Fixing a plastic bumper

Hi Folks,

Well, it’s officially winter here in Northern NH. And, forgetting that, I went a bit too fast around an icy dirt road, and slid off the road. I punctured the bumper with a hole that’s about two inches in diameter, and there are one or two cracks of about 6" each. That was the only damage-- I was only going about 10 mph at the time, and the snowbank slowed me considerably before hitting a small tree. It’s an older Subie, and I’m hesitant to pay to cost of replacing the bumper. Anyone got a cheap fix that’s a step up from duct tape? :slight_smile: Thanks!

You can buy a bumper repair kit at the auto store for about $20. It is essentially a two part filler. You can use some backing on the hole, and grind a V for the cracks. you will need access to the back side though so may have to take it off. Then you have to sand smooth, prime and paint.

Excellent. Thanks. Sounds like a fun little project… and the hour will be a good reminder to drive more slowly on icy roads.

If you can’t do the repair almost every dealer in the us has a “bumper” guy who stops by once a week or so to fix the dealers used car bumpers. They do customers cars ad well just set up an appointment to get an estimate.

Depending on the type of plastic Sub.'s bumper is made of the DIY kits may or may not work. Some are made from TPO plastic which is more difficult to repair and requires an adhesion promoter. Otherwise the kit should be able to do a reasonable fix…better than duct tape at least. :wink:

You will probably have to wait for spring unless you do the job in a garage. I doubt that the filler will cure when the temperature is low. The directions on the kit should tell you the minimum temperature that the filler will cure.

I have had a “Plastic Welding kit” for a LOOOONG time…it has paid for itself many X over throughout the years. It is basically a Fancy Pantsy soldering Iron with a Rheostat to adjust the temp, a hookup for compressed air to assist with cooling/controlling the melting plastic as well as many different kinds of plastic “solder” they look like glue sticks for a glue gun but are made of all the different kinds of plastics that you might encounter in your repairs…and a handy dandy INSTRUCTION guide on how to deal with said plastics and how to ID the different kinds of plastics…SUPER USEFUL and well thought out. I have fixed MANY a motorcycle fairing with it.

Mine was expensive, HOWEVER…good ole Harbor Freight has them rather affordable…look into it, I have found mine VASTLY useful for soooo many things

Also according to my suppliers Body Panel book a bumper cover for your vehicle can be had for $160…in flat black…then you need to deal with paint which if you don’t paint it yourself can cost as much as the bumper cover itself…sometimes at a multiple of that price…

There’s also the option of a Bra for that car…Subies sometimes look good in a Bra…same goes for a nice roof rack…Like a Yakima or Thule roof rack…Up to you I guess


You know what works best but its not available on the market? My Dad calls it “GOOP”…When my Dad was in the Navy, he was an aircraft mechanic and they use this composite type compound, very similar to Bondo but 10 times stronger (it’s got to hold an F-18 Super Hornet Together) and he’d bring some of that stuff home and would apply it to any cracks on a car bumper, put it on a pipe to seal a leak, or whatever else that needed to be “Gooped”…Best stuff ever made but like I said, it’s only available for Aircraft maintanence. But then again things may have changed since my Dad’s days in the Navy so maybe it is sold on the regular market? “Super Bondo” lol.