Useless bumpers - Shy Tot
Car bumpers and side mouldings are usually painted, no doubt by popular demand, but even where unpainted rubber or plastic inserts are provided these are almost universally positioned so that the painted surfaces are the first contact points. Could it be that the manufacturers like the idea that their products will suffer premature depreciation, through no direct fault of their own? A car can be hailed by the motoring press as a triumph of good quality and practicality, and yet will inevitably suffer unnecessary depreciation through everyday minor knocks and scrapes, which could easily be prevented. Does anyone else feel as I do that there is some element of confidence trickery here, or should I just ignore the damage like everyone else, except perhaps the trade-in dealer?
Useless bumpers - Blue {P}
Can't say the rubbing strips on either of my Fiestas have been bad, the strip on the old one certainly saved me from a nasty bill. The plastic had actually gone white and been scraped from the impact, but the paint had only a minor scuff which disappeared after a light polish.

I take it you've had a worse expereince than me?

Blue
Useless bumpers - KB.
You're not completely alone in your sentiments, FP.

I admit to being sad enough to spending a disproportionate amount of time regretting the provision of the bumpers as you describe them. Older models often had a black rubbing strip built in to the bumper which served some purpose, but this is less common now. The one current car which I respect, for this very reason, is the Zafira. It has a black rubbing strip all round the whole car including the wheel arches. If it was a Toyota or Honda, I'd probably have one now - slightly unsure about Vauxhall diesels at present.

I do wonder, however, if when it comes to fixing bumper damage, you can take it in to a bodyshop to have just that one damaged corner filled and professionally sprayed for the same price as replacing a complete black plastic one, or even just the replacement black insert - just a thought. Between us we have one old car and one new one and it's a pleasure parking the old one in a carpark, not worrying about people opening their doors on to mine or scraping their bumpers against mine. The new car's a pleasure to drive but we worry unduly about it picking up dents, particularly when we try so hard to keep it in good condition ourselves. Have fitted the manufacturers stick on black bumper and side protection strips to the Yaris - better than nothing - but only just!

Have written to manufacturers about this topic but get absolutely nowhere with them. As you say, they reckon that most people find the coloured bumpers more attractive - maybe the large number of new cars being driven by company drivers has something to do with it - they don't pay for the damage as a rule.
KB.
Useless bumpers - slefLX
I agree modern bumpers are rather flimsy and here I'm talking from experience (unfortunately). Just after I passed my test I had a 14yr old D reg Fiesta and was unfortunate enough, 10 days after I'd bought the car to clip a more modern Escort (I think it was an L reg but could be wrong). Anyway my car had hardly a scratch on it, in fact the only damage yoyu could see was a small chip in the indicator plastic. Unfortunately the other car ended up with a hole about 2 inches diameter, and I wasn't going fast, I was turning into a road that the other driver was turning out of (extremely bad judgement).

In that car I also backed into a church, backed into a fence and nudged a bollard with only the slightest of marks. The one time I actually managed to cause damage I misjudged the turning circle and of my car and the available space and got the corner of the bumper impaled on a rather large school gate (and at going home time so all the parents saw me!) I drove away from the scene and inspected the damage in a (relatively) nearby car park to discover one corner of my 3-part bumper hanging off. 5 minutes of brute force and grimy hands later you couldn't tell there'd been anything wrong with it.

I'm convinced that car was a battering ram in disguise, it's one of the few things I miss of that old car. I'm also a more careful driver since I got a newer car with a flimsy plastic bumper!
Useless bumpers - HF
I'm glad, slefLX! Your other experiences might have drawn a few open mouths here?!!!

God luck and take care
HF
Useless bumpers - slefLX
Well, HF, what can I say? I was inexperienced and didn't really like the car anyway - it was all I could afford at the time.

After re-reading my original post I think I should point out the relevance to this thread, I meant to say the Escort had a 2 inch hole in it's bumper - D'oh!
Useless bumpers - Tomo
Modern coloured bumpers vary rather. Where I take SWMBO to outpatients there is a confined area with a sneaky steel post below back window level; I was backing up rather smartly to get out of the way of an ambulance (it's not a casualty entrance but they can be snippy just the same) in Leganza when I collected this post with a thump; on checking, there was crazing radiating from the impact point on the rear bumper. Worse, the silver paint started to flake off the black material and the thing had to be repainted.

Imagine my dismay when the very same thing happened with Magentis; but in fact there turned out to be no visible damage at all. I take it either the paint is much more suitable or the material itself is coloured. Another good mark for Maggie.

But how you would tell before acquiring a vehicle I don't know.

Tomo.
Useless bumpers - THe Growler
....bull bars anyone?
Useless bumpers - KB.



....bull bars anyone?



Good idea - how about starting a thread to discuss them......:-)
KB.
Useless bumpers - StuW
Some advice to avoid knocks and scratches from car parks from someone who works in supermarket!!
Why bother trying to park as close as possible to the entrance???? Its only going to save you about 1 minute!! Also this is where all the lazy people park and parents with children who are more likely than most to dive in a space when they see one free and more therefore more likley to hit your car! Also children are less likely to take care when opening doors onto your car! Also i'm afraid many people won't leave their details behind if they do damage the car.
Never park next a trolley bay, EVER! (You wouldn't believe how clumsy some people are with a trolley!)
Cars not to park next to are people carriers and 4x4s.
Never park next to a visibably damaged car which previous supermarket scars all over it. Never park next to car whose driver is unable to park straight in a space or has parked very close to one side this is someone who doesn't know how wide their car is.
Also i repeat, why bother parking so near the entrance its really gonna save you time is it?? Park in the deserted part of the car park and if you really wanna protect your pride and joy do what someone at my work does with a brand new astra and park directly down the middle of two spaces in the deserted part of the car park to make sure no goes near it.

Try it out its simple and will help prevent knocks and scratches!
Useless bumpers - Drivethru
YSB, I agree with your comments entirely, unfortunately through experience. I used to park as close to supermarket entrance as possible and I did'nt really think people would be so careless as to let the car doors swing into the car parked next to them.
One day I returned to my car to find both front doors had been damaged in the space of half an hour and as you say one of the cars next to mine was a 4x4. Since then I have always parked well out of the way and I choose an end space where possible. Touch wood, I have never had any more dents.
Useless bumpers - Dave E
But the thing is, you park in a space as far away as possible but strangely when you come out you will always find that your car has been surrounded. Very strange.
Useless bumpers - Macker

>>> But the thing is, you park in a space as far away as possible but strangely when you come out you will always find that your car has been surrounded. Very strange.

Human herding instinct. Same when you go to the beach.....set yourself down 1/2 mile from anyone and within 20 minutes someone will come and sit right by you......
Useless bumpers - KB.
YSB, Appreciate your posting those (eminently sensible) tips. Through expererience we both adhere to your advice already but it serves as a reminder. There have been occasons, during busy periods, when we haven't been able to find such a spot and have driven out again rather than park next to one of your 'blacklisted' vehicles. Recently saw and heard a nipper open a rear door, with real force, on to a post and the mother hollered and shouted (but didn't bother to check for dents to her car) and gave the impression that this was quite routine for her and her brood. Any neighbouring car would have been suitably mullered and she wouldn't have given a toss.

All this might sound trivial but some of us have to pay good money for our cars and for maintaining them and body repairs don't come cheap so following YSB's advice is well worth doing.
KB.
Useless bumpers - steveb
Park in the deserted
part of the car park and if you really wanna protect
your pride and joy do what someone at my work does
with a brand new astra and park directly down the middle
of two spaces in the deserted part of the car park
to make sure no goes near it.
Try it out its simple and will help prevent knocks and
scratches!


A visitor in the busy hospital car park I worked nearby tried this trick with his brand new F360 Modena ...

Security came out and slapped a sticky notice on the drivers window for parking illegally .... how angry he was when he came back .... how we laughed ....!

S
Useless bumpers - Perturbed
"Cars not to park next to are people carriers and 4x4s."

Yeah - right! My 24 hour old 4x4 was dented by some dipstick in a P reg Mondeo. Maybe we should all steer clear of parking next to Mondeo's! Enough stereotyping please!
Useless bumpers - mj
And there was i thinking i was responsible for putting a crack bang centre in the middle of my rear bumper, was it my 4x4 driving neighbour or was it me?
Useless bumpers - henry k
If I recognised a company car I would avoid parking next to it but I would park next to a body kitted alloy wheel shod pretty paint job. Enough stereotyping - I agree!
Useless bumpers - StuW
I wasn't stereotyping but i do work in a supermarket and more often than not 4x4s and People carriers are driven by people with large families (what person who lived on their own would buy a people carrier!!???) whose children sometimes open doors carelessly onto other cars and since they are higher cause more damage since they miss rubbing strips etc. Also since these cars are bigger and its harder to judge distance etc it doesn't take an einstein to realise that one lapse of concentration or not enough turn of the wheel (which happens to us all occasionally) is more likely to result in a bang than in a smaller car. I wasn't saying that ALL drivers of 4x4 and people carriers are clumsy just suggesting ways of reducing dents occuring in supermarket car parks. Personally i prefer to park without ANY cars beside me. When i learnt to drive i was told to ASSUME everyone on the road was an idiot and this still applies for me in car parks as well.
Don't turn this into a boring 4x4 and People Carrier vs Car driver rant.
If your happy to park next to a people carrier full of kids then fine go ahead and leave plenty of space for me in quite part of the car park!
Useless bumpers - KB.
Well said YSD!
KB.
Useless bumpers - Dynamic Dave
Some advice to avoid knocks and scratches from car parks....


Of course it would help if the person who paints the dividing lines didn't use a Fiat Cinquecento as a template!!
Useless bumpers - mark999
I really rated the rubber bumpers on my 1980 SAAB 99 when a van piled into the back of it at trafic lights. The van was un-driveable afterwards but the SAAB didnt even have a scratch.

More recently I have had side protection strips fitted to my Yaris. Thiese seem to have reduced the number of dents and scratches from the car park at work.
Useless bumpers - Perturbed
"Don't turn this into a boring 4x4 and People Carrier vs Car driver rant"

Erm...I didn't - I was merely stating in a subtle manner that you shouldn't!

"If your happy to park next to a people carrier full of kids then fine go ahead and leave plenty of space for me in quite part of the car park!"

I actually park in a remote part of supermarket carparks as well, and it annoys me big time when I come back and find some clown parked so close to the side of my car that I can hardly get in. I was waiting in a car park today for the wife and watching the way some people go on was unbelievable - one woman in a small car got so close to the car beside her, she had three attempts at getting out of her car before giving up and scaling out the passenger side. Another guy grazed the bumper of a Focus parked next to him while he was reversing out. He calmly lit up a cigarette and drove off without so much as a sideways glance - I left the number plate details on both cars, but they will probably have no joy as it was in a car park!


 

Value my car