Introduction: DIY Auto Repairs: Rear Bumper Cover

This past spring, while inside the grocery store, my husband was paged over the intercom because someone hit our car in the parking lot. The kid who hit the car [responsibility] tracked down my husband and they did all the proper info exchange. After going in for an appraisal, estimate, etc. the cost to fix the damage would have been over $800, $300 of which was just taxes. The bulk of the damage was done to the rear bumper cover. After a little research, it seemed like this was damage that I could easily fix myself---with the right parts.

This Instructable shows you how to replace the rear bumper cover on a Toyota RAV4. The method should work similarly for any year RAV4 and really, any vehicle.

If the process of replacing a car bumper (and this Instructable) seem ridiculously simple and easy, it's because it is.

Step 1: BoM


Rear Bumper Cover Part Number: 521590R901 5215942912 (you can get bumpers pre-painted to match your car for $200-300)

Push-Type Fastener Rivet Retainer Clips Part: Ref# 52161-02020

Always double check the parts to ensure they'll fit your car.


Philip screwdriver

Ratchet/socket wrench

Body Clip Removal Tool or flat head screwdriver

Step 2: Finding the Right Parts

You can use your vehicles VIN number to look up the exact specific parts used and needed. Toyota's website has an option for putting in your VIN number and then their system pulls up all the info specific to your car. After putting in my VIN info, I selected the body/interior on the website and was brought to the schematic of my car. It lists all the parts and the part numbers. If you click on the pink/red numbers, it brings you to the exact parts needed. It also tells you if the original parts are no longer available and what they have been replaced with.

My RAV4 is a base model, it has the spare tire on the back and it doesn't have flare. This is something to pay attention to when looking for your replacement cover.

I should also mention that the estimate for the damage to my car came with a list of the parts needed and their part numbers (and where they could be source from locally).

Step 3: Removing the Damage

Carefully remove all the clips/screws attaching the bumper to the car. The clips can be reused and using a clip remover tool will save so much time. Slip the clip remover tool between the head of the clip and pop it out. I was really surprised how many clips my bumper was already missing.

The bumper was attached in a few places with screws, so those also had to be removed and then the bumper just slid right off the car.

Step 4: Reflectors

Remove the reflectors from your old bumper and screw them onto the new bumper. This is easier to do before installing the new bumper onto your car. Super easy to do, just unscrew wherever the reflector is attached to the old bumper and pop them out.

Step 5: Bumper Installation

Pop the bumper back onto the car and use the clips you removed (or new ones) to secure the bumper to the car. Also replace any screws that were removed, behind each wheel there was at least one.

Step 6: Done

This is a crazy easy process! It took about 20 minutes to complete the replacement with both my husband and I working on it.

So happy I made the decision to save the money and do the repair myself!

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