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Are Aftermarket Bumper Covers Junk?


rexbella
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My shop wants $1400 to replace front bumper cover on a 2009 es350. He shop says Lexus wants $1000 for this cover. However there are offerings on Ebay for new covers around $100! Seems like a no-brainer.

Anyone have good/bad comments on the relative quality of these venders?

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rexbella,

Factory covers are expensive on high end cars, and you don't need to go that route unless you are made of money. Here in Canada (should be the same in your neck of the woods) we have auto body suppliers who can supply two, if not three, levels of covers at varying costs and quality on popular models.

Our vendor (I work in an auto restoration shop from time to time) has access to covers that are from about half the cost of the dealership's listing to just about 2/3's. With each level up, the accuracy of the moldings is better (read fits the car better and is of heavier material to retain its shape).

You may find the same, if you go to an independent body shop and ask for pricing of the covers.

Another option is to get the real thing through a wrecking yard, where the Lexus was rear ended or similar.

As a last resort, you could try the eBay route, but be prepared for some fitment issues if the aftermarket cover is cheaply made. And be prepared for the dealership not wanting/refusing to use it.

Its a half hour job to remove a bumper cover, and 20 minutes to install one. Prepping for paint and painting one should be an hour and a half, and the paint, another $50. Add in the cost of the cover and switching over fog lights and other trim sections and it totals pretty quickly, another reason to find an reasonably quailty body shop you can trust.

The other issue is the car is 6 years old and bumper covers take the brunt of the abuse from stones and other drivers in parking lots. No need to go overboard on the cost of the repair, only to have some idiot scar it up a week after you get it fixed. Good Luck!

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