I want to replace my front bumper cover from a small collision I was involved in recently (It’s not worth making an insurance claim, and the shops wanted at least $800, so I’m fixing it myself).
The car is a 2010 Toyota Matrix.
My question is about what the exact part I need is. These are the options available (attached).
From this site:
-R refers to remanufactured, but I have no idea what -C, -PP, and -V are. What do they all mean?
As far as I know, the parts ending with 344XX don’t have valence/spoiler holes, and those ending with 345XX do. What are valence and spoiler holes?
I found a supplier that can get me any of these parts for about what is listed there, but I found something on amazon, for much less:
So I’d like to know if that ^ would also work. It looks like it’s ~$100 cheaper, which would be great, I just want to make sure it’s good. Is it a good idea to buy car parts on Amazon?
Finally, I’ve found someone that will paint it the right color for me. I have some questions about painting:
- what steps are involved to get it done right?
- is it easy to match the color? Does Toyota use standard colors?
- what kind of finishing goes on a part like this?
The bumper cover is a decorative piece of plastic that covers the actual bumper. Which is not decorative.
The only thing you need to worry about is matching the paint. Which shouldn’t be too difficult on your age of vehicle.
Remember when you use to replace a bumper that was made of steel and chromed?
All it needed to be was straight and shinny. And it matched the vehicle.
I’ve bought dozens of aftermarket and salvage yard bumper covers. Keystone is my major supplier for aftermarket, and www.car-part.com is used for salvage. Keystone also makes a line of paints, and can match your car to a T. Most paint suppliers also have a a computerized “camera” that will come close if not closer than their array of paint chips. If you live in even a semi-major market, there may also be suppliers of Chinese or Taiwanese made car parts of all descriptions other than Keystone. New World International and Certifit (AKA Sorta Fit) are two I am familiar with. I know they use other names in other markets.
If you buy a bumper cover from a salvage yard, there is a possibility that it will not be a perfect color match due to different rates of fading over years of being garaged or not. I have had good luck with salvage yard parts being quite close enough to satisfy my customers, especially if it saves them several hundred dollars. It usually does.
If things don’t line up quite right, there may be other underlying damage that you can’t see. That’s probably why the body shops gave you an $800 bid.
C means CAPA certified. In laymans terms it mean "salt water salvage"
PP means platinum plus. In laymans terms it means "salt water salvage"
V means value line. In laymans terms it means junk not worthy to be called “salt water salvage”
R means remanufactured. It is a Toyota part that was damaged and a repair was attempted. Sometimes which means always, the repair is of poor quality and is broken when you receive it. Often the repair fails when you are installing the part. Often the repair is made not by a craftsman but by a gorilla with a tube of glue, a handful of sand and a ball pien hammer. I am being honest in stating that Helen Keller could see the poor quality of the repair.
Foreign car bumper covers are often raw plastic and it takes a special kit to prep the part properly or the paint will not adhere properly.
Do it if you wish but keep this in mind.
When buying a tool for example always buy a quality tool, if you buy the cheapest then you will buy the tool two times. The one you bought and the one you should have bought. If your attempt looks bad you will need a professional to do it over. And if the shop wants to stand behind its work they will use a different bumper cover because if your work fails then their work fails.
I was recently given a written estimate of $625 to replace my rear bumper cover on my 2005 Scion. Depending on where the OP lives, $800 might be typical.
I checked online and the (aftermarket) cover would have cost about $225 + shipping and handling… which has gone out of sight. I shipped a 12"x12"x12" box recently “ground” and it cost $40. The bumper cover would probably be $200. The painting, done properly, with prep, flex additive, and clearcoat (Toyota uses clear coat on a lot of its finishes) would probably be another $250.
Ii myself am searching for a boneyard bumper cover painted the right color. Problem I’m running into is that nobody gets rid of Toyotas. I’ve had no luck so far.
The attached link will show you what you (might) need definitively (except for paint, of course) as well as give you an “exploded view” drawing of how it’s installed. I recommend you spend an extra $5-$10 and get some nylon body tools to make the job easier and to protect the other parts.
PostScript: thanks for the tip, MG. Keystone had my cover (aftermarket, unpainted) for a lot less that others. I may order one and see if the school will paint it for me. The weather won’t be nice enough here for me to do it at home until spring. My garage isn’t heated.
Can you guys comment on the part on Amazon? Is it likely to be something that was damaged and reworked?
“saltwater salvage” what does that mean?
I’m not really concerned with minor defects, so long as they are covered by the paint job. With that in mind, which cover should I get?
I’ve had an offer from someone else to paint it - it will cost me $185. It’s not me. I just want to know what will be going on so that it matches well.
The Amazon part is new unless otherwise noted. At that price, it is likely a cheap Chinese knockoff. It might be OK, might not. At least Amazon has a good return policy.
“Saltwater Salvage” means it came off a coastal flood damaged car. For steel body parts that means “just run-away dude!” For a plastic nose cover, not really so much of a problem, IMHO. It has the big plus of being less risk of the paint not adhering since you are painting on top of the factory paint.
As for the paint process itself. The guy will buy the paint specified by the code on the car (good match) OR he will take a small painted part OFF the car to get it analyzed by the paint shop to see if the original paint has faded (better match). He should sand the part smooth and fill any minor imperfections, prime, seal, 2-3 color coats and then 2-3 clear coats (if the factory is base coat/clear coat paint).
Can you post a picture of what it looks like? There may be a repair option.
Wait a minute.
Saltwater salvage is a derogatory term I use (made up) for imported junk. Has nothing to do with flood cars.
^ Are you telling me that every single part available is basically imported junk? That’s not very helpful. It seems that it doesn’t really matter what I choose, if it’s going to be junk anyway.
I got an offer for $231+tax from a local supplier. It seems that that’s about the cost of a bumper cover regardless of what I do. The advantage over buying this on amazon is that if the thing is clearly broken or won’t work, I don’t have to deal with returns and shipping.
@Barkydog repair isn’t going to work. The cover is broken in multiple places, doesn’t sit properly on the frame, has a hole in it, and is very scratched up. It needs replacing, there’s no question about it.
If you have full insurance just pay your deductible and get it fixed properly. At $231 + tax plus $ 185 you will be close to your deductible anyway with no recourse if it does not look right.
I just went out and got it. I think I’ve figured it out. The prices I was seeing on the site (attached) are those given to individuals. Auto shops get better rates. I found a shop that saved me a lot (more like a parts store). They were offering the -V for $120 and -PP for $199, so I chose them instead. Compare this to the big body shops which provide the aftermarket cover for $240, and new-from-Toyota cover for $340.
You’re going to need more than the bumper cover + painting
I think Volvo nailed it . . . pay the deductible and get a proper repair