How to Replace a Bumper on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Replacing a bumper on your Vehicles can be an alternative to trying to repair the bumper if it is damaged. The bumper that you see is really a cover that is designed to be removed and replaced if necessary. There are quite a few screws and bolts that retain the bumper to the car, but all are accessible so that you can remove them using basic tools. The bumper is not heavy, but if you are planning to reuse it, you may want someone to help you support the bumper while you unbolt it.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Bumper on a Mazda 6

Locate the three bolts that pass through the bumper and up into the front sheet metal under the outer corner of the bumper. These bolts are almost directly below the headlight assemblies. Remove the three bolts on each side of the bumper with a socket and ratchet.

Move back to the fender opening and locate the bolts that are just above the first three. There are three on each side of the car. Remove these with a socket and ratchet. Save the bolts for reuse later.

Locate the bolt where the front bumper meets the corner of the front fender. There is one on each side of the car. Remove these two bolts with a socket and ratchet or wrench.

Locate the two bolts directly under the nose of car near the license plate holder. Remove both bolts with a socket and ratchet or a wrench, saving the bolts for use during reinstallation.

Locate and remove the two bolts on top of the bumper just under the hood. Use a wrench or ratchet and socket to remove the bolts, then slide the bumper straight off the front of the car.

Install the new bumper onto the front of the car by sliding it into position and installing the two bolts on the radiator support under the hood. Tighten the bolts with a wrench or socket and ratchet.

Install the two bolts under the center of the bumper, and tighten them with a wrench or socket and ratchet. Move up to the side of the car where the front bumper meets the fender. Install the retaining bolt that you removed here. There is one on each fender, and you can tighten them with a socket and ratchet.

Move down the fender well toward the front of the car, and insert the three bolts located there. Tighten them with a wrench, and move down to the three under the front corner. Install the three bolts, and tighten these with a socket and ratchet or wrench. Install these bolts for both sides of the car.

Close the hood and check to see that the bumper is correctly aligned with the body. Make adjustments as necessary for alignment.

Items you will need

  • Metric socket set

  • Metric wrench set

 How to Replace the Bumper on a 2005 Envoy

Grille Removal

Park the Envoy on a flat surface. Turn off the engine and open the hood. The grille is held in by 11 clips. You'll need to remove all of them in order to take off the grille.

Remove the four clips on top of the grille. If you cannot pry them off with your hands, use a flat-head screwdriver to pop them out.

Remove the two clips on the far-left side of the grille, the two clips on the far right and the two clips on the bottom.

Pull the grille out slowly. The last clip is in the center of the grille. As you pull the grille out of the vehicle, the clip will pop out by itself. When the clip pops out, slowly remove the grille from the vehicle.

Headlight Removal

Lift the two sliding tabs holding the headlight assembly in place. The sliding tabs cannot be removed, but can be lifted enough in order to allow you to take the headlights off the vehicle. Repeat this step for both headlights.

Disconnect the turn signal wires from the side of the headlight assembly. Disconnect the electrical connector from the rear of the assembly.

Pull the headlight assembly out of the vehicle slowly. Be careful not to scratch the vehicle as you are pulling it out.

Bumper Removal

Crawl under the bumper and insert the screwdriver into the harness notch. Bend the screwdriver slightly to disconnect the fog light harnesses on both the right and left side of the vehicle.

Pop out the buttons on each side of the bottom of the bumper. If you cannot remove them by hand, use the pliers to pull them out. Remove the button located in the center of the bumper in the same way.

Use the wrench to remove the two bolts holding the bumper from the top. Remove the four plugs inside the vent of the bumper. You can use the screwdriver to pop them out.

Remove the plastic fasteners on each side of the bumper. They can be pried right off with the screwdriver. Remove the bumper from the vehicle.

Replacement and Reassembly

Place the replacement bumper onto the vehicle. Snap the fasteners onto the side of the bumper. Reattach the four plugs inside the vent of the vehicle. Reinstall the two bolts at the top of the bumper. Snap in the two buttons on each side of the bumper as well as the center button.

Crawl under the vehicle and reconnect the fog light harnesses. Reconnect the electrical connector and side marker wires to the headlight assembly. Place it back into the vehicle and push the sliding tabs down to lock it into place. Repeat for the other headlight assembly as well.

Place the grille back onto the vehicle and reattach all 11 clips to secure it in place. Close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • 10 mm wrench

  • Pliers

 How to Replace the Bumper on a Toyota Tundra

Disable the airbag, or supplemental restraint system, before working near the airbag sensors on your bumper. Point the wheels straight ahead and turn the ignition key to the "Lock" position. Disconnect the negative battery from the terminal and wait at least two minutes for the back-up power supply to be depleted.

Apply the parking brake and lift the vehicle up on jack stands.

Remove the fog light bulbs by disconnecting the electrical connector from the back of the holder and rotating the bulb counter-clockwise to remove it from the housing.

Remove the bumper arm-to-body bolts from each side of the bumper. If you wish to remove the entire set up from the frame, remove the bolts attaching the brackets to the frame rails. Pull the bumper away from the vehicle and set aside.

Hold the new bumper in place and begin to replace the arm-to-body bolts on each side of the bumper. Partially tighten all bolts first and then go back to each bolt and fully tighten. Confirm the bumper is properly aligned and securely attached to the brackets.

Reconnect the fog light bulbs and insert into the electrical connector back into the housing.

Enable the air bag system and reconnect the battery cables. Lower the vehicle from the jack stands and disengage the parking brake.

Items you will need

  • Jack stands

  • Socket wrench

  • Replacement bumper

 How to Replace the Bumper in an 08 Ford Focus

Front Bumper Replacement

Park the vehicle on a level surface and set the parking brake. Lift the hood and support it with the hood prop rod. Examine the front grille and locate the four push-pin style retainers that secure the grill to the radiator core support. Pry up on the center of all four retainers with a flat-head screwdriver. Lift the push out of the grille and set them aside.

Lift the front of the vehicle into the air with a floor jack and place jack stands under the front sub-frame rails. Lower the vehicle until it rests securely on the jack stands. Locate the push pins that secure the lower air guard to the radiator, bumper cover and wheel well splash shields and remove them with a flat-head screwdriver. Remove any retaining screws for the air guard, if equipped. Lower the air guard from under the vehicle and position it aside.

Locate the three front-most push pin retainers for the wheel well splash shield on each side of the vehicle and remove them with a flat-head screwdriver. Position yourself under the vehicle in a manor that allows you to reach the fog light wiring harness, if equipped. Remove the push pin retainer for the fog light wiring harness. Squeeze the locking tabs and disconnect the wiring harness from the fog lights, if equipped.

Find the two push pin retainers that secure the bumper cover to the metal bumper and remove them with a flat-head screwdriver. Pull the bumper away from the wheel well and fender on each side and then pull the bumper straight off of the vehicle.

Sit the bumper so that the inside faces downward. Place the flat-head screwdriver into the left or right side of the fog light bezel and carefully pry the bezel out of the old bumper cover. Remove the four mounting screws for the fog lamp and remove the fog lamp from the bumper cover. Repeat this for the opposite fog light, if equipped. Remove the foam insert from the center of the bumper.

Examine the inner fender splash shields and lower air deflector for any damage and replace them as necessary, if the bumper is being replaced as a result of a collision. Inspect all push pin retainers for damage and replace as necessary, there should be 20 in total for this process.

Lay out a blanket and position the new bumper cover so that the inside faces down. Examine the area of the cover where the fog light bezel and lamp is installed. Place a small serrated knife through the opening on either side of the plastic trim and cut out the plate where the fog light is to be installed. Repeat this for the opposite fog light, if your vehicle is equipped with fog lights.

Place the original fog lamp into position in the new bumper cover and install the mounting screws. Tighten the fog lamp mounting screws to 13 inch-pounds with an inch-pounds torque wrench. Place the fog lamp bezel into place and push it until the retaining clips click into place, the bezel should sit flush with the bumper cover. Repeat this step for the opposite fog light, if your Focus is equipped with fog lights.

Flip the bumper cover over so that the outside of the bumper is resting on the blanket. Coat the impact foam with spray adhesive and set it into position on the inside of the bumper cover; do not force it, it will only fit in one place and one way inside the bumper. Allow the adhesive to dry for at least one hour before continuing.

Set the new bumper cover into position on the metal frame bumper and install the two top push pin retainers. Push the center pins until they secure the bumper cover to the frame. Push the bumper cover into position under the fender on each side of the vehicle and install the 3 push pin retainers for the wheel splash shield on each side of the vehicle.

Lift the lower air guard into place and install the push pin retainers. Install any screws securing the lower air guard to the lower core support with a screwdriver, if equipped. Connect the fog light wiring harness to the fog lights and secure the fog light harness with it's push pin connector. Lift the front of the vehicle off of the jack stands and remove the jack stands from under the vehicle. Lower the vehicle to the ground.

Set the radiator grill into position on the core support and the bumper cover. Install the four push pin retainers through the grill and into the core support. Shut the vehicle hood. Take the vehicle to a local body shop to have the front bumper painted to match the rest of the vehicle, if necessary.

Rear Bumper Replacement

Park the vehicle on a level surface and set the parking brake. Open the rear hatch door and clear anything that may be in the luggage compartment.

Pull outwards on the trim carefully to disengage the clips holding it to the inner shell, you may use a flat-head screwdriver or trim removal tool if necessary. Remove the two nuts securing the tail lamp to the vehicle with a socket and ratchet. Pull outward on the bottom of the tail lamp assembly and then straight away from the vehicle, there is a hidden metal clip that will require some effort to disengage when pulling out the tail lamp assembly. Disconnect the electrical connectors and store the tail lamp assembly in a safe place. Repeat this step for the opposite tail lamp.

Squeeze the locking tab for the license plate light electrical connector and separate the two plugs. Remove the four upper bumper push-pin retainers with a flat-head screwdriver. Remove the two upper bumper mounting bolts that were hidden by the tail lamp assembly with a socket and ratchet. Examine where the rear bumper cover meets the wheel well and remove the single push pin retainer on each side of the vehicle with a flat-head screwdriver.

Place wheel chalks around the front wheels and lift the rear of the vehicle into the air with a floor jack. Place jack stands under the rear suspension and lower the vehicle until it rests securely on the jack stands.

Look under the bumper cover and remove the two push pin retainers with a flat-head screwdriver. Look at the corners of the bumper cover on the inside to find a support brace on each side of the bumper. Remove the support bolt on each side with a socket and ratchet. Pull outward on the upper corners of the bumper at the wheel well and then pull the bumper straight off the vehicle.

Set the new bumper into place and install two of the four upper push pin retainers. Push each corner of the bumper into place at the wheel well and install the push pin retainer on each side at the bottom of the bumper and splash shield.

Lay down under the bumper and install the two push pin retainers towards the center of the bumper. Install the bolt that secures the bumper to the support brace and tighten to 108 inch-pounds with a torque wrench.

Lift the rear of the vehicle of the jack stands and remove the jack stands from under the suspension. Lower the vehicle to the ground. Install the remaining upper bumper push pin retainers. Install the two upper mounting bolts in the tail lamp cavity and tighten with a socket and ratchet.

Connect the tail light electrical connectors. Push the tail lamp assemblies into place top side first, apply moderate pressure to the top to engage the hidden metal clip. Install the retaining nuts and tighten to 35 inch-pounds. Repeat this step for the opposite tail light. Connect the license plate light wiring harness.

Place the interior trim into position and lightly tap each piece until the trim is secured to the inner shell. Shut the hatch door and drive the vehicle to a local body shop to have the bumper painted to match the vehicle color, if necessary.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Screwdriver set

  • Socket set

  • Ratchet

  • Small serrated knife

  • Push pin retainers

  • Spray adhesive

  • Blanket

  • Wheel chalks

 How to Replace a Bumper on a Suburban

Put on safety glasses, and roll under the Suburban on a creeper. You can do this without a creeper, but it is much easier to maneuver yourself under the vehicle while on a creeper. Move underneath the bumper, and find the two metal brackets that extend from the bumper to the frame of the Suburban. There are two 14-mm bolts and nuts on each bracket. Spray them with the lubricating spray, and let them sit for five minutes. Since the bolts and nuts are located under the Suburban, they are exposed to dirt, mud, salt and grime from the road, which causes them to become stuck. The spray loosens the bolts, so they can be easily removed.

Use the ratchet and a 14-mm socket to loosen the nuts and bolts. Use a crescent wrench to hold the bolt, while you use the ratchet and socket to loosen the nut. This holds the bolt still, while the nut is loosened.

Have a friend hold up the bumper. Remove the bolts and nuts from the bumper, and pull the bumper away from the Suburban.

Slide the new bumper into place where the old one was removed. Have someone hold it in place, while you get underneath, and install the bolts through the holes in the metal bracket and into the frame. Tighten the bolts using the ratchet, 14-mm socket and crescent wrench.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet

  • Socket set

  • Crescent wrench

  • Creeper

  • Safety glasses

  • Lubricating spray

 How to Replace the Bumper on a Toyota 4Runner

Front Bumper

Raise the vehicle's front end and support it on jack stands; make sure you apply the parking brake.

Remove the lower splash shield, disconnecting its fasteners with a screwdriver or Torx wrench. Remove the fasteners that secure the front ends of the inner fender splash shields.

Pry off the trim piece along the top of the bumper with a screwdriver and then remove the fasteners on the top of the bumper cover; these fasteners may require a flare-nut or Torx wrench. Remove all the fasteners along the sides and bottom end of the bumper cover.

Lift and pull the bumper off slightly until you can reach the fog lights' electrical connectors, disconnect the connectors and remove the bumper cover.

Install the replacement bumper, making sure the tabs in back of the bumper fit onto the clips on the body; you might need an assistant's help. Install all the bolts and screws that you removed from the old bumper.

Lower the vehicle off the jack stands.

Rear Bumper

Unscrew the fasteners for the rear mud flaps using a screwdriver or Torx wrench and remove the flaps.

Remove the upper bolts on the edge of the bumper with a wrench, which are in the wheel wells. Remove the fasteners on the bottom of the cover and then open the rear hatch and remove the fasteners for the bumper's upper inside edge.

Pull the bumper out and away from the vehicle.

Install the replacement rear bumper on the truck and apply the upper fasteners, the bottom fasteners and then the ones in the wheel wells.

Reconnect the mud flaps.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Torx wrench

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.