Types of car bumpers
Ever wonder what kind of car bumpers are available and what purpose do they serve as part of your car? You probably know where car bumpers are as a car owner, but there is a lot more to car bumpers than you think!
Car bumpers feature protruding shrouds of plastic or metal, known as bumper covers, that surround energy-absorbing materials. They are designed to absorb impact to the front and rear of cars to minimize low-speed collision damage when one happens on the road.
In today’s world, standard passenger vehicle bumpers have a rigid reinforcing bar under the outer cover, with sections of compressible foam or plastic underneath. The foam or plastic serves as an impact-absorbent to reduce damage from external impacts. At impact, that material squishes down between the reinforcing bar and the car’s body. This helps to increase the safety factor of your car should you become involved in a minor road accident.
Here are some basic types of car bumpers that are available in the market today:
1. Standard Bumper
This is by far the most common car bumper that is installed on passenger cars. It has no steps or hitches, just a paint-matched plastic cover containing energy absorbing mechanisms. Classic examples of Malaysian cars with standard bumpers are Proton Wira and Perodua Viva.
2. Step Bumper
A step bumper is a bumper with a step built into its frame that functions as a step for larger cars. SUVs, trucks and some cars have bumpers with a step-shaped cut-out in the centre, just below the license plate. While not all step bumpers can serve as towing hitches, some units come with a mounting hole for a hitch ball. Some step bumpers also feature an anti-slip surface pad at the centre of the bumper. The pad gives the step more traction, so that it is not as slippery when it gets dirty or wet.
3. Cowboy Bumper
These tall, heavy-duty bumpers usually have chrome plating and are most often seen on older trucks. They are made to be noticed and tow heavy trailers. A Cowboy rear bumper completes your truck without interfering with towing capabilities. The stable rear bumper design adds extra protection on or off road.
4. Tube Bumper
Typically installed on jeeps and lifted trucks, tube bumpers forgo the plastic-shroud. Instead, they rely on a frame of heavy-duty steel tubing to lessen collision damage. This type of car bumper is more commonly seen on bigger 4-wheel drives or trucks.
While today’s cars are not required by law to have protruding bumpers, having one on your car makes it much safer for both you and your passengers in the event of a road accident. Be sure to not remove the car bumper for cosmetic purposes. Your safety is worth more than just looking stylish.