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How To Fix a Dent in a Plastic Bumper

  • Auto Insurance
  • Renee Martin
  • 5 minutes

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No matter how safely you drive, you’re bound to dent your bumper at some point! Don’t worry; you don’t need a mechanic to repair basic dents and bumper scratches. Here’s how to fix a dent in a plastic bumper easily.

The bumpers at the front and rear of your car are probably two of the most abused parts of your vehicle! If you ever end up in low-level accidents, bumpers are usually the most damaged because their primary role itself is to prevent further damage to the internal moving parts.

If you’re worried about dents in car bumpers, this article will help you. Use these common ways to repair your bumper and make it more aesthetically pleasing after a road mishap!

How often do bumpers get dented?

Bumpers are usually made of materials like polyurethane and polypropylene that can withstand low-to-moderate forces. Over time, auto manufacturers have been using lighter and less expensive materials to reduce manufacturing costs. However, this could also mean that bumpers get dented much more often – even with the slightest hit from another vehicle!

Repairing dented bumpers are one of the most commonly requested services at auto repair/body shops across the country.

How to fix a dent in a plastic bumper

Can plastic bumper dents be repaired?

Because bumpers are made of light material, they can get easily dented by low-intensity collisions. However, these can be easily fixed either through some DIY techniques or by a visit to the body shop.

Also read: How to fix metal dents in a car

How to fix dents in a plastic bumper: 3 easy DIY techniques

Use boiling water on the dented bumper

Hot water is effective in removing dents from both plastic bumpers as well as other metal parts of the car.

  • Pour the hot water over the dented bumper area
  • This will soften the plastic and allow you to shape it back to its original position
  • Push the dent from behind to allow it to flex back into its shape
  • Pour cold water on the area to cool the plastic and solidify the bumper

Use a heat gun/hair dryer

You can also substitute hot water with a heat gun or hair dryer.

  • Aim the heat gun at the dented plastic bumper for a few minutes until the area is heated
  • Find a vantage position and try to pop out the dent from behind
  • Be careful to apply moderate heat so that the plastic is not heated too much
  • Overheated plastic can melt and become brittle on cooling

Use a dent removal tool

A suction cup dent puller allows you to easily remove dents without heating the area. They work best when the dent does not have too many fluctuations in it.

Put the suction cup against the plastic dent like a plunger and pull it up to release pressure. If it still has minor dents, you can use a heat gun to smooth them out.

How much does it cost to fix a dented plastic bumper at a body shop?

If the DIY methods don’t work, you can always head to an auto repair shop to fix your dented plastic bumper. However, depending on the severity, it will cost you between $100-$2000 to fix a dented plastic bumper.

What filler can I use on a plastic bumper?

Body fillers can be used on plastic bumpers if they have developed cracks due to accidents. However, you must not use metal body fillers on plastic bumpers as it will compromise their strength and durability.

Metal fillers are intended to be more rigid, which means they can hold metal parts well in place. However, plastic fillers are designed to move and flex with the material, giving it some flexibility.

Commonly used plastic fillers include two-part epoxies, urethanes, and acrylics. 

Can you pound a dent out of a plastic bumper?

Though the preferred method to fix a dent on a plastic bumper is by using heat, large dents may not respond well. Some dents may be too stubborn or rigid and may refuse to budge.

In such cases, it’s better to remove the bumper from the car and pound the dent out with a rubber mallet.

Can you fix a cracked plastic bumper?

Yes, you can fix a cracked plastic bumper by applying special plastic fillers or structural adhesives. Some examples of these adhesives include two-part epoxies, urethanes, and acrylics. Some complex cracks may require plastic welding as well.

how to fix a dent in a plastic bumper

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you repair a plastic bumper without replacing it?

Yes, you don’t need to replace a dented plastic bumper in case there are minor dents or scratches. You can easily try repairing the dent with a heat gun, hot water, or even a suction dent puller.

However, if the bumper is cracked or broken in several places, you may need to get it replaced at a professional body shop.

Does boiling water help in repairing dents in a plastic bumper?

Pouring hot or boiling water over the dented plastic area is an easy method to try and repair dents. The hot water will soften the plastic, allowing you to pound/reshape the dent into its original position.

However, you must make sure you don’t overheat it – this can make the plastic brittle and cause it to shatter the next time it takes a hit.


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