I’ve got an old car with a deep dent in the bumper. I would like to pop the dent back out. I’m not looking to restore it to original condition — we’re way past that— but making the bumper convex again would be nice.

  • the small suction cups i have (2” diameter) don’t stick due to the shape of the dent.
  • I don’t have easy access to the backside of the bumper. I suspect most of the clips holding the bumper in place are broken or bent, and reattaching might be hard.

Can this dent be popped out in some way?

bumper (subaru legacy outback wagon with fog lights)

(I’m guessing the solution might involve some hot water and a rubber mallet. But hoping somebody can advise on how to access the back of the bumper — remove headlight, remove the wheel, etc.)

  • 1
    Remove all the lights on that side so as not to damage them, but also to gain access. I reshaped a similar bumper with the help of a hot air gun. It's less messy than hot water and easier to control how much heat is applied. A lever applied at the back reshaped it. Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 18:32
  • That is a plastic bumper cover. You should be able to remove it by taking out a few screws and fasteners. That will give you access to the rear of the part and you should be able to work it better from there. Some heat like from a portable hairdryer may help soften it a bit and get it to pop back more or less.
    – jwh20
    Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 18:59
  • 1
    I agree with removing all the lights. Jacking the car and proceeding from under is easiest. Have someone old a heat gun to the bumper while someone else proceed with a lever tool to pry this bumper back to it's original shape from under the car. Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


To do much, you will need to remove the bumper from the car. The surface is plastic and the most damage has been done to underlying steel, possibly aluminum. Removal should access to the steel with the plastic cover removed ; bend the steel back and the plastic may straighten out. My son recently did this on a Lexus that looked pretty bad but not as severe as yours; The plastic popped back and it looked excellent ( Surprised me ).

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