Buying a Bumper for Your Acura TSX

A bumper is the front-most or rear-most part of a vehicle that is usually made of plastic, aluminum, steel, rubber or fiberglass. Some bumpers are made with a foam cushioning material, while others feature energy absorbers or brackets. The bumper’s main function is to absorb shock from impacts in low-speed collisions without damaging other parts of the vehicle, including the car’s safety systems, parking lights, headlights, cooling system, grille, exhaust, fuel tank and hood. They are not designed to protect the car’s passengers, although they may mitigate injury to pedestrians stuck by cars. On the other hand, in high-speed collisions, bumpers can’t protect pedestrians, riders or the car itself. Although you may often purchase a car bumper for your Acura TSX at an auto parts warehouse or a large automotive shop, you typically must buy them through body repair shops or direct from the manufacturer. Alternatively, you may also purchase car bumpers through an online retailer right from the comfort of your home.

What are Car Bumpers?

Car bumpers were invented by Frederick Simms at the start of the 20th century. Early car bumpers were manufactured out of metal beams and secured to the fronts and rears of cars to protect them in low-speed crashes. However, like many other things, car bumpers have evolved over the years, and their importance should not be downplayed. Traditionally, car bumpers are made from plastic reinforced by a steel bar. However, other popular materials include rubber, steel, plastic, fiberglass and aluminum. In some vehicles, manufacturers incorporate polypropylene foam along with crushable brackets and a bar. However, these act as energy spaces between the bumper and the bar and not as energy absorbers themselves. Although car pumpers are used mainly for protection, some Acura TSX owners use car bumpers for style. However, if you’re looking to upgrade the look of your vehicle and you’re considering changing the bumper, be careful not to decrease the dimensions as it may sabotage the bumper’s primary function. Bumpers can reduce the repair costs you incur following a collision as they protect many of the car’s most expensive parts.

How to Buy a Car Bumper for Your Acura TSX

Consider the location and function of bumpers, they are one of the most replaced and repaired parts of a car. Although minor dents and scratches on the surface may require repair, major buckling and distortion often requires a full replacement. There are three things to keep in mind when buying a new bumper, including its material, how you intend to use it and the style.

Material

Every bumper material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so consider your needs and your budget before making a decision. For instance, fiberglass is sandable, paintable, easy to repair, strong and lightweight but it is more prone to cracking and less flexible than plastic. Polypropylene or polyresin is most common and most resistant to impact, but it is not sandable and not easily repaired. Metal is strong and durable, but it is heavy and only recommended for off-road cars. Carbon fiber is paintable, lightweight, heat-resistant and durable but it is the most expensive option, and the quality of the bumper will depend on each manufacturer.

Intended Use

Before making a purchase, think about the bumper’s intended use. For instance, if you’re an off-roading enthusiast, a more durable, heavy bumper such as one made from metal might be your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re driving in a city, nearly any type of bumper will be suitable, although a lightweight bumper may help improve your fuel efficiency; it’s just a matter of personal choice. Carbon fiber, fiberglass and plastic bumpers are often recommended for light to moderate racing since they can handle the dings and scratches of the racetrack.

Style

Car bumpers can make or break the look of your Acura TSX, so it’s important to consider your personality and taste when making a purchase. For example, replacement bumpers may not match your car’s style, so look around thoroughly at your options before choosing one that’s right for you. This is one area in which online shopping can be beneficial since you can look through all of the possibilities in detail and take your time before making a decision.

What to Avoid When Buying a Bumper

Just as there are things to consider when making a purchase, there are also several factors to avoid as well. First, don’t forget to do your research, either locally or online, as this is a critical part of the buying process. Compare prices and characteristics, especially if you are on a budget, and read consumer reports and product reviews to gain additional insight. Also, don’t favor style over safety. Safety should always, always come first, especially since the main function of the bumper is to protect your TSX’s expensive parts. If a bumper is over-styled and prevents it from protecting your car, move along and find one that doesn’t compromise safety for the sake of style. Finally, make sure you invest in an original product instead of settling for a replica or duplicate bumper. Replicas may not be built to perform as well as an original model would. Although there’s almost always a price difference between replicas and originals, avoid being tempted by the cost savings and instead consider the long-term benefits of an original Acura TSX bumper. Only think about replicated parts if you’re on a tight budget, and even then, make sure the function of the bumper isn’t comprised in any way.

Conclusion

Car bumpers are one of your car’s most important safety features, and they are designed to protect the vehicle’s expensive components. While they can sometimes reduce injury to pedestrians in low-speed car accidents, they are not typically designed for the safety of the car’s occupants. When shopping for a new Acura TSX car bumper, keep in mind the material, intended use and style, make sure you do your research and avoid replica models that may function more for show than safety.