How to Remove a Plastic Bumper Cover From a Bumper

by Brooke Lane

The “fascia” of the bumper is the plastic bumper cover that absorbs some of the force during a collision, protecting the frame of the vehicle from taking the hit without any buffer. Because the fascia is so important, it is attached very well, and the manufacturer hides any signs of a screw or pin for aesthetic appeal. Luckily, no matter what make or model a car is, they all have the same basic fasteners to hold the fascia in place.


Park the vehicle on a level surface with room to maneuver around and under the bumper fascia.


Open the hood of the vehicle and unscrew the screws holding the front grille in place with a crosshead screwdriver, if necessary. Some automobiles do not have an overlapping grille.


Unsnap all of the clips holding the grille in position. The clips may be located along the sides of the grille, but are more likely positioned along the top and bottom.


Unscrew and remove the turn signal, headlight and side marker covers to keep them from accidentally catching on the bumper and chipping while it is being removed.


Pull out the retainers (little plastic pegs) from the fascia with pliers. These can be hidden under plastic caps that disguise their whereabouts. Remove the plastic caps with a blade screwdriver. To locate the caps, look for round circles of plastic along all the edges of the bumper to ensure that each retainer is removed. Also, use care when removing the retainers, as they are easily damaged and often need to be replaced because of a rough removal.


Unscrew the bolts located along the inside of each wheel well that attach into the end of the bumper. Some vehicles may have plastic rivets instead of bolts inside the wheel well. Gently pop the rivets out with pliers or a blade screwdriver.


Slide the bumper off of the vehicle, taking care to watch for any clips that may still be holding the bumper in place. Some models have clips under the lights that must be lifted with a blade screwdriver while the bumper fascia is sliding off. Help from a friend may be necessary, as most bumper fascias are quite heavy.

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About the Author

Based in Portland, Ore., Brooke Lane began writing professionally in 2009. Lane has worked professionally as a music teacher, cosmetician and book store owner. She has been singing opera for eight years and playing piano for 17 years. Lane was a NATS semi-finalist and studied music performance at Graceland University.

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