If you cracked your plastic bumper, with a few supplies and a little time, you can fix up your bumper on your own and get your vehicle looking great again.
Remove Your Bumper
The first thing you need to do is remove the bumper from your vehicle. Even if you are only dealing with a small crack, you'll have more space and be able to more easily repair your bumper if you remove it first.
Your bumper is held in place using fasteners. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, your bumper may be held in place with either screws, bolts or self-locking tabs. The fasteners are generally located along the wheel well, underneath the car, and under the hood or trunk depending on which bumper you are working on.
Find Out What Type Of Plastic Your Bumper Is Made Out Of
Once you remove your bumper, you need to find out what type of plastic it is made out of so you purchase the right repair products. The type of plastic should be stamped on the back side of your bumper.
The most common types of plastics are: TPO, TEO, PP, or PPO. These are all different types of thermoplastics. These types of plastics are easy to mold but require extra preparation.
If your bumper doesn't have one of the stamps listed above, it will most likely have a TPUR or PUR stamp. These types of plastics are thermoset plastics.
Clean Your Bumper
Next, you need to clean your bumper. You can start by wiping it down with a rag. Then, you'll need to use a plastic surface cleaner to remove all the remaining dirt from your bumper. If you have some really tough dirt stains that don't seem to budge, you can use a lacquer thinner on them.
Sand Your Bumper
Once your bumper is clean, you'll want to sand it down. You will want to remove the paint on the damaged area and a couple of inches around the damaged area as well so you have some room to work with. It should be smooth when you are done.
Create A V-Shaped Groove
Now you are going to want to create a v-shaped groove where the crack is. This grove should be gradual and at an angle. Use your sandpaper to create the groove. This will help the adhesive stick easier. Then clean away any remain dust.
Apply Adhesive Promoter
Spray or wipe an adhesion promoter over the whole area that you need to work on the back side of the bumper. Make sure that it covers the inside edges of the crack as well. Wait for it to dry.
Apply The Mesh Patch
Next, take out the self-stick mesh patch that you bought to patch your bumper with. Make sure that it will cover the entire crack and extend beyond it a couple of inches or so. You want the patch to extend beyond the crack so that it sticks and stay sin place. Press down hard on the patch and make sure the entire surface of the patch is sticking to the bumper. Apply the patch to the back side of the bumper.
Apply Flexible Epoxy Adhesive
Finally, apply the appropriate epoxy adhesive based on the plastic that you purchased. Apply the adhesive to the back side of your bumper using the nozzle that came with the epoxy. Use it to build up and fill in the surface.
Repeat Adhesion Promoter & Epoxy Steps
Repeat the steps for applying the adhesive promoter and the epoxy adhesive to the front side of your bumper. Build up the layers as you apply the epoxy adhesive and fill in the crack.
Sand The Crack
Once the epoxy has dried, sand the area down so that your bumper looks smooth and even again.
If you want, you can primer and repaint your bumper so the repair does not stand out. Then, reattach your bumper to your vehicle and you're done.
To learn more, contact an auto body repair shop like Bowling Green Lincoln Auto Sales.