Also known as a side support, the bumper bracket is what holds the bumper and other related components in place. As part of the bumper assembly, it also has an important role in making sure that the bumper will function properly in case of a collision. Keep in mind that a bumper needs a fully functioning bracket in order to effectively absorb impact to protect passengers in an accident. So before that damaged bracket causes more harm, replace it as soon as possible. Here's how:
Tools you'll need:
- Drill bits
- Door trim panel tool
- Socket wrench
Step 1: Remove the bumper cover.
Using a door trim panel tool, remove the clips or screws that attach the cover into the vehicle. Depending on the type of car you have, these clips are usually found along the cover's top and bottom areas, as well as on the cover's end. Consult your vehicle manual if you're having troubles finding these clips or screws. Once you've removed the cover, set it aside carefully to prevent scratching or nicking it.
Step 2: Disconnect any parts that get in the way.
If your vehicle is equipped with fog lights that are installed on the bumper, you'll have to disconnect these components first before you can access the bumper bracket.
Step 3: Locate the bumper brackets.
These brackets are usually installed on the left and right side of the bumper and are just below the fenders. Consult your car manual for the brackets' exact location.
Step 4: Remove the damaged bumper bracket.
Using a socket wrench, remove the two bolts that hold the old bracket in place. Then pull it off carefully to avoid scratching nearby surfaces.
Step 5: Look for signs of damage.
After removing the old bracket, take a closer look at the area around it. Look for signs of damage that might prevent you from properly installing the new bracket.
Step 6: Attach the new bumper bracket.
Bolt the new bracket in place by using a socket wrench. Make sure that it is properly aligned.
Step 7: Reinstall all the other parts you've removed.
Start by reconnecting the fog lights or other components you've removed earlier. Then, reinstall the bumper cover by putting it in position and reinstalling the clips or screws that hold it in place.
Installation and maintenance tips:
- For hard-to-remove bolts, spray them first with a bit of lubricant before unbolting them with a socket wrench. You can also tap them first with a hammer.
- Make sure that the bolts for the new bracket are not too tight or too loose. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding bolt torque specifications.
- When choosing a replacement bumper bracket, make sure it's made from a material that's highly resistant to corrosion such as stainless steel and aluminum.
- Severely corroded patches or huge dents on a bracket are signs that you should get a replacement as soon as possible. These problems are beyond repair since it means the structural integrity of the bracket is compromised.