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Yeh it could probably be repainted assuming the cracks are only in the paint but once plastic has been stressed beyond its point of elasticity it will suffer internal stresses which at this stage cannot be seen by the naked eye. Eventually these stresses can develop into fracture lines. I have seen plastic bumpers repainted after damage only for the cracks to reappear sometime later. Most good insurance assessors will not accept bumper repairs but will insist on a full new replacement bumper as supplied by the original manufacturer. With most modern cars the full extent of the damage can only be assessed by removing the bumper and inspected the body panels behind it. Additionally the cost of painting a bumper is somewhat more expensive that a metal body panel as the paint needs special additives (adhesion promoters, plasticisers, etc.) to prevent the paint from cracking or falling off. It is was mine I wouldn't faff about - do it through the insurers - if its not your fault what you got to worry about. Hurray for the old metal bumper along with its chrome over-riders, etc - but oh! - were they heavy and rust and corrosion became a problem.
Hi Noel, I would agree with most of what you are saying (especially the part about going through the insurance), fact is - if the job is undertaken correctly, plastic bumpers can be repaired successfully with no problems at all - I've been repairing them for almost 18 months, and never had a problem. So long as the bumper is correctly prepared, repair carried out, primered, smoothed down, top coat and lacquer (if applicable), and this is all done indoors - with no rushing the job, then a perfectly acceptable job is the result. (Its when people miss or rush things along, then sub-standard work is the result.
Insurance companies prefer to replace mainly because its cheaper (less labour costs in removing and the repair/preparatory time).
Regarding car weights, I think you'll find that the average family car is a lot heavier these days than one from 20 years ago (by as much as 3-4 passengers) due to increased size and all the airbags & electrics being involved.
Good debate though!
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