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Tech Tip: Bumper Repairs with Sensors


Completing a bumper repair isn’t as simple as it once was.  Many newer vehicles contain a range of sensors and  electronics behind the bumper, which can make refinishing a bit more challenging. 

Here are some tips for repairs in areas where sensors exist:

1. ALWAYS MASK SENSORS BEFORE REFINISHING

If you do not mask the sensors, there is a risk of incorrect distance measurement when it comes to distance warning and short-range radars. Park distance controls should be  taken one step further and sensors should be dismantled  before refinishing. 

2. BE MINDFUL OF TEMPERATURE

The temperature of the object may not exceed 600C when drying. You will need to use caution when using IR dryers. 

3. DO NOT EXCEED FILM THICKNESS SPECIFICATIONS

Each manufacturer/OEM will have different film thickness recommendations, as most sensors detect high film thickness as an obstacle and can lead to malfunctions. Generally, the  limit value for film thickness at the sensors is two refinishes.

Large sensors are sometimes delivered in the colour of the car. Depending on the manufacturer, “new” smaller sensors may  be delivered with primer and a coating stencil and these can  be refinished professionally. The film thickness may not  exceed 120-160 microns. 

4. CHECK MANUFACTURER/OEM SPECIFICATIONS

All of this is dependent on manufacturer/OEM specifications, so ensure you follow relevant paintwork guidelines. As different kinds of sensors are installed in various car models by the OEMs, it is important to check manufacturers’ instructions for information whether plastic substrates may be refinished next to the sensor.