There are a few reasons to replace a bumper, although most drivers do not have to do it regularly. Beyond fixing damage from a crash, a new bumper can also be an upgrade to a vehicle’s general level of durability, so many drivers make the change alongside other performance upgrades. It’s also pretty common to upgrade your bumper for compatibility with another accessory like a winch mounting plate.
Types of Car Bumpers Available Online
There are five basic types of car bumper, although you will find a range of stylistic choices and options within each one, as different manufacturers each have their own approach to the core ideas behind the bumper styles:
- Standard bumpers
- Step bumpers
- Cowboy or deep drop designs
- Roll pan designs
- Tube bumpers
The standard class of bumper is what you see from just about every OEM design. It sits below the grille, it’s relatively low-profile in most cases, and each manufacturer produces them to fit specific vehicles. Step bumper designs look a lot like standard bumpers, but with a step up to help with vehicle access.
Roll pan designs are even lower-profile than standard bumpers, but they are also designed to perform better. They allow your vehicle’s natural lines to come out more in its immediate visual impression, basically presenting a minimalist option for the bumper as an accessory. Deep drop shapes are the ones designed to take the biggest hits and provide the most coverage, having been developed for work vehicles.
Tube bumpers are uncommon for cars because they are mostly used for off-roading setups, but some people choose them as a visual accessory. They provide better than average protection, but they are designed for damage prevention from brush and branches, not collisions with other vehicles at highway speeds. You can find each of these types of car bumper online, although not every vehicle will have options for every type of bumper.
Bumper compatibility comes down to two factors, the vehicle’s bracket size and the way it looks. Some designs simply do not work with a vehicle’s contours, so it helps if you can see an aftermarket bumper on a vehicle just like yours. Bumpers are made to fit a range of vehicles with roughly the same width, but they vary in bracket size, so you need to match both model compatibility and bracket measurements.
OEM part producers and some aftermarket manufacturers will build for specific vehicle fitment. In those cases, the bumper, bumper cover, and anything else included in the installation will be built to work with a single model over a range of years, and then you do not need to worry about sizing. It makes shopping for auto body parts online simpler, but it limits your selection.
Sizing & Quality
If you are measuring your bumper to find the right size for an aftermarket replacement, there is a simple process to follow that uses a tape measure or the ruler app on your phone. Start at the edge of the license plate, and measure the distance to the underside of the bumper. This gives you the depth of the bumper, which allows you to find your bracket size. That makes fitment for most aftermarket bumpers easier. Give it a try today so you can find your new bumper.