It is common for people to be shocked at the cost of bumper repairs. Why is this a common surprise, the main cause is often contributed to not really understanding the concept of modern bumpers compared to those in history. Originally, bumpers were a feature simply bolted to the frame with a few bolts, often made from metal or wood to take the blow from bumping into objects. This made them much easier to replace or remove for repairs.
In recent decades, technology has advanced and this has increased the complexity of bumpers as well. Today, bumpers are more than a piece to protect the body of a vehicle from being damaged when the driver bumps objects, there are integrated components which offer higher performance functions to protect the driver. Because of this, the cost of bumper repairs has went up, to better understand the repair costs, a person first needs to have an understanding of what modern bumpers do, and what is involved when removing or replacing a bumper.
Time and Labor
When it comes to removal and installation of a car bumper, for replacement or repairs, this is not a simple task on newer vehicles and requires much more than a few bolts be taken off. Bumpers now have various connections that alert vehicle systems of different things, and all these will require disconnecting prior to removing the bumper. Because some of the systems are designed to integrate directly into a bumper, some of them may take longer to disconnect properly.
Some integrated systems include:
Warning Systems – These connections are more common on modern vehicles, and include backup cameras, sensors, land changing warning sensors, vehicle sensors, and other types of sensors depending on the make and model.
Lights – Bumpers can have many type of light connections, including turn signals, fog lights, and decorative lighting. When the wires are integrated into the bumper, these will have to be disconnected prior to replacing a bumper.
Airbag Sensors – With advance technology, airbag sensors have been integrated into bumpers for added safety. This is one connection that takes longer to disconnect, because no one wants the airbags to deploy by accident.
Trim – Modern bumpers commonly have different pieces of trim that will need to be carefully removed before removal of the bumper.
Air Intake – Although this is not a common feature, there are some makes and models that have cold-air intakes directly mounted on their front bumper.
Prior to beginning anything related to bumper repairs or replacements, all of these will need to be disconnected. This can take an average of 2 to 3 hours, sometimes longer and costs average $100/hour.
When it comes to repairs and replacements, painting is important as you want the bumper to match your vehicle. This stage will begin with any repairs that need to be done, including adding filler, plastic repair materials, or dent and crack repairs. At this stage the idea is to restore the damaged bumper so that it’s back to an original condition.
After being repaired, the bumper’s surface will be sanded down so that the paint will be able to adhere properly. At this point, any trim or cutouts that remain will be removed, allowing the painting to start.
When it comes to painting, the first step involves color matching. This is where the paint will be mixed to properly match the existing color, depending on the color of your vehicle this can increase the price even further. The next step is to apply a base coat, followed by the color coat (1+ applications), finishing with a clear coat. Every layer will require proper time to cure, if it is not properly cured the process will have to be started over.
The whole process for painting can range between 3 to 4 hours, or more. The average cost for labor cost for painting is $100/hour.
Materials for Painting
Just like anything, the materials for painting cost as well, including plastic repair material, body filler, masking tape and sand paper. Rather than the auto-body shop charging for each item used, keeping track of the exact amounts, etc. they often invoice these charges as a flat rate. This rate averages $45/hour, and specialized paints can greatly increase this.
Bumper Replacement Cost
When it comes to a collision, even at low speeds, it is common for a part to be damaged beyond being repaired. When this happens, the only option may be simply replacing this part. The average cost of a replacement bumper is $300 to $700. If you’re vehicle has sensors, cameras, lights, or other parts that have been damaged, expect the price of repair to increase. With modern vehicles it is easy to end up with a $1,000 or higher bill for bumper repairs.
After you have an understanding of all the things required just to remove the bumper, then add in the time of making repairs, painting, and cost materials it is easy to tell how quick the cost of a bumper repair can add up. However, it is still common for people to associate “bumper” with terms like, disposable and simple to replace, which is not true anymore.
So, How Much Does Bumper Repair Cost Total
Bumper repair costs in 2018 were around $935-$1580 putting the average bumper repair cost at $1,257.
- Time and Labor: 2 to 3 hours at $100/hr equals $200 to $300
- Painting Labor: 3 to 4 hours at $100/hr equals $300 to $400
- Materials: 3 to 4 hours at $45/hr equals $135 to $180
- Parts: averaging $300 to $700
Total Costs: $1,257
A bumper repair can quickly increase in costs due to the necessary needs of mechanical labor, materials needed, and cost of any part replacements.