Protecting your vehicle's front and rear ends from scratches, dings, and chips is made easier with a bumper guard. This nifty accessory is made from highly durable plastic or steel and is designed to withstand daily exposure to damaging elements. And because your bumpers are fully protected by this accessory, you won't have to splurge money on repairs and paint jobs. But before you grab the first bumper protector you see, consider these tips first:
Mounting options: Bolt-on or stick-on?
If you want to install a bumper guard, you basically have two options: bolt-on or stick-on. Bolt-on types are more commonly seen on trucks, off-road vehicles, and SUVs. Attaching a bolt-on guard is relatively easy since you just need to bolt it on the vehicle's frame. It's also quite bulky but it's highly effective in keeping away wayward branches and huge road debris from hitting the bumpers.
As for a stick-on type, this permanent guard comes with automotive-grade adhesive strips at the back. To install this, you just need to clean the bumper surface, peel the backing from the adhesive strips, and stick the guard into position. This type is commonly seen on cars and smaller vehicles.
Material: Steel, rubber, or plastic?
For a vehicle that sees more of the rugged outdoors than the urban jungle, a steel bumper guard is the most suitable type. This type usually features steel pipes in a tubular design, providing the ultimate protection from bigger debris such as branches, animals on the road, and other obstacles that can scratch or ding your vehicle's front and rear bumpers.
A rubber or plastic guard is best used on regular commuter cars since they're not bulky and can effectively protect your bumpers from scratches when driving on narrow streets and cramped parking lots.
Maintenance: which type is easier to clean and maintain?
Over time, a steel bumper guard will corrode. And once rusty patches start to invade this component, you'll have to fix those patches right away before rust eats the entire guard. You'll also need to regularly clean steel guards with steel-friendly cleaners to avoid damaging or tarnishing the finish. Plastic or rubber guards are easier to clean than their steel counterparts, but they're more prone to scratches and holes because they're softer than steel.
Price: cheap or expensive?
Keep in mind that when buying vehicle accessories, you usually get what you pay for. Ridiculously cheap prices will allow you to save a lot of money upfront, but they don't usually last long so you'll have to spend more on frequent replacements. As for a super-expensive bumper guard, you might not be able to buy it at all if it costs more than what you're willing to spend. The key here is to find a product that's reasonably priced, includes several nifty features, and is made from a reputable manufacturer. Comparing prices online is a good way to get an idea on how much to spend for this accessory. You can also check out online reviews to see what's popular among motorists.