What Is a Bumper Cover and Is it Worth It?

A modern bumper cover is a lightweight, inexpensive version of an older style steel bumper. Sometimes they get damaged or scraped up during inadvertent parking maneuvers.

The good news is that they are pretty easy to replace. Replacement is also most likely a cheaper option than having the bumper repaired or repainted at a body shop.

Components of a Modern Bumper

A front or rear bumper on a modern vehicle is really comprised of two parts:

1. The Bumper Cover

Bumper cover

The bumper cover is a lightweight piece of soft plastic that is usually painted to match the body of the car. It attaches to the car with clips for ease of manufacturing. The plastic is soft enough to absorb a minor blow without damage. But the plastic is also soft enough that it is easily scraped.

2. The Impact Bar

Impact bar

Immediately behind the bumper cover is the impact bar. The impact bar is connected to the frame of the car. It is sturdy enough to absorb a bigger blow than the cover alone could. (The impact bar is also sometimes called the reinforcement bar.)

Bumper Covers Vs. Air Dams Vs. Bumper Overriders

People sometimes confuse the term bumper covers with air dams or bumper overriders. As we've just described bumper covers above, let's take a look at air dams and bumper overriders.

Air Dam - An air dam (sometimes called a lip spoiler) is simply an extension underneath your bumper cover. It is there to improve your car’s aerodynamics. Some bumper covers come with an air dam built in. Most air dams are a separate part to minimize repair costs, as the air dam is susceptible to damage from parking lot curbs, etc.

Bumper Overrider - Bumper overriders are no longer found on modern cars. You can still see them on some classic collectible cars. A bumper overrider is a tubular metal bar that mounts over the top of a steel bumper. It essentially makes the bumper taller.

Why Get OEM Bumper Covers?

Replace cover

Are you shopping for a new bumper cover to replace a damaged cover? You might notice that there’s a huge selection of aftermarket bumper covers available for your Volkswagen vehicle. Should you skip getting an OEM front or rear bumper cover and get an aftermarket one instead?

We strongly recommend against it. OEM bumper covers are made with the highest quality materials and will fit your Volkswagen exactly. An exact fit really makes difference in how the bumper cover looks once it is installed on the car. Aftermarket bumper covers might look ok once they are installed, but they also might not. It's hard to know how well made an aftermarket cover is until it's on the car. Also, OEM bumper covers are much easier to shop for. All you have to do is to perform a search on your car here.

If you’re looking for a bumper cover for your car, here’s a list of our most popular bumper covers: