom body kits that could set you back $7,000 and upwards of $60,000. When it comes to OE replacement bumpers, a set could cost you between $19 and $2,120. Bumpers are typically sold as part of a kit, individually or in sets of 2. You may or may not get mounting brackets with your purchase.
Car manufacturers use a variety of materials to make car bumpers. Such materials include aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel, and different combinations of plastic and metal. These may be available in primed, textured, painted, or chrome-plated finishes.
Aluminum bumpers are great for performance vehicles due to their lightweight nature. They are also rust-resistant and require little to no maintenance throughout their lifespan. Carbon steel bumpers are made from more reliable and harder steel and usually are heavy-duty. They are great for off-road vehicles and trucks that require extra strength. Unfortunately, they are not rust-proof and add extra weight to the car.
Stainless steel bumpers are similar to carbon steel bumpers in that they provide equal durability. Their only difference is that they boast of better resistance to corrosion. They typically cost more due to their high quality.
Yes. Fortunately, plastic car bumpers can be repaired using repair and refinishing materials. These are widely available and are relatively simple to use. Fixing a damaged plastic bumper could involve grinding, sculpting, sanding, and repainting. Repairs are worth it where they cost way less than a replacement.
Have your bumpers checked by a professional anytime you’re involved in a collision or road accident. Minor damages do not always guarantee that all is well underneath. A professional will be able to check if there are any other car components affected by the collision. They will also be able to determine whether the bumper is reparable. Some bumpers cannot be repaired once they are damaged. Such include those that come with hooks or mounts.
The decision as to whether you should repair or replace a bumper depends on the cost of doing either. If your car bumper has a minor dent that can be repaired, going ahead with the repair can be a better financial decision than buying a new bumper. However, if the bumper has a large dent that requires a lengthy and complicated process to repair it, it may cost less to replace it.
The decision also depends on the level of damage of the bumper. Dents can always be fixed. But, where the bumper has cracks, the only option would be to replace it rather than repairing it. Cracks tend to weaken bumpers and interfere with their structural integrity. This impairs their ability to protect the car against collisions, hence, costing you more in the long run. Other factors that can affect the cost of replacing or repairing a bumper include where the damage is located, its severity, and its effect on the bumper’s material and paint.
Steel bumpers are legal in most parts of the United Sates. They remain a debate in some states where their legality is controversial. Examples of steel bumpers that may be illegal are those that have LED light bars fitted on them. These interfere with the lighting requirements of a car.
Also, steel is one of the heavier materials used to make bumpers. It can add unnecessary weight to your car and cause damage to the front suspension. Before adding steel bumpers, make sure that your suspension system can handle them. Adding other fittings such as a winch could also complicate matters. You may be forced to upgrade the suspension for a more robust fitting that sits higher than usual. The spring rate needs to sit higher to mitigate the adverse effects the steel bumpers may have on the car’s handling. Car owners are advised to ensure that in addition to steel bumpers, other modifications remain street legal.