Learning All About Automotive Paint

5 Types Of Bumper Damage From A Collision

Most modern cars don't have metal bumpers, at least not visibly. Instead, they feature a plastic or fiberglass bumper cover that encases the metal collision protection bar and other safety components. The type of bumper repair needed following an accident depends greatly on the parts of the bumper that are affected and the extent of the damage

1. Surface Damage

Surface damage is the easiest to repair. This includes minor paint scratches or scuff marks, usually caused by low speed or glancing blows to the bumper. Your repair service can buff the damage smooth and then apply a fresh coat of paint. Due to the plastic or fiberglass material of the bumper, the entire bumper is usually repainted to ensure an even finish.

2. Dents

Dents are relatively common, even in minor low-speed impacts. The plastic bumper material dents inward but doesn't crack or damage any components inside. Sometimes there is a scratch with a dent, and in other cases, the bumper's paint is unharmed. Dents can be popped out using pressure and sometimes heat to help reform the bumper to shape. Any paint damage can then be repaired. 

3. Punctures

A puncture is a more severe cosmetic damage. The plastic encasing the safety portions inside the bumper may crack or otherwise develop a hole as a result of the collision. Punctures and cracks aren't typically repairable. Instead, a new plastic bumper cover is painted to match your car and then used to replace the damaged one. 

4. Shock Compression

Modern bumpers use different components to absorb the shock of a collision, from filler materials to shock-absorbing metal brackets. If the collision is severe enough to compress these components, then they will not provide proper protection in the event of another accident. In this case, the internal bumper assembly must be replaced with new shock-absorbing components in order to ensure future safety.

5. Sensor Damage

There are a variety of sensors in the bumpers of most newer vehicles. There are proximity sensors to prevent minor collisions when backing up, for example, as well as safety sensors that activate airbags within the vehicle. If these sensors are damaged or triggered during the accident, then they may need to be replaced or at least reset. Testing these sensors is part of any thorough bumper repair, even if the damage isn't that severe. 

Contact an auto body collision repair shop to have the bumper assessed if you have been in a minor accident.