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My M3 victim of hit and run, replace whole bumper or?

voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,121
4,692
Colorado
So my Model 3 was the victim of a careless driver who swiped it pretty good, there is a lot of paint transfer.
The bumper cover has a high end Suntek film on it as well as ceramic and I’m wondering if there’s any chance the paint underneath is okay if it is pulled off or if it just makes more sense to throw the bumper in the trash and have a new one put on which would then have to be re-filmed.

The paint transfer did not come off at all with some light scrubbing.

looks like they cracked one of the fog light covers and I’m not sure if that’s available separately but assume it is.

Very slightly tagged the rim but I have a good random orbital buffer that can probably fix that myself.

I’m always really careful about parking my car in safe spots so this is even more annoying. My sentry has not been recording properly for a few weeks so unfortunately I have no video of the event.
 

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Sophias_dad

Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,039
943
Massachusetts
Since your choices are
A) Assume the bumper cover is screwed, throw it in the trash, buy a new one, get it painted/ppfed/ceramic

or

B) Remove the film, see the bumper is just fine, get new ppf/ceramic



I'd try B first. The only savings is the cost to remove the film, which is either zero or you do it, or may be zero if you have your ppf person do it, since they know they have your re-ppf business.

There's also B2) where the film is removed and you repaint the current bumper cover. Unless there are folds/cuts/gouges in the old cover, there's no need to replace it. Even cuts and gouges can be fixed with the right material, and its probably cheaper than a new cover.
 
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voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,121
4,692
Colorado
Since your choices are
A) Assume the bumper cover is screwed, throw it in the trash, buy a new one, get it painted/ppfed/ceramic

or

B) Remove the film, see the bumper is just fine, get new ppf/ceramic



I'd try B first. The only savings is the cost to remove the film, which is either zero or you do it, or may be zero if you have your ppf person do it, since they know they have your re-ppf business.

There's also B2) where the film is removed and you repaint the current bumper cover. Unless there are folds/cuts/gouges in the old cover, there's no need to replace it. Even cuts and gouges can be fixed with the right material, and its probably cheaper than a new cover.

Yeah this is kind of where my decision making was leading me as well. I can further inspect it after it’s off and determine if it is salvageable. The shop where the PPF was done is out of business so I will have to see if a new shop willing to pull it off for the benefit of replacing it later.

I did the polishing and ceramic coating myself so I’m only out my own time for that.

thx.
 

contourrob

Member
Dec 5, 2020
54
39
Lexington, SC
Yeah this is kind of where my decision making was leading me as well. I can further inspect it after it’s off and determine if it is salvageable. The shop where the PPF was done is out of business so I will have to see if a new shop willing to pull it off for the benefit of replacing it later.

I did the polishing and ceramic coating myself so I’m only out my own time for that.

thx.

i had a Yukon which had similar looking damage. Peeled off the Suntek film and boom - like brand new. I think there’s a chance you can salvage that bumper as long as it’s not dented/deformed. Even if it is, a PDR shop may be able to pull it back for a pretty minor cost.
 
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beachsideev

Member
May 23, 2020
278
136
usa
My bumper got hit by a trailer. The damage was way worse than that and the body shop repaired it to better than new. It wasn't all that expensive either. They should be able to fix it easily without replacing it.
 
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dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,463
4,672
New Jersey - Morris County
So couple of quick thoughts ...

1) I’d try pulling off the film. If this isn’t the exact time for that kinda thing, why bother putting film on in the first place?

2) if it’s still damaged, have a body shop take a look. They can be miracle workers.

3) for around $600 as I recall, Tesla service centers are now stocking pre-painted bumper covers. Unbolt, replace, rebolt.

Given that price, there’s no way I’d get insurance involved here. It’s not nearly enough damage for that — buying the bumper cover is barely more $$ than your deductible and no risk of a re-rate.
 

voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,121
4,692
Colorado
So couple of quick thoughts ...

1) I’d try pulling off the film. If this isn’t the exact time for that kinda thing, why bother putting film on in the first place?

2) if it’s still damaged, have a body shop take a look. They can be miracle workers.

3) for around $600 as I recall, Tesla service centers are now stocking pre-painted bumper covers. Unbolt, replace, rebolt.

Given that price, there’s no way I’d get insurance involved here. It’s not nearly enough damage for that — buying the bumper cover is barely more $$ than your deductible and no risk of a re-rate.

Thanks.

assuming that worst case the bumper cover needs replacement it doesn’t seem quite as bad now.
 
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stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
9,998
4,918
Since your choices are
A) Assume the bumper cover is screwed, throw it in the trash, buy a new one, get it painted/ppfed/ceramic

or

B) Remove the film, see the bumper is just fine, get new ppf/ceramic



I'd try B first. The only savings is the cost to remove the film, which is either zero or you do it, or may be zero if you have your ppf person do it, since they know they have your re-ppf business.

There's also B2) where the film is removed and you repaint the current bumper cover. Unless there are folds/cuts/gouges in the old cover, there's no need to replace it. Even cuts and gouges can be fixed with the right material, and its probably cheaper than a new cover.
Same thought. Don't see the issue with removing the PPF. There is not negative to doing so. Why throw out the bumper cover straight out?

Also it doesn't look that bad to need a whole bumper replacement. Worst case some filler can be applied. It's just plastic and not structural, so doesn't really matter that much. It just depends on what costs more money.
 

Mr. Big

Member
Oct 23, 2019
282
270
SoCal
I’d rather not have my rates get bumped over a $500-$1,500 repair, I have five vehicles insured.

You do you though.
I’ve never had my premium go up when the other party was at fault. I went through a 1-year period where I got rear-ended three times and never got penalized by the insurance company. And this is when I had a C7 Corvette, Porsche 911 and BMW M4 all at the same time.
 
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Dolemite

is my name
Sep 19, 2019
1,136
1,366
ol' Virginny
Did you try polishing it off? I see you mention the polisher but it sounds like you haven’t tried it on the film yet. Try using a very fine polish and see what happens.
 

voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,121
4,692
Colorado
Just wanted to provide a follow up.

I sent photos to the shop that installed the Suntek film on the bumper and the owner of the shop said that it shouldn't need anything other then replacement of the film.

I took it in to him last week and when he looked at it he said he was 95% positive that it could be polished off and it would not harm the film. He recommended doing it by hand and only using the random orbital polisher as a last resort as that would increase the likelihood of marks in the film.

I used some Meguiars 205 polish compound which is a swirl removing compound just a hair under the coarseness of an actual cutting compound. I used hand wool pads.

The key is to not try to polish off the whole thing at once. I started in the smallest part and used a cross hatch pattern to get it cleaned off, continually blowing out the pad with compressed air and using an alcohol prep spray on the area after I was done. I finished one small area and then moved on and saved the worst spot for last.

The results are good. There is a very small 2-3 mm crease in the film that looks like the film got very slightly lifted off the bumper but honestly it's not enough to worry about until something more traumatic happens and the film really does need replacement. The other stuff seen in the photos is just water spots from driving it after I cleaned it up.

I plan on polishing the entire car in a couple of months and then re-doing my ceramic coating and maybe that will slightly hide that blemish a bit.

IMG_1258.JPEG
 
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