2011 Impala V6 ~80k: Rear Bumper Cover Damage

I understand completely. We had been thinking about taking moms car keys away, no accidents, but did run over and get stuck on a snow bank. She realized due to macular degeneration she was having trouble seeing well enough and gave it up on her own. My grandmother typical lol looking out the space between the steering wheel and the dash had a minor fender bender and My mom took the keys. Hoping when I will willingly give up driving, in advance of dire situations a self driving car will be an option.

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Nah. That’s something I’d do with a teenager, but not my mother. I think this is the first accident my mother has ever been in! And she’s been driving since the early 50’s! Very careful person - with everything she does … and the quintessential mother … but when you get to that age, I think your brain just starts to malfunction (you misjudge from time to time) - maybe partly due to the pills you’re taking. And this is a woman who never took any pills in her life! She’d get migraines, but finish all the cooking, cleaning, washing anyway, then go to bed and close her eyes and wait for it to pass!

I would think the preemptive strikes with hot water could result in less elasticity.

Well - this is up in Massachusetts. The hottest weather of the year up there is just starting, so maybe that’ll be good enough.

No you have to heat it up pretty good so it’s pliable. The sun won’t do it, but a sun lamp would or a cheap heat gun from HF. Just crawl under and see if you have access from the back which you probably do. The metal bumper stiffener underneath isn’t that long and doesn’t extend the whole length of the bumper. Yeah if the attachment points are torn you’ll have to deal with that but think like a body assembly person. They detach the whole bumper from the struts and pull it off to take the cover off, so there has to be reasonable access to the bumper corners and attachment to the quarter panel. You start to push the big one out which is holding the rest of it in tension, so looks worse than what it is. You have to get it pliable and the longer you wait the more it will take a set.

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Look at this solution: hot water and just the guy’s hand working the dent out

Some folks posting here have been pretty successful with diy’er-ing the dentless repair method using heat, as shown in some of the u-tube vdos. If you have time in your schedule, not much in the way of expense involved, so it seems like it is worth a try anyway.

I’ve some experience with the elderly parent having driving difficulty. Based on what I learned from all that, if your 86 year old mother bumps into something else in the near future, for example if she bumps into another car or some fixed object while trying to park, now’s the time for her to stop driving. In the meantime try to find time to ride along with her while she’s driving and monitor how she’s doing. Given the momentum of a car, better safe than sorry. Taxi cabs, public transport worked pretty good for my elderly parents, once they got used to it. My dad particularly liked to take the public bus every day, b/c he’d meet up w/ friends his own age along the way, and they’d stop in at the local pub for a beer, and with the bus no worry about drinking beer then driving.

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I like Scotty’s idea of boiling water, but I’d pull the skin off and place the corner face down on a couple thicknesses of towel. It’s only a few more bolts and you have it on a nice working surface. Your rubber mallet could work and it’d be helpful to have someone hold it upright.

I’d start on the dent on the lower right. Then move to the upper left dent, moving towards the center. That plastic is probably going to want to return to its original shape, once the creases are removed. Like Scotty, you don’t need to smack it hard… just repeated soft blows.

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I had this problem several years ago. Cheap guy that I am, I grabbed a 2x4 of the right length, inserted it so that the end of the board was on the inside of the dimple, and whacked it a few times with a mallet. It worked, and didn’t look bad.

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not bad

but . . . if the guy had access to the back side, he might have been able to also push out those last 2 remaining small dents

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I did similar, but used a jack to press it out. This one looks a bit serious for that. I’m thinking hot water could help reduce the chance of cracking the plastic.

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It’ll be a bit of a walk with the pot of boiling water (back end of the house down the stairs to the street).

What about using a garden hose on the gas hot water tank in the basement? I’ve flushed the tank this way before, but I always wonder about damage to the hose if the water gets too hot. I guess I would use it the same way - with the nozzle OFF, talking to my son on the cell phone. If I used the metal spray nozzle it would probably get hot to the touch, and then there’d be standing, pressurized hot water in the hose.

Using the water out of the Gas water heater tank is a terrible idea . Why are you making this such an ordeal ? Find out if your mother has full coverage insurance . If she does just pay the deductible and let the insurance company have the bumper cover fixed properly if that is what she wants.

Do you have one of those small plastic coolers? Fill that, put on the cover and carry it down there. Not hot to touch and won’t spill…


So instead of a heat gun, you’re going to pour boiling water on the paint, then lay down in the mud to push the dent out? Or do you really think you’ll be able to massage the dent out from the outside? Or then go and get some pullers so you don’t have to crawl under the car and get dirty and wet? Yeah why not just forget the whole thing and take it to a body shop. They’ll use a heat gun and push it out.

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I forget how the Insurance works in MA … is it still that “no-fault” crap? I guess I could inquire, but my rule of thumb is to never file claims because the crooked Insurance companies just raise your rates to get it all back (and more) - even if (like in her case) you haven’t had a claim in 20-30 years (if ever)! She still does it “old school” with the local insurance agency. Honestly, I don’t know why these people still have these “businesses” if all they’re gonna be is a middle-man to collect payments. It’s ridiculous. I stopped using these clowns 25 years ago!

No mud. It’ll be on the street. And I won’t be lying down. I think, after watching that video, it’ll go pretty much the same way: that I’ll be able to push it out with my hands and the hot water - without even taking the cover off.

And don’t forget - this is a 9-year-old pedestrian Impala in the Northeast. It’s not like we’re talking about a $50,000 brand new luxury car here. Just not worth paying anything … even $500 + premium increases, to pretty it up.

Where in the world do you get that number. If there is a rate increase it will most likely only be about 20 percent if there is even one. in your other post what do you mean you stopped using those clowns. Are you driving around without insurance ?
As for doing it ’ Old School ’ at her age that is best because if she changes she will not be able to get rates anywhere near what she pays now.

She told me tonight she thinks she has a $500 deductible. So that’s where that number comes from.

And if a claim is filed, there will be an increase. That’s how the crooked Insurance companies operate. I once got hit by hail down here in the Carolinas. I filed a claim - the first in a decade; they increased my rates. I was so pissed I switched Insurance companies; they gave me back my old rate - until they ran my record … then they raised the quote back up. When I asked “why” they said “you filed a claim”. I said, “do you know what that claim was for?”. They said, “it doesn’t matter. The fact that you filed a claim makes you a risk to file future claims”.

So even an Act Of God claim results in a rate increase! I thought that was what Insurance is for!!!

But that’s what Insurance coverage has become in America: accept premiums and never pay claims without raising rates. I’ve even had rates increased for no apparent reason, and when I’ve questioned it I’ve gotten answers like: “Well sir, there were tornadoes in the mid-west, blah, blah, blah”

And yes - I do carry Insurance … enough to cover me AND all the criminals who I might unfortunately come into contact with who might try to sue me for everything I have.

I simply stopped using the clowns who sit in their little offices staring at monitors all day looking like they’re working. Makes me laugh … just like pharmacists who stand in front of their monitors in their white lab coats like they’re balancing chemical equations for a new compound to cure cancer! The toughest part of their job is picking out the right sized bottle for the different-sized pills! LOL!

For my insurance, I just call GEICO and pay my premiums directly when they’re due. No clowns in local offices needed.

It really depends on your insurance company. Wife got rear ended while at a stoplight, Am Fam, Bud got rear ended in a work truck and the lizard raised his rates. Same State.