Taking Front Bumper Off with Pics (2006 OEM)
I’m going to post pictures of me detaching the bumper (2006 OEM) for the group of people who’ve never done it. Its too easy to bother paying the dealership for labor. My dealer wanted to charge me $170 as a base price for taking the bumper off plus additional labor. Anyway, if anyone wants to add anything or refute my method, please do so. It’s welcome. There could be a better way to do it, but this way worked easily for me. Also keep in mind that I’m only detaching half of it in this thread. I’ve never had to take the whole thing off yet, but if you do, then have an assistant hold it while you remove the last few connection points so it doesn’t fall to the ground. The other half is symmetrical and therefore the same process anyway, so I’ll just show one half.
First a disclaimer: Do this at your own risk. You are claiming full responsibility for damage/injuries by agreeing to use my instructions.
Flathead screw driver (or whatever you use for the clips),
Phillips head screw driver,
Needle-nose pleyers (maybe, if the clips are stubborn),
Wrench or something to remove bolts with,
Dirty Old Blanket (lay down under bumper before starting)
Eye Protection! (sunglasses work fine)
Gloves if you want to protect your hands.
First of all, you have to remove all the screws/bolts/clips. Here is a diagram. Ensure you keep track so that the screws/bolts go back into the same exact holes they came out of. When you put the plastic clips back, make sure the holes get the same sized-clips (indicated by C, D, and E on the picture below) they originally had.
There are 4 bolts on the bottom, and there are 2 screws on the corners by the tire wells.
To get those clips out, just pry the middle upward with a flathead screwdriver. Some of them will be stubborn, and some of them will break or become mutilated. It’s normal. Just get some more during your next service. Be careful when prying them out. They have a tendency to break shooting small pieces of jagged plastic toward your eyes!!! Wear sunglasses.
After the clips are out, take the front grill cover off. Below is a picture of it. It slides right off. Be careful while sliding it off the hood release latch:
At this point, the only thing holding the bumper on is what the service manual calls ‘hooks.’ They are actually more like ‘buttons’ because they snap and unsnap. All you have to do now is pull your bumper off.
Start with this part here (below). It’s the top corner of the grill. You’re going to take BOTH of them off now so you don’t forget the other side:
Grab it like this and pull up:
Below is a picture of it after unsnapping. There’s an arrow pointing to the button that holds it on:
Now, you start on the corner right here:
Put your finger like this and pull outward toward you:
On the pic above, the three hooks with arrows might not come out with the first tug. If not, then pull again until they do come out:
Here’s where the next three hooks you have to undo are:
Hold it like this and push outward and frontwards.
Now, notice the three holes (below). Those are for the hooks you just undone:
Now make sure you pull the body from the black plastic tire well lining like I did in this pic:
^Make sure the black plastic trim is out of the way near the headlight too.
At this point, you should have all the hooks that are pointed in white (below) removed, and the hooks pointed to in green NOT yet removed. Obviously the hooks pointed in green are next:
Grab the bumper like this (below) and push it frontward:
Below is a pic of it after popping it off:
Now you have to unplug the fog light harness because it is still attaching to the bumper to the car. You don’t have to take the bulbs out unless you don’t detach the harness. So you could either take the bulbs out and just leave them connected to the harness (not recommended), or you can just take the harness off leaving the bulbs protected inside the housings on the bumper (recommended). With the second way, you eliminate the risk of scratching them.
It sounds easy, but make sure you push the release lever on the very BOTTOM of the socket where I am pointing in yellow below. Don’t push higher up toward where the blue arrow is pointing. Yes, it makes a big difference in whether or not the socket comes off:
The best way to grip the fog socket is with 2 hands. For my driver-side fog, I stuck my right hand in through the side by the tire, and I stuck my left hand in through the front... reverse symmetrically for the passenger side.
To remove the bumper completely, do these same instructions on the other side BUT be careful of what could happen after most of the hooks become unhooked. It could fall, so have somebody hold it while unhooking any hooks more than what I did in this thread. Don’t let your assistant hold it by the grill obviously.
Putting the bumper back on requires attention to things you didn’t pay attention to while taking it off. You have to make sure the edges of the bumper fit in the correct grooves before pushing it back onto the hooks. You have to watch the bottom to make sure the black underpanel goes on TOP of bumper bottom. Here is a pic of my mistake. Notice part of the black underpanel (circled) is mistakenly BELOW the red bumper bottom:
Yea, I had to take it apart again to straighten that out. You’ll notice if its not right when you go to put the clips and bolts back in.
On the sides, make sure the body goes around the black panel that lines the tire well here (repeated picture):
Also, make sure that when you put the plastic clips back into the bottom, you push them all the way up so they sturdily cling the bumper bottom to the ceiling above it. When finished, you should NOT be able to push the bottom of the bumper upward bending the plastic. It should be sturdy.
(!) Double check that the screws and bolts are tightened well (never over-tighten with plastic).
Take a quick drive and listen for rattles.
Hopefully this helps people out.
- Wear glasses/sunglasses when prying up the plastic clips. They have a tendency to break shooting pieces of plastic into the air and toward your eyes. I would stick the screw driver into the groove and then put a towel over the whole thing before prying so it doesn’t fling.
- If any of the clips break but are still useable, then stick them back in until you buy new replacements. I got new ones for 1.29 ea. at the dealership. They upgraded them now, and I don’t think they will break as easily as the old ones.