3 Reasons to Avoid DIY Bumper Repairs

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You've just had a minor fender-bender. Your car is still drivable, but your front bumper looks a little worse for wear. Should you try to save a few bucks and fix it yourself, or should you take your vehicle into a professional auto body shop for a complete repair? While you may want to avoid the costlier option, especially if you don't care about aesthetics, taking the cheaper route may be a mistake.

Although there are plenty of reasons why do-it-yourself auto body repair jobs don't work out, here are three specific reasons to avoid this approach when dealing with bumper damage.

1. You Can't Fully Evaluate the Damage

Unless you're driving a truly ancient vehicle, your car's bumper is a decorative cover over a more functional impact-absorbing system. The visible outer cover is known as a "fascia," and this cover sits on top of several additional elements. These elements include special foam to absorb some of the shock and a stiffer structural bumper bar.

An impact can damage these underlying elements while leaving the fascia in relatively good condition. You may even have unseen mechanical or structural damage. Buying some cheap plastic repair kits might get the outer covering looking good again, but you'll need a professional evaluation to check for damage lurking under the surface.

2. You May Hurt Your Resale Value

You may be surprised to learn that damage from an accident can show up on your vehicle's history report even if you don't make a claim on your insurance. Vehicle history reports typically pull from numerous sources, and police reports are one potential source. A DIY fix without a claim may keep your insurance from going up, but it won't necessarily keep the accident off your vehicle's history.

Future buyers may want to see proof of a thorough repair in these cases. Even if you get good results with your do-it-yourself fix, you won't have the necessary documentation to show potential buyers. By taking your car to a professional shop, you can help maintain its resale value by getting proof that you took the steps necessary to restore it correctly.

3. You Could Make the Problem Worse

Body shops can use various techniques to restore vehicle bumper covers, including plastic welding and other repair methods. Even relatively severe damage may be repairable, saving you the cost of a new bumper. However, a failed do-it-yourself approach may cause more damage to the bumper fascia, forcing you to live with an ugly fix or pay more to have the bumper replaced.

By taking your car to a professional auto body shop, you'll get the best possible repair for the best possible price. While a professional fix might cost a little more money, it's still more cost-effective than attempting a cheap solution that ultimately ruins a repairable bumper.