Whether you call it a bumper protector or a bumper guard, these automotive accessories offer important protection for your vehicle’s bumpers. They help prevent dings and bumps while you’re parked in a parking lot, while other designs are made to replace your original bumper guards if they’ve been damaged.
OEM Fit: The most important thing when buying a quality bumper protector is OEM fit (this applies only to replacement bumper protectors). An OEM fit will ensure that the protector is the same width, length and thickness as the original.
Material: Bumper guards are designed to deal with impacts. While those impacts aren’t necessarily high-speed, they can be damaging. The right material will help prevent damage to your bumper and ensure that the bumper guard isn’t scarred by a single, light impact. Industrial-grade rubber is the best option here as it’s the most resilient and longest lasting option.
Type: While there are bumper protectors designed to replace those that came on your car from the automaker, there are also other accessories on the market. These are designed by aftermarket companies and fit in the trunk. When you park the car, you flip the guard out and over the bumper, thereby reducing the chance that a passing shopping cart or even a car straying too close will damage the bumper or rear end of the car.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Bumper Protector and was authored by Valerie Johnston.