Car body reparation

Bumper and Plastic Repair

Whether your bumper is cracked at an edge or punctured right through, 3M can offer you the right method to repair, instead of having to replace the part. Repairing means there is no waiting time and no need for costly purchase of replacement parts - instead you can invoice for valuable work time, saving money for you and the customer.


How to repair plastic parts

Using 3Ms plastic panel repair process, you can save time and money.

  • Repairing a plastic part with a special nozzle
    • Repairing plastic parts such as bumpers offers you clear advantages versus replacing them:

      • No need to wait for replacement parts to come in.
      • No need for costly purchase of replacement parts - instead you can invoice for valuable work time, saving money for you and the customer.
      • 3M's plastic repair process allows you faster repairs by using the Instant Plastic Repair patch, cutting the time of the repair as you don't need to wait for two areas of adhesive to cure.

      Click the play button in the image to watch the video.

      Download 3M™ Plastic Repair System Brochure (pdf, 1,070kb)

      Contact a 3M expert


Bumper and plastic repair products

Discover our range of bumper and plastic repair products to help achieve high quality, efficient repairs in your bodyshop.

How to repair a plastic bumper edge

Step-by-step process guide for repairing the edge of a plastic bumper

  • Drilling a hole in a plastic bumper

    Step 1 - Prevent extension of the crack

    • Clean the damaged area with a soft cloth (i.e. 3M™ Professional Panel Wipe and a suitable degreaser).

      Drill a hole of 4-6 mm in diameter at the base of the crack in order to release stress and prevent further extension of the crack.

      Recommended products:

      3M™ Professional Panel Wipe

  • Opening out a crack in a plastic bumper

    Step 2 - Increase the bonding surface

    • Increase the bonding surface by opening out the crack using a 3M™ Cubitron™ II Roloc™ Fibre Disc 80+. For a crack reaching the edge of the bumper panel, open the end to make a ’V’ shape and remove plastic residue with a sharp knife.

      Recommended products:

      3M™ Cubitron™ II Roloc™ Fibre Disc 80+

  • Sanding a damaged bumper panel

    Step 3 - Preparation

  • Cleaning a damaged bumper panel

    Step 4 - Clean the area

  • Spraying adhesion promoter onto plastic panel

    Step 5 - Apply Polyolefin Adhesion Promoter to the front and back

    • Spray 3M™ Polyolefin Adhesion Promoter on the front and back of the bumper around the cracked area. Allow 10 minutes to dry. (20 mins for the TF - Toluene Free version.)

      Recommended products:

      3M™ Polyolefin Adhesion Promoter

  • Using a manual gun to apply flexible repair material onto the backside of the crack

    Step 6 - Backside repair

  • Applying repair material to the cracked bumper

    Step 7 - Frontside repair

  • Sanding a repaired bumper crack

    Step 8 - Shape the surface

  • Plastic Filler, 0.5 kg can

    Step 9 - Apply plastic filler

    • To finish the plastic bumper repair and prepare for the primer, the use of a plastic filler product is recommended. Use either 3M™ Flexible Plastic Filler for plastic-like performance and excellent sanding and feather-edging, or use 3M™ Plastic Filler.

      Recommended products:

      3M™ Plastic Filler


How to repair and rebuild a plastic tab

Step-by-step process guide for repairing and rebuilding a plastic tab

  • Applying cleaner using a professional panel wipe

    Step 1 - Clean the area

  • Smoothing rogh edges of the tab

    Step 2 - Smooth rough edges

  • Drilling holes in the tab

    Step 3 - Increase the repair strength

    Drill several holes of 3-6 mm in diameter in the remaining part of the tab to increase the strength of the repair.

  • Coating tab area with adhesion promoter

    Step 4 - Apply Polyolefin Adhesion Promoter

  • Applying plastic adhesive using a manual gun

    Step 5 - Apply Superfast Adhesive

  • Shaping adhesive with fingers to force it into the holes

    Step 6 - Form the tab

    • Immediately fold the sheet and shape adhesive with fingers. Force adhesive into the drilled holes. Do not press too hard to keep a 3 to 5 mm layer of adhesive material on both side of the tab.

      Caution: when starting to cure, adhesive becomes hot! The adhesive will set within 20-30 secs.

      Let the adhesive cool down and peel off contour sheet.

  • Shaping tab with fiber disc

    Step 7 - Shape the tab

    • After 5 minutes shape tab using 3M™ Cubitron™ II Roloc™ Fibre Disc 80+ / 180+ and create a new fixing point to restore original appearance.

      If necessary, 3M™ Superfast Plastic Adhesive can be painted using the usual paint process for plastic parts or specific bumper paint in spray.

      Recommended products:

      3M™ Cubitron™ II Roloc™ Fibre Disc 80+ / 180+


How to repair a hole in the centre of a plastic panel/bumper

Step-by-step process guide for repairing a hole in the centre of a plastic panel/bumper

  • Cleaning a surface using a professional panel wipe

    Step 1 - Clean the surface

    • Clean the surface area using 3M™ Professional Panel Wipe and degrease in accordance with paint company recommendations.

      Recommended products:

      3M™ Professional Panel Wipe

  • Sanding body car area using an abrasive disk

    Step 2 - Preparation

  • Cleaning the repair area using a professional wipe

    Step 3 - Remove dust and clean

    • Remove excess dust and clean the repair area (back and front) using 3M™ Professional Panel Wipe and surface cleaner.

      Recommended products:

      3M™ Professional Panel Wipe

  • Spraying adhesion promoter on a cracked area of a bumper

    Step 4 - Apply Polyolefin Adhesion Promoter

    • Spray 3M™ Polyolefin Adhesion Promoter on the front side of the bumper around the cracked area. Allow 10 minutes to dry. (20 mins for the TF - Toluene Free version.)

      Recommended products:

      3M™ Polyolefin Adhesion Promotor

  • Using an adhesion promoter patch

    Step 5 - Apply Adhesion Promoter and Patch

    • To achieve maximum adhesion, use 3M™ Patch Adhesion Promoter (available with the 3M™ Instant Plastic Repair Patch) to the back side of the repair. Allow 5 minutes to dry.

      Recommended products:

      3M™ Patch Adhesion Promoter

  • Applying repair patch to rear side of the damaged bumper

    Step 6 - Apply 3M™ Instant Plastic Repair Patch

    • Apply 3M™ Instant Plastic Repair Patch (cut to size) to rear side of the damage and place firmly over the entire hole on the back side of the bumper.

      Recommended products:

      3M™ Instant Plastic Repair Patch

  • Applying repair materials using a manual gun

    Step 7 - Apply Plastic Repair Material

  • Sanding an area to shape using abrasive disc

    Step 8 - Sand the area

  • Plastic Filler, 0.5 kg can

    Step 9 - Apply Plastic Filler

    • To finish the repair and prepare for the primer, the use of a Plastic Filler Product is recommended.

      Use either 3M™ Flexible Plastic Filler for plastic-like performance and excellent sanding and feather-edging, or use 3M™ Plastic Filler.

      Recommended products:

      3M™ Plastic Filler


Technical tips for bumper and plastic repair

Here are some valuable insights into specific plastic bumper and parts repair challenges, including quick tips on preventing common issues such as bubbling and insufficient adhesion. For more in-depth information, click the link below to see each tip.

  • Customer Challenge:
    What is the best way to ensure that a plastic bumper tab, which was rebuilt with 3M™ Super Fast Repair Adhesive, will reliably adhere to a bumper surface?

    Technical Tip:
    Proper surface preparation will lead to the best results: Grinding the surface with a 3M™ Cubitron™ II Roloc™ Fibre Disc 80+ until a “fuzzy” surface is achieved, follwed by drilling several 3-6 mm holes at the base of the new tab near the edge of the bumper. This is commonly known as “pinning”. It will allow the adhesive to flow through the bumper and bond with itself for added strength – almost like creating a liquid rivet or bolt securing the replacement tab to the bumper. Also, always use an adhesion promoter such as 3M™ Polyolefin Adhesion Promoter, PN 05917 before adhesive application.

  • Customer Challenge:
    My shop has recently had several callbacks related to bubbling in plastic bumper repairs. We repaired all bumpers using 3M™ Fast Adhesive Black PN34240. What could be causing this bubbling?

    Technical Tip:
    Maintaining clean surface areas is always important in collision repair; thoroughly clean the repair before any sanding steps. After sanding, only use clean, dry compressed air to clean the repair area. Solvents can be absorbed into the plastic and release over time, causing bubbles in the repair area. Additionally, the application of polyester based body fillers over some plastic repair materials can lead to bubbling. Follw 3M's standard operating procedures and use 3M™ EZ Sand Flexible Parts Repair Material as epoxy based filler for the fine surface rebuild.

  • Customer Challenge:
    Our shop has attempted to repair bumpers on several occasions, but we are experiencing problems. Either the repair is visible after the paint cycle or the bumper re-cracks during installation. What could we be doing wrong?

    Technical Tip:
    A good repair starts with a good foundation, and surface prep is your foundation. It’s very important when repairing a deep gouge or a tear that goes all the way through the plastic to make a wide, gradual taper. A proper taper on the cosmetic side of a bumper should be deep enough to expose about 0.5 - 0.7 cm wide strip of the patch on the back side of the part. Changes in temperature will cause the adhesive to expand and contract and pull away from the sharp edge of a “V” groove causing a ghosting line to appear. With a gradual taper there is no sharp edge where the plastic will separate from the adhesive.


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  • We don't just have solutions for repairing bumpers and plastic panels. See our extensive range of solutions for all your car repair needs!


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