Are you a clumsy driver but a handy Harry? Then know that you can easily replace or repair the plastic parts of your car yourself. This way you can save a lot of money on repair costs and not have to claim anything from your insurance.
It takes very little damage to your car: a curb you ignore, a curb you misjudge its height, you slow down too late in a traffic jam… With a bit of luck, the damage will be limited in the event of a minor collision to an unsightly scratch in the paint. It can usually be fixed by yourself with few resources.
However, if there is a serious failure with your chassis, you will most likely have to rely on a professional repairer. It is usually wiser to pay for such a repair with a few hundred euros out of pocket than to claim the damage from your insurance. Because you often end up paying a premium more than what the repair will cost you.
Do it yourself: Replace the plastic parts
Did I just damage a plastic part? With good tools and the right work instructions, you really don’t have to be an auto mechanic to disassemble and replace the bottom panel, bumper, or fender on your own. It’s just a matter of completing all the operations in the correct order. Used spare parts can be ordered online via websites such as 24.be spare partsbut also simply used Many are offered by companies and individuals – used or new. With a little luck, you will find the necessary part online in the color of your car.
For repairing cracks and holes in plastic parts, special repair kits are available through web stores such as Bol.com and Amazon.
Practice with an old bucket
If a piece of plastic is torn, it is usually easy to repair. This applies not only to body parts, but also, for example, to the dashboard panel, trunk or door.
For repairing cracks and holes in plastic parts, special repair kits are available through web stores such as Bol.com and Amazon. If you don’t have experience with it yet, it is recommended that you practice several times until the result is satisfactory. For example, you can use an old laundry bucket or basket—preferably something about the same thickness as your car’s bumper or dashboard panel.
There are several types of plastic auto parts repair kits available. For example, there is a group that works with steel “base materials”. With the tear edges firmly together, place the staples on the plastic and press the button of the electric stapler, just like with a soldering iron. Now the staple is heated to about 400 degrees, which melts the plastic around it and fuses the two halves of the part together. This process is repeated along the entire length of the crack, until everything forms a solid unit again. Cut the ends of the staples with the attached pliers. This set is available from 35 euros.
You also have repair kits with which you can, as it were, create a new plastic “weld” between the plastic edges. To do this, you must first sand and file the edges to create enough space to apply the weld. This way, the finish requires a little more work, because the excess plastic needs to be kept away. It’s quite an art to get a whole tight set. However, if the plastic part needs to be repainted, any unevenness can easily be smoothed out with some putty. After all, there is a layer of varnish on top of it. So the repaired bumper looks like new again.
Dent in the bumper? Boil water on it!
If there is a dent in the bumper, you can sometimes fix it with water. All you need is a pot of boiling water, rubber gloves so you don’t burn yourself, and another pot of cold water. Pour boiling water over the dent and when the plastic is hot enough, reach inside the dent and push it out. Once it returns to its original shape, pour cold water over it so that it cools quickly.
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