A bumper plays an important role in the safety of your car. It’s also a part of the aesthetic value of your car.

A damaged bumper is unsightly and unsafe. If the damage is slight and didn’t harm the structure of your car, you should have it repaired. Otherwise, replacement is your best option.

Purpose of the Bumper

The bumper’s purpose is to prevent damage to the car’s frame and body in the event of a small collision. Passenger cars are required by law to have a bumper that meets a federal performance standard of protection. Essentially, it must absorb enough shock to protect your car’s body in collisions equivalent to a 5 mile-per-hour crash into a parked vehicle that is the same weight as yours.

Importance of the Bumper

The collision described above doesn’t sound very significant. Indeed, you’re unlikely to get injured in such an accident. However, at that pace, you could damage the frame of your car and trunk if you backed into something, which could lead to a costly repair.

You could incur even more damage in the front. Think of all the systems under your hood — the fuel, exhaust, and cooling systems — as well as the hood itself. Without a bumper, any of those systems could be damaged even in a minor collision. The bumper also protects your car’s grill and headlights.

Structure of the Bumper

A car’s bumper is actually a system working together. Bumpers come in one of two types.

One system features a bumper bar for reinforcement. The bar is made of metal. It strengthens the entire structure. The other system is the bumper absorber which typically features foam or plastic between the bumper cover and metal bumper. The absorber directs the force of impact in all directions. The cover is made of aluminum, steel, plastic, or rubber, attached to the front and back.

Resale Value With the Bumper

As noted, your bumper is an important safety feature, but one that also affects the aesthetics of your car. Professional car dealers use a grading system for cars they buy. A damaged bumper can drop your car an entire category. Private buyers will also likely be put off by the signs of damage. Therefore, if you don’t have an intact bumper, you will get far less money from potential buyers.

Insurance Claims for the Bumper

Another important consideration is insurance claims. Some drivers choose to pay for the repair or replacement out of pocket. They prefer that expense to making a claim, which can raise premiums. That decision is personal, but either way the bumper needs to be fixed because its structural integrity can affect future claims.

If you get into another collision later on and didn’t replace your bumper when it was first damaged, your insurance company may decrease or even deny your later claim. They may say the compromised bumper contributed to the damage.

Repair or Replacement Cost for the Bumper

The cost to repair a bumper depends on how bad the damage is and, more significantly, the kind of car. If you have a regular car with a scratched or dented bumper, you may pay a few hundred dollars. High-end sports cars are a different matter — the cost can skyrocket.

The cost to replace a bumper also depends on what kind of material the bumper is made of. It can range from $100 to $5,000 just for the bumper itself. The decision to have the bumper painted to match adds to the cost.

Don’t leave your car’s structural integrity to chance. Let Downtown Garage & Auto Body repair or replace your car’s damaged bumper.