If your bumper has recently been cracked, you should take it into a collision repair shop as soon as possible. Most repair shops will give you a quote, and then get to work. Few really explain the process to you that they will have to go through in order to fix your bumper. Here is what really happens when you take your car in to get your bumper repaired.
Assessing The Damage
The first thing they will do is assess the damage. If the crack is really small, say less than three inches, they may be able to fix the crack without removing the bumper.
However, if the crack is larger than three inches, or is in a hard-to-reach place, they are going to need to remove the bumper in order to fix the crack. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, this can be a time consuming task. That means additional labor, and additional costs, for you.
Preparing The Crack
After the bumper is removed, the crack will be cleaned from both sides using a lacquer thinner. Then, your mechanic will use a specialized drill bit to carve away any sharp edges. After that, they will use a sander to even out the surface around the crack. Finally, the cracked area will be aligned and temporarily held together on one side using masking tape.
Applying The Glue
Now that the crack has been properly prepared, your mechanic will use a special plastic bumper epoxy glue to fill in the crack. Your mechanic will use a special glue gun to lay down the epoxy glue and then use a plastic spreader to smooth out the glue. The glue will have to dry overnight.
Sanding, Sanding And More Sanding
After the epoxy glue dries overnight, your mechanic will then need to sand down any excess glue. They have to take care to work slowly. If they work too fast, the sander will heat up the glue and undo all the work they have done. Your mechanic will generally use multiple types of sandpaper to get just the right finish.
Once the damaged area is smooth, they will then apply a layer of flexible putty. This has to be applied carefully to prevent bubbles from forming.
Then, once again, after the flexible putty has dried overnight, the mechanic will have to slowly sand the putty to create a flat and even surface.
Repainting The Bumper
The last major step is repainting the bumper. A base coat and a clear coat will need to be applied, and everything will have to dry overnight before your bumper is mounted back onto your vehicle.
Fixing even a small crack on your bumper is no easy job. It requires multiple steps that cannot be rushed if you want everything to turn out well. It can take between three to four days for even a simple repair due to the amount of time the epoxy glue, flexible putty and paint need to dry, as well as all the labor involved throughout the process.