Carelessly ran over a curb which caused the right side of front bumper to come loose. I opened up the hood to see that the teeth that held the bumper on were crooked (although I could bend them back to place) and I had ripped off the main bolt that held the bumper to the body of the car. Seems like I can fix it; however it would not be to the standard of what it originally was. My concern is that if I simply get the bolt screwed in properly, the integrity of the bumper would be compromised to the point where the bumper won’t have enough strength to actually do its job. I could take it to an auto body shop but am concerned about over paying. Should I fix it myself or should I bring it to an autobody shop?
Autobody shop. The main reason I recommend this is that the airbag system is involved in the front bumper. It needs to work properly to keep you safe.
Are you talking the bumper cover? If so, it is just a plastic cover and provides no protection whatsoever. It is just for show and aerodynamics. So fix it yourself so that it is secure if the cover is not terribly damaged. There is no sensor or wiring in the bumper for the air bags that I know of. The ball bearing sensor is in the dash area and activated by sudden movement just like the ratchet in the seat belt.
yes I am talking about the bumper cover–I should have been more specific. There is no external damage to the bumper cover, it just popped off. Still safe?
If the mounting tabs are cracked or broke off you need a new cover. It is a part of the car that needs to be installed correctly and it is there not just for looks. Under the cover and in front of the metal bumper reinforcement bar is a long piece of foam called the bumper absorber. The cover helps hold the absorber on. If you have no cover the absorber would need to be duct taped on (even though it is pinned on with plastic pins), not real safe. Also the cover helps keep rocks and debris from striking the condenser with full force. Without the cover it would be very easy for someone to come up and pop the hood latch and make off with your battery.
Don’t worry about the bag sensors, they are not mounted in the dash/instrument panel but are in the area of the front frame rails or the bumper reinforcement bar.
Go to a body shop and get a price there is no harm or cost for that. You mentioned that you were worried about over paying at a body shop. I think the real issue is you are worried about more than you can afford or want to pay. The cover may not need replacing but a repair. You don’t know until you ask. Do that before you attempt to repair since your at home repair might make the damage worse and a new cover is needed.
thank you much!