Breathe New Life into Your Oldsmobile: A Guide to Bumper Fillers
Whether you own a classic Oldsmobile or are lucky enough to have inherited one, you know that maintaining its timeless beauty can be a labor of love. One aspect that often requires attention is the bumper fillers. Over time, these crucial components can deteriorate, impacting not only the aesthetic appeal of your vehicle but also its overall safety. In this article, we will explore the importance of bumper fillers and provide you with tips on how to restore them to their former glory.
Understanding Bumper Fillers
Bumper fillers, also known as impact strips or bumper extensions, play a vital role in protecting your vehicle’s body and passengers in the event of a collision. These durable plastic panels fill the gaps between the bumper and the body, ensuring a smooth and even appearance. However, due to exposure to the elements, temperature changes, and general wear and tear, bumper fillers can become cracked, faded, or even fall out completely.
Why Restore Your Bumper Fillers?
Restoring your Oldsmobile’s bumper fillers is not just about preserving its aesthetic value. It also contributes to road safety. Damaged or missing fillers leave critical areas of your vehicle vulnerable to corrosion, which can lead to structural weaknesses or rust issues. Moreover, without properly functioning bumper fillers, your vehicle’s bumpers are at a higher risk of sustaining damage in the event of a collision.
1. Assess the Damage: Begin by inspecting your bumper fillers for any cracks, warping, or fading. If the fillers are still intact, but the color has faded, you may be able to restore them with some cleaning and polishing. However, if the damage is more severe, replacement may be necessary.
2. Cleaning and Polishing: For minor imperfections, a thorough cleaning and polishing can do wonders. Use a gentle automotive cleaner and a soft cloth to remove any dirt or grime. Then, apply a plastic restoration product to revive the color and shine of the fillers. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for the best results.
3. Filling and Sanding: If your bumper fillers have cracks or holes, you can repair them with a filler material. Start by sanding the damaged area to ensure a smooth surface for the filler to adhere to. Next, apply the filler using a putty knife or spatula, following the product instructions. Once the filler has dried, sand it down until it is level with the rest of the filler surface.
4. Replacement: In cases where the damage is extensive or if your bumper fillers are completely missing, replacement is the best option. Look for aftermarket fillers specifically designed for your Oldsmobile model. Measure your existing fillers to ensure an accurate fit. Most replacement options come unpainted, so you will need to prime and paint the fillers to match your vehicle’s color.
Tips for Maintenance
Once you have restored or replaced your bumper fillers, it is essential to take proper care to prolong their lifespan and maintain their appearance. Here are a few tips for maintaining your bumper fillers:
1. Regular Cleaning: Clean your bumper fillers regularly with a mild automotive detergent and a soft cloth to remove dirt and debris. This will help prevent the buildup of grime and contribute to the overall longevity of the fillers.
2. UV Protection: Apply a UV protectant specifically designed for plastic surfaces. This will help prevent fading and discoloration caused by prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful rays.
3. Waxing: Apply a wax or polish to your bumper fillers after cleaning to provide an additional layer of protection. This will help repel dirt, moisture, and UV rays, keeping your fillers looking fresh for longer.
Taking care of your Oldsmobile’s bumper fillers is essential for maintaining both its aesthetic appeal and road safety. By understanding the importance of these components and following the restoration techniques and maintenance tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your classic vehicle stands the test of time. Don’t let deteriorating bumper fillers dampen the joy of owning an Oldsmobile. Dive into the world of restoration and enjoy the timeless beauty of your cherished automobile for years to come.