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I have a 2010 Toyota Camry and I was involved in a minor bumper crash last week where the one of the tab that holds the bumper to the car broke off.

I went to two body shops and body shop A told me they could fix it with plastic welding and body shop B told me they need to remove and replace the entire bumper. Body shop B also told me plastic welding is not recommended.

Question: is plastic welding sufficient for my scenario to fix the bumper? Is it a reliable fix?

Thanks

  • 1
    Have you looked to see what a new bumper cover would cost? I believe including the paint job, it was about $350 to put a new front bumper cover on my Mo-n-law's '05 Camry. It was really easy to do myself, though I took it to the body shop to have it color matched (and it matched perfectly). I don't believe, considering where the weld would be at, that you'd want to do plastic welding on it. I don't think it would hold up very well in the long run. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jul 30 '16 at 18:29
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 This is the estimate that body shop B gave me: imgur.com/a/BecJk with parts and labor, all came out to be about $1,000 – Chairman Meow Jul 30 '16 at 18:44
  • I beg to differ with the answers posted. If they use quality products, it can be extremely strong. I will have to dig up the resources, but welds will fracture on the beads, with high end adhesives they don't break at the seams. My friend installed his new quarter panels on his '71 Le Mans. Non issue. Car is fully restored. – Jonathan Musso Aug 5 '16 at 12:01
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Plastic welding is great for a small crack or slit in the surface of the bumper. However, it is not structurally sound enough to reattach a broken mounting tab.

I've tried; it never works. The one thing you might try, if you're short on cash (although that estimate you posted seemed reasonable) is to get a two-component polyurethane adhesive (actually ironically called "Plastic Welder"), Mix this in a huge glop, and literally glue the bumper back in place in the broken tab area. You may have to devise some sort of clamping arrangement while the adhesive catalyzes, but this only take 5-10 minutes. Don't skimp on the amount used... put it anywhere the bumper material contacts the mounting flange area. Wipe off any excess immediately.

Note this a marriage type commitment, not easily undone. But it's $6 instead of $1000.

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Without an actual picture and the ambiguous verbage used, here's your options:

  • most often, minor crashes do not damage the bumper itself but the "clips" that hold it on. With the proper tools, you can remove your bumper cover, replace any damaged "clips" and then reinstall the bumper cover
  • if the cover itself is cracked, your quote listed the part as $370. You may find a cheaper alternative at aftermarket places, and even cheaper would be the junkyard. Aftermarket places usually have unpainted bumper covers, while the junkyard should have a bumper cover in good shape that is already your colour. If you need to paint, you are probably looking at $30-$50 in spray cans, then you install your new cover yourself.

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