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Even the slightest of collisions with another car, van or lorry can cause considerable damage to your bumper. When it comes to replacements, you’ve got the choice of a new part or buying a used car bumper. So if you opt for the second route, what are the potential problems to keep an eye on?

Car bumpers are designed with safety in mind. Often when you hit another car, or they hit you, the bumper will take all the impact and crumple or break. Of course, this is better than another vehicle actually hitting the bodywork of your car, which can cost a lot of money to repair at the panel-beaters. Bumpers are often damaged and need replacing, so you can usually find a number of used car front bumpers for sale from parts centres, scrap-yards and even on the internet. All you need to know is the warning signs that should make you walk away from any potential purchase.

-) Check the structural integrity of the front bumper. If you’re going to rely on it to fend off other vehicles in the future you’ll need it to be as strong as possible. If there are any dents or scratches in the unit then this is an indication that it won’t last long under stress. Make sure you also look inside the bumper as well as on the outside.

-) When it comes to fixing the front bumper to your car, the brackets are the most important thing. If these are in any way faulty then you could find your entire purchase has been in vain. Make sure these brackets are not in any way bent, twisted or cracked. They should also be firmly fixed to the bumper so that when you fix it to your car, it stays in place.

-) You may have heard that when buying used car parts there is a degree of interchangeability between many spares under the hood. Unfortunately this isn’t the case when it comes to front bumpers, which are usually machined to fit exactly on a car’s bodywork. Therefore you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the right part to match your vehicle.

-) One thing that any used car parts buyer worth their salt will tell you is that serious rust is a big no-no. Expect to find a little rust on the front bumper as it’s probably been used in wet conditions, severe patches of rust on the other hand are a sign for you to look to purchase elsewhere.

-) If the bumper is made of alloys then check the paintwork and finish. This should give you some clues as to how old the bumper might be and how well it’s been kept. If the bumper is made out of plastic then you should check carefully to make sure there has been no repairs, as these will weaken the unit and you’ll find it’ll crack easily.

-) Some front bumpers contain lights. If you need any kind of part that requires wiring into your vehicle then it’s always best to check all the cabling and connections before you buy.

-) From the internet to your local scrap-yard you’ll find plenty of places where you can buy a used bumper. It is advisable that you get a receipt or some kind of sales certificate with your used part. Anywhere, whether land-based or online, should give you terms and conditions of sale that allow you to return your part in the event of a failure.

So next time you have a fender bending collision, save yourself money and keep your no claims bonus by replacing the part by yourself. It’s a very easy swap to do and you should be able to change the old front bumper for a used front bumper in a mere matter of seconds. All that’s left for you to do is plan what you’ll be doing with your savings!

This article was supplied by used car part location specialists, BreakerLink.com, who has over 30 years of experience in the used car parts service.