Bumpers are one of the most essential auto parts. They serve both an aesthetic and practical function. They are also important safety features. Bumpers are made of heavy sheet metal and are mounted on the front and rear of the car. Bumpers are bent and formed into specific shapes in order to absorb and deliver momentum during a collision. In the event of a collision, the bumper absorbs some of the impact, which decreases damage to the car and its occupants. It also protects the front of the car by diverting all of the car’s momentum to the object with which it has collided. The bumper is mounted to the car’s chassis with special impact absorbers. These shock absorbers are often spring loaded. In slow speed collisions, this allows the bumper to compress, and then extend back to its original position. All bumpers are designed to absorb the energy of the impact. They do this through a series of valves and air chambers.
Some car bumpers have hydraulic chambers. In the event of a collision, the absorption unit allows air and/or hydraulic fluid to pass through small openings. Forcing the air/fluid through the valve openings absorbs the energy from the collision. The bumper’s job is to minimize damage, primarily to the occupants of the vehicle and to the vehicle itself. US law requires cars to pass special crash tests at various speeds.
In order to pass, the car’s damage level during the crash must be below a specific dollar level. This protects the consumer and is very important for keeping the cost of automobile insurance to a minimum. Sometimes bumpers are constructed with built-in “crumple zones.” Crumple zones are designed to absorb impact; they will flex on impact. As the metal flexes, the action of the bending metal converts the kinetic energy of the car into heat. Kinetic energy is the energy an object possesses while it is in motion.
GM automobiles are all equipped with capable bumpers that help protect the vehicle from serious damages in the event of a collision. However, like all auto parts, bumpers will eventually get damaged or defective due to accidents, wear and tear and corrosion. Usually such damages will weaken the bumper’s ability to absorb the shock of collision. Thus, it is a necessity to replace old and damaged bumpers with a new one. Replacement GM Bumpers can be purchased from auto parts dealers everywhere. However, to be sure of quality and durability, purchase only from a reliable and trustworthy auto parts store with an established reputation.