Located at your car's common impact sites, a bumper end, also known as a bumper cap, takes all the brunt during fender benders and side or corner collisions especially when backing up inside a crowded spot. So don't be surprised if the four corners of your car's bumper show more signs of wear and tear compared to other exterior parts. Fortunately, replacing a severely damaged bumper cap is easy. Here's what you need to do:
- Mounting bolt
- Socket and wrench
- Penetrating oil or lubricant (optional)
Step 1: Remove the bumper assembly from your ride.
The easiest way to install a bumper end is to remove first the bumper assembly from your vehicle. Depending on your car make and model, replacing a broken bumper cap without removing the entire bumper is possible. However, this might require special tools and more effort on your part. So to make things easier, use a socket and wrench to unbolt the bumper assembly. If accessory lights or other add-on components are attached to your bumper, you might have to remove them first before you could unbolt the bumper assembly.
Step 2: Remove the damaged bumper end.
Using a socket and wrench, remove the bolts that attach the cap onto the bumper. Depending on your car make and model, you might also have to remove trim fasteners and clips with a screwdriver. Check with your vehicle manual if you're removing the cap the right way.
Step 3: Install the new bumper end.
Installation is basically the reverse process of removal. Bolt the new cap in place with a socket and wrench and reattach all the clips and fasteners you've removed. Then reinstall the bumper into your vehicle by bolting it back in place. If you need to replace all the other bumper caps, repeat the process until all the caps are properly installed.
- When prying off bumper fasteners and clips, be careful not to scratch or nick nearby components with your screwdriver.
- When tightening bolts, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions on torque specifications. Bolts that are too tight might damage the bumper material, while bolts that are too loose can make the bumper fall off easily.
- For hard-to-remove bolts, you can spray them first with a bit of penetrating oil. Let the oil soak through for a few minutes and then try to remove the bolts again.
- If you're planning to paint the bumper cap to match your car's exterior, it's best to prime and paint it first before installing it. This way, you're sure that the entire bumper cap surface is evenly painted, and that you won't get paint on nearby components.
- Get a bumper end kit that already comes with all the necessary mounting hardware. This way, you're sure that you've got all the right bolts and clips for a hassle-free replacement; just imagine the trouble you'll have to deal with if you find out that you're missing a clip or bolt during the actual installation process. So to avoid stressing yourself, choose a bumper cap complete with a mounting kit.