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Repair Bumper vs Replacing it with non-OEM

I recently bought a 2011 Subaru Outback. Either my wife or I (not going to assign blame) scraped a wall while backing out of a parking space. Damage isn’t that bad. The bumper is still structurally sound, but it’s more than just a repaint fix.

My guy at the shop says he couldn’t match the texture of the nonpainted black plastic surfaces and he’d have to replace the bumper to fix all of the damage. I’m not going through insurance on this one, and so he suggested a non-OEM bumper to save me some money.

I’m inclined to believe him about the fix, but I have some reservations on replacing the bumper with a non-OEM part, especially since the car is still under factory warranty. I’m also worried about how it will affect the value of the car.

Should I go with the aftermarket bumper, bumper from Subaru, or just repaint the original bumper and keep the scratches (as a reminder to take more time with picking a parking spot)?

Note: I don’t have a picture of the damage, but the picture below shows the black plastic area that was damaged.
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I would simply repaint and let it go at that. The black area is so low that it doesn’t stand out anyway.

My experinec with aftermarket non-OEM parts is that they’re usually (but not always) as good as the originals. Since you’re dealing with a body shop, he’ll know from experience the good sources from the not-so-good sources and I’d trust his judgement. That’ll be part of the expertise that you’re paying him for.

Agree with mt.bike, aftermarket parts have come a long way. Most carry a warranty as far as fit & appearance. You might also be able to get a reman. OE bumper for this. Keystone shows them available.

I would have a good detailing shop do what they can with it and call it a day You may be surprised at what they can do…Making your car “perfect” again simply is not worth the expense. Cars that are driven everyday seldom stay perfect for very long…

For a bumper cover, an aftermarket part is probably just as good as OEM. The bigger factor is the body shop doing the work, because they’ll have to paint it to match. An average aftermarket part with a good paint job will be better than an OEM one with a mediocre paint job anyday.

My experinec with aftermarket non-OEM parts is that they're usually (but not always) as good as the originals.

The trouble is that when they aren’t as good as the originals, they tend to be really horrible and require a lot of custom fitment work to get them to line up right.

My experience with aftermarket is awful.

I had bodywork done to our Subaru front a front end minor hit. The non-OEM headlight that Progressive insisted on against bodyshop’s recommendation now leaking water into it. Progressive paid for labor to replace. The difference between OEM and aftermarket part was $86! I guess they are still ahead maybe by $5 with $40 labor and giving me a rental.

I would not replace the bumper at all. Either the OEM or aftermarket bumper will be repainted and in a few years the paint on the bumper will not match the paint on the fenders and hood anymore.

Either live with it, or see if the current bumper can be smoothed out somehow, perhaps a detail shop. In 5 years you will have more dings anyway. Doing nothing will look better in 5 years than replacing and repainting the bumper.

It’s tough to take that first ding that makes your new car feel “used” but it happens to all of them eventually. I doubt this man made defect affects the value of your now used car at all. Just leave it alone, save your money and drive on.

I agree with @Uncle Turbo - the painted portion of the new bumper cover won’t perfectly match the original paint, I’d rather put up with a scuffed up original cover, once a detail shop does their best to smooth it out.