DIY Bumper Repair w/ Bondo

My 2018 Hyundai Ioniq was the victim of some road debris in Arizona. Pitch black back roads, dark car bumper laying in the road - lead to a nasty hole in my front bumper when it hit. My bumper moulding and lip came undone underneath and needing replacing entirely with a mechanic, which I have scheduled.

My question is regarding the bumper cover. It was quoted minimum $900 for paint and the part plus labor, and sadly I can’t afford it at all. A mechanic told me I could use bondo as a fiberglass filler along with some resin, sanding, and painting with a video online. I’m a little unsure, and wondering if you guys have any advice for the situation. Is it possible for a mechanic to DIY it this way or will it be just as expensive as an entire new part? Should I try it myself since money is so tight for me? Below is a picture of the hole. I got it checked for any undercarriage damage and thankfully this is a cosmetic issue that I’d just like to fix for under $500 if possible…

Any and all advice is much appreciated :slight_smile:

Let me clarify… this is the plastic bumper cover, not a fiberglass piece, and not that odd little air dam? It looks like that’s the part, but wanted to check.

First, your mech is wrong. Those flex, You could make a repair, but it’s likely to flex and break. They make repair kits, but that’s a big hole. Of course you could try bridging the gap with a metal bracket and bondo or fiberglass to that. It’d be a temp fix, but might hold.

Do you feel capable of R&Ring the bumper cover yourself? I hate to steer people to eBay, but it looks like they are selling a Hybrid/Blue bumper for $345. (Is that your color?) If you find a close color match, maybe no paint is needed. That one was from Bumpers N More. New (unpainted) are about $200, claiming to be OEM. I don’t know how handy you and your friends are with a paint gun, but expect about $150 for paint and materials.

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A lot of body shops use plastic welding to repair a bumper cover.

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Ok, I have to ask… 2018 car. You must still have comprehensive insurance coverage on the car if you are still making payments. Same for a lease.

Why not turn this into your insurance company? The deductible is likely no more than $500 since most banks won’t allow you to carry higher.

If this is a lease car, kiss your security deposit and more goodbye if you DIY this repair as it will look like shmutz.


Use your insurance. That’s why you have it. They usually have body shops they deal with. These shops have been checked out to provide satisfactory work at a good price. You will only see the shop once, but the insurer probably deals with that shop hundreds or thousands of times a year. That means if something goes wrong, the shop makes it right or it makes the insurer look bad. Would you continue to hire someone that frequently disappoints you?

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And that is most likely your cost by using the insurance you must have on a 2018 vehicle.

Good Greif , what is with all these posts from people who don’t want to use insurance lately ?

Because claims history, whether your fault or not, does add up to higher insurance premiums for a protracted length of time. Because of this, people tend to not want to use it for small repairs.

Yes exactly

Yes sir I do believe its plastic. My color is black noir though so I may have to paint it… I’m so sad at the big cost but it appears I may have no choice but to replace the whole thing… :frowning:

You are reluctant to repair a reasonably new vehicle and don’t want to use the insurance . Well , then you should not have purchased a new car. Use your insurance , pay your 250 or 500 deductible and it is rare that your rates will go up that much or for a very long time. Talk to your insurance company . You can ask and it will have no effect on your coverage unless you do file a claim.

For most insurance companies, claims bellow $1K are not chargeable, call and ask.

Look online for used bumpers, is one site. You can have it painted for $200 and then install it yourself.

Recently, my friend had a similar damage on his leased car, the local body shop quoted him $1200, but we send him two towns over and they fixed it for $600 and actually did a decent job. Ask around.

I think that is a solid black (not one of the metallic blacks)? If you watch used parts, bumper covers in black sometimes show up… around $350. With solid colors, the color match should be very close to the one you are taking off. You could ask your shop how much R&R cost would be, and what year models will fit.

Not reluctant. Broke as hell. Just knocked 4 teeth out and had surgery so… crappy time for my new car to get wrecked :frowning: I’m happy to fix it I just cant afford 1k. I will def check my deductible though and follow your advice

Very good advice, may go with this if I decide to paint it myself!

$900 is one step above peanuts in the body & paint game. Frankly, I would’ve guessed closer to $1500 based on the pics.

It’s worth the time I think to check your local Pick N’ Pull website, while unlikely given its vintage, there may still be a rear- wrecked 2018 Hyundai just waiting for you to come buy and remove its pristine front bumper. If so that’s probably the most economical solution to nearly new appearance. A tough version of duct tape is the el-cheapo solution that might be acceptable as a temporary repair, if you can find a matching color. Jay Leno’s no longer on the air with the Tonight Show, so you don’t have to worry about appearing in his Hillbilly Repair segments … lol …

I doubt that you find a 2018 hybrid in a self service salvage yard any time soon, they generally deal with vehicles of lesser value.


The pick a part near my house has never had a vehicle that was only 1 year old

Gentlemen, Forgive me for being an ignorant 20something, but I’ve included a snippet of my deductible just in case anyone feels like throwing out a guess if you think it’d be worth it to just go w/ insurance. I didn’t have parents growing up to teach me this stuff. You all have been super helpful in helping me consider options. This forum is awesome.


I wouldn’t go near insurance with this since it would only save you $150.00 (damage - deductible). However, as has been posted, I cant believe it would only be 900 bucks. Either way, we know with the current deductible the minimum you are going to pay for any repair is 750 bucks. If you are totally strapped and its drivable you may just have to drive with a blemished vehicle until you can come up with some bread to fix it. Drill a small hole in the broken piece and the “good” section and use a heavy duty zip tie to hold the parts together until finances improve.

Also, I would check with your agent to see How much extra you would have to pay to add uninsured motorist property damage. That could really save you if somebody hits and runs or some dyngus with no insurance hits you. It might not add much to your cost. Think about it, if somebody hits you without insurance, and they have no money, you will no longer have a car without this coverage. That is not a good scenario.