NAPA Auto Parts Sterling, VA
45449 Severn Way
Sterling,  VA  20166-8918
(703) 378-6666
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Replacement Bumpers, Bumper Parts & Guards

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From Accessory to Necessity

While driverless vehicles are just around the corner, most vehicles on the road today are still human-operated, and that means they're susceptible to human error. Enter: the humble bumper! It is possibly hard to imagine, but when a Czech carmaker added the first bumper to its vehicle design in the late 19th century, it was purely for aesthetic purposes. The first impact-absorbing car bumper was patented in 1905 by Frederick Simms. Still, the design was rudimentary at best, usually only a bare steel strip spanning the front and back of the vehicle.

As vehicle design and safety standards expanded in the first half of the 20th century, bumpers went from a somewhat rare optional add-on to a common, well-designed element of automobiles. After World War II, style elements that evoked military prowess were popular in many areas of American design. Harvey Earl, the Vice President of Design for General Motors, introduced dual bullet-shaped bumper guards nicknamed ¿Dagmars¿ in Mercury, Cadillac and Buick models throughout the 1950s and 1960s. These models also tended to feature more elaborate chrome bumpers on the rear often ornamented with whimsical tail fins and taillights.

By the late 1960s, vehicle design was going from bombastic to benign, but for all the right reasons. Expanded Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards emphasizing greater measures mandated that bumpers had to withstand dangerous impacts and act as the first line of defense during a collision. With gas prices becoming a concern in the 1970s and 1980s, popular makes like the 1980 Mercedes Benz S-class featured a lightweight plastic bumper with a wraparound design to make them more aerodynamic.

Today, car bumpers are designed to integrate with other safety systems, but their first job is still to deflect impact from collisions and protect the body, hood and frame of your automobile. The rear bumper shields the trunk, exhaust and rear windshield from damage during rear-end collisions. Both are designed using reliable, rigid and light-weight materials like steel, aluminum, rubber or plastic. Thanks to industry regulations and subsequent design changes, front and rear bumpers cushion the impact of collisions and safeguard a vehicle's structural integrity. Modern design changes also aim to minimize the harm that can result in two vehicles of different heights colliding and pedestrian strikes. While they may not look quite as unique and grandiose as the old chrome designs, the front and rear bumpers on modern cars save lives on the road every day.

Shop Car Bumpers and Bumper Guards at NAPA

NAPA offers a huge selection of car bumpers and bumper guards for a vast range of makes and models, including heavy-duty and fleet applications! Whether you drive a sporty Honda Civic or a Mazda MX5 Miata or you opt for the rugged Toyota 4Runner SUV or a Jeep Wrangler, NAPA has you covered. If you're looking to install a brand-new replacement bumper, we offer a range of car bumper parts to help you get the job done from brackets, mounting kits and guide clamps to reflectors, impact strips and trim.

Commonly referred to as fender guards or bumper covers, bumper guards can shield your car from bumper damage caused by light impacts and help maintain your vehicle's structural integrity, thus extending its life and resale value. By avoiding the locking of bumpers, these guards are particularly effective at minimizing cosmetic damage like scratches or dents to your car or truck that can happen in a fender bender. They also look great and are easy to install plus help defend against minor impacts, such as collisions with shopping carts and road debris.

Whether you're a skilled auto body expert or a confident DIY-er, you can shop NAPAOnline for all replacement bumpers and bumper parts you need to get the job done correctly. While you're here, check out our NAPA Rewards program and learn how to receive one point for every $1 you spend. For professional service on front or rear bumper replacement, don't hesitate to locate a NAPA AutoCare Center near you today.