The Complete Guide to Buying a Car Bumper on eBay

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The Complete Guide to Buying a Car Bumper on eBay

Car bumpers protect a vehicle in a low-speed impact. They do this by absorbing the shock of a collision, preventing or reducing damage to the car. Bumpers do not fill the role of preventing or lessening injury to vehicle occupants, however. Car bumpers only protect various components of the vehicle, such as the hood, trunk, grill, exhaust, fuel, and cooling systems. Bumpers also provide protection for safety-related equipment, including headlamps, parking lights, and tail lights.

Shoppers need to keep in mind the material a bumper is made of when purchasing one, as well as which bumper needs replacement, the rear of front bumper. Vehicle owners might explore the option that a body kit gives as opposed to buying individual bumpers. Learning about bumpers, how they work, their material composition, and their location on a vehicle provide the first steps toward purchasing a car bumper. Shoppers can find car bumpers available for sale at local auto part shops, as well as online on eBay.

How a Bumper Works

Modern car bumpers consist of three layers. The inner layer consists of reinforced steel, aluminium, and a fibreglass, or plastic composite material. The second layer of a car bumper acts as the shock absorber and fills the most primary role of the bumper. The last layer serves as the face of the bumper. Comprised of various material types, a large part of outer bumper construction depends on the individual manufacturer or vehicle owner preferences when dealing with aftermarket parts.

Car bumpers provide protection by absorbing the shock from a collision. This shock impacts the bumper, with the middle layer of materials soaking up a lot of that kinetic energy. Most often, once a vehicle has received an impact, bumpers need replacing. Even with very minor impacts, vehicle owners should have the bumper inspected to see that it still works properly.

Parts of a Car Bumper

To better understand a bumper, car owners can learn about the various parts of a bumper. This allows shoppers to make better choices when purchasing bumpers. The following table contains a description of car bumper parts, including hardware, frames, brackets, shocks, and more.

Bumper Parts


Mounting Hardware

Bolts, spacers, and washers make up this category; constructed of high-tensile steel; bolts have thick spacers and locking washers

Bumper Frame

Made of steel; stretches from one side of the vehicle to the other; sits between the vehicle chassis and outer bumper cover

Brackets or Support-Brace Rods

Shape and size dependent on vehicle make and model; cast of angular steel; connect the bumper frame to vehicle chassis

Crush Cans or Absorbers

Act to dampen impacts; mount between bumper frame and chassis; made of thick fibre pads, rubber bushings, and high-impact plastic

Bumper Guards

Designed to make first contact with an object; made of pliable, solid rubber; bolt to the bumper frame near bumper's outer ends

Bumper Shocks

Composed of spring-loaded or gas/hydraulic-operated tubes; allow for higher impacts; rebound once an impact absorbed

Bumper Trim Strips

Like bumper guards, trim strips make first contact with objects; protect the bumper finish; also serve as decorative trim

Bumper Covers

One-piece designs that bolt onto the bumper frame; serve as the outer shell of the bumper; provide minimal impact protection

When buying car bumpers, vehicle owners need to make sure they receive the entire bumper before installation. Bumpers must have all components installed to work properly on the vehicle.

Car Bumper Materials

When buying a replacement car bumper, vehicle owners first need to determine the material that they want. They can use the same material as the former bumper or upgrade to a more expensive material, such as carbon fibre. The chart below lists the various car bumper materials available, including plastic, steel, fibreglass, and more.

Material Types


Plastic Bumper

Costs less than other bumper material types; easier to fit to a vehicle; comes in a variety of designs; most common bumper material

Carbon Fibre Bumper

Lightweight and durable; costs more than other car bumper materials; usually relegated to more sporty car models

Fibreglass Bumper

Lightweight and more easily repaired than other materials; costs more than plastic, but less than other material types

Steel Bumper

The original bumper material; strong, but heavier than other materials; hard to find replacement steel bumpers

By choosing the car bumper material, car owners can assure that their vehicle has the look and feel that they desire. Overall, bumpers should provide a safe driving experience regardless of the material used in their construction.

Car Bumper Locations

After deciding on the bumper material type, vehicle owners should next determine if they only want to replace one bumper or both the front and rear bumpers. Shoppers have a choice between the front or rear bumper, or they can have a body kit installed. The following sections detail the different bumper types, as well as documents what a body kit does.


Front bumpers, located on the front end of a vehicle, typically protect a vehicle from front impacts. This can include impact from other vehicles, as well as from barriers such as walls or other solid objects. When purchasing a vehicle or bumper, make sure that the bumper has an area for the registration plate available.


Rear bumpers, located at the rear of the vehicle, help protect a vehicle from rear impact from other vehicles, barriers, such as walls and poles. For rear bumpers that have suffered from an impact, vehicle owners need to make sure the rear registration plate has not also suffered damage. Otherwise, the plate might need replacing as well.

Body Kits

Body kits replace bumpers on a vehicle, surrounding the vehicle with a skirt around the entire body of the car. A body kit helps improve the performance of the vehicle by reducing airflow beneath the car. Acting as a skirt, body kits must meet safety standards like any other bumper.

How to Replace a Car Bumper

After a bumper is damaged and needs replacement, shoppers can do the task themselves and save money. A relatively easy task, vehicle owners should make sure that they have the correct tools to perform the bumper replacement before proceeding. This includes a flashlight, the new bumper, some spray lubricant, and a wrench. The following section gives instructions for replacing a car bumper.



Step 1

Using a flashlight, look underneath the car bumper for four to six lug nuts that hold the bumper on

Step 2

Spray the lubricant onto rusted lug nuts and allow to sit for three to five minutes

Step 3

Using a wrench, remove each lug nut; set them aside so they do not become lost

Step 4

Lift the bumper straight up to remove from the vehicle; ask a friend to help if available

Step 5

Remove the bolts from the old bumper and place them in the new bumper

Step 6

Set the new bumper onto the car, making sure the bolts extend all the way through the holes

Step 7

Placing the lug nuts on the end of the bolts, using the wrench to tighten

Make sure all of the bolts are adequately tightened before driving the vehicle. Otherwise, the bumper could fall off, potentially causing an accident.

To Paint or Not to Paint

One final consideration when buying a car bumper deals with installing the bumper before or after painting. Most often, unless the entire car requires painting, vehicle owners need to paint the bumper beforehand. This often requires owners to take the bumper to an autobody shop. Once there, paint professionals can make sure the paint used on the bumper matches that of the vehicle.

Buy Car Bumpers on eBay

Shoppers can buy car bumpers quickly and easily on eBay. Though before purchasing a car bumper, vehicle owners should know what kind of bumper they want. Vehicle owners can make this decision by searching eBay using the search bar on any page. They should search for bumpers using keywords such as "rear car bumper" or "Ford car bumper". Using keywords pulls up a list of categories that allows shoppers to peruse item listings. They can search by item colour, location, vehicle make, and vehicle model, among other categories.

If shoppers have trouble searching for items using keywords, they can visit eBay's Search Tips page on more information on searching with keywords. eBay shops is another area where site visitors can find out more about specific products. Vehicle owners can also ask questions of sellers through the Ask a Question link located on the seller's listing page. They can also check the seller's feedback rating to see how others rated their interaction with a particular seller before making a purchase.


Buying the right type of replacement bumpers goes a long way toward providing for a safe driving experience. When purchasing car bumpers, vehicle owners should only buy bumpers appropriate to their vehicle. They should also make sure that any bumper installed conforms to government and local regulations. This includes having the required registration plate mounts. If the front bumper does not have a place to mount the plate, vehicle owners must buy the appropriate hardware to do so.

Vehicle owners might need to have the bumper painted before replacing it on the vehicle. This typically involves having an autobody shop match up the paint and applying it to the bumper. If the whole vehicle needs painting, then install the bumper first before painting. By knowing the type of bumper needed, the preferred material type, and if the bumper requires painting first, the shopper can confidently purchase car bumpers while on eBay.

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