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Old 06-11-2014, 12:14 PM   #1
esmcblur
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Question Front Bumper Body Lines - Gap On One Side - '13 WRX Hatch

Hi Guys,

Purchased my '13 hatch last April, and the car as been great.. however, this winter I tapped a snow covered steep driveway (at crawling speeds), and it appears the bumper is now misaligned on the drivers side, showing a noticeable (to me) gap between the bumper and the fender.

Here are some photos -

Drivers Side:




Passenger Side:





I did some searching and couldn't find much - other than people remove their bumpers all of the time and it doesn't seem to be a big deal. However, I'm having a hell of a time getting this to flush back up..

Do I need to remove and order new grommets, any access for zip ties (would prefer this to be last resort)..? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. TIA!
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:46 PM   #2
Dball WRX
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Same problem same side no luck with remedy though.
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:39 PM   #3
Wireeater
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Same thing happened in my 12 sedan. Have you tried push and firm wiggling it back into place. There are little connector clips in there that need to mate together. It either pulled them out of place, or stretched/bent the clips.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:37 PM   #4
Pingers
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I've removed my bumper twice in the last 2 months to change front lips. Your bumper just came un-clipped. When you are trying to jam it in place, you're just bending the plastic clip because Subaru's design is a bit flawed and is rather flimsy. This only seems to be an issue with the driver's side from my own experiences. What you need to do is start from scratch on that side.

1.) Turn your steering wheel to where you can access the driver's side wheel well.
2.) Next remove the 4 black plastic retainers that hold the splash guard in place. Three are phillips head, 1 is push in and pull out.
3.) Next on the under side of your bumper remove a few of the black retainers, likely the three closest to the driver side will be enough.
4.) You basically want to completely un-clip the driver side of the bumper so you can see behind it and how the bumper is clipped in.
5.) There will be a black plastic piece that is screwed in that is held up by two phillips head screws. The one closest to the light you loosen.
6.) Once loose, you can pry up (micro-fiber cloth over a flat-head screwdriver) allowing a slight gap so you can actually re-clip in your bumper.
7.) Once you have the gap and your bumper is clipped back in, you'll go through the splash guard and reach your arm up to push back in the long black plastic piece
8.) Once pushed in, you can re-tighten the screw. You're basically allowing the bumper to click back into place with less resistance by loosing the screw that holds on the black plastic piece with the clips.

I've had to do this both times I removed my bumper to get the bumper back on correctly. If you don't, you'll just mangle the plastic on the actual bumper and it will never sit right again.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:59 PM   #5
esmcblur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingers View Post
I've removed my bumper twice in the last 2 months to change front lips. Your bumper just came un-clipped. When you are trying to jam it in place, you're just bending the plastic clip because Subaru's design is a bit flawed and is rather flimsy. This only seems to be an issue with the driver's side from my own experiences. What you need to do is start from scratch on that side.

1.) Turn your steering wheel to where you can access the driver's side wheel well.
2.) Next remove the 4 black plastic retainers that hold the splash guard in place. Three are phillips head, 1 is push in and pull out.
3.) Next on the under side of your bumper remove a few of the black retainers, likely the three closest to the driver side will be enough.
4.) You basically want to completely un-clip the driver side of the bumper so you can see behind it and how the bumper is clipped in.
5.) There will be a black plastic piece that is screwed in that is held up by two phillips head screws. The one closest to the light you loosen.
6.) Once loose, you can pry up (micro-fiber cloth over a flat-head screwdriver) allowing a slight gap so you can actually re-clip in your bumper.
7.) Once you have the gap and your bumper is clipped back in, you'll go through the splash guard and reach your arm up to push back in the long black plastic piece
8.) Once pushed in, you can re-tighten the screw. You're basically allowing the bumper to click back into place with less resistance by loosing the screw that holds on the black plastic piece with the clips.

I've had to do this both times I removed my bumper to get the bumper back on correctly. If you don't, you'll just mangle the plastic on the actual bumper and it will never sit right again.
A shame the design seemed to be flawed as this appears to be common among owners. I'll try the above over the next week or so and see how it works out! Thank you..

Any other insight would be great as well.
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:03 PM   #6
Pingers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esmcblur View Post
A shame the design seemed to be flawed as this appears to be common among owners. I'll try the above over the next week or so and see how it works out! Thank you..

Any other insight would be great as well.
If you're in the Colorado area, I could knock this out in about 5 minutes. I have very good practice.
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:20 PM   #7
sc00ter
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Strange. I've replaced my front bumper once and removed the new bumper 2 times since. I've never experienced this issue and I wasn't gentle/following any sort of procedure. I hope you get it sorted out. I'll keep Pinger's instructions in mind if I ever run into this in the future.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:56 PM   #8
Soobiecabra
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I've got the same problem on the REAR bumper. How to fix that one??

The front is easy, just remove the bumper and make sure all the pop clips are not mangled when you go to reinstall make sure you hear them click into place (they sound like snaps).
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:02 PM   #9
esmcblur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingers View Post
If you're in the Colorado area, I could knock this out in about 5 minutes. I have very good practice.
east coast here! I'll try it out, doesn't sound too bad.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:09 PM   #10
Pingers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc00ter View Post
Strange. I've replaced my front bumper once and removed the new bumper 2 times since. I've never experienced this issue and I wasn't gentle/following any sort of procedure. I hope you get it sorted out. I'll keep Pinger's instructions in mind if I ever run into this in the future.
It's crazy how some folks have issues and some don't. I had read up about how people had issues before I had even removed my bumper so when I was clipping it back in, I thought I was being extra careful.

I had tried so many different ways until the plastic tab (driver side) on the bumper looked mangled and I realized it didn't have enough durability to clip back into the fender. It just kept bending and wouldn't slide under the clip on the fender.

Then I had read about a trick identical to the one I described with loosening the screw until you have the bumper clipped back into place. By doing this step, my bumper clipped back into place no problem and re-tightening the screw through the splash-guard wall was easy enough. I do this step on both sides now, if for nothing else but to preserve the bumper clips going forward.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:24 PM   #11
esmcblur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingers View Post
It's crazy how some folks have issues and some don't. I had read up about how people had issues before I had even removed my bumper so when I was clipping it back in, I thought I was being extra careful.

I had tried so many different ways until the plastic tab (driver side) on the bumper looked mangled and I realized it didn't have enough durability to clip back into the fender. It just kept bending and wouldn't slide under the clip on the fender.

Then I had read about a trick identical to the one I described with loosening the screw until you have the bumper clipped back into place. By doing this step, my bumper clipped back into place no problem and re-tightening the screw through the splash-guard wall was easy enough. I do this step on both sides now, if for nothing else but to preserve the bumper clips going forward.
Did you have to replace the bumped clips the first time after they were mangled? Looking forward to trying this when I have some free time next week..
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:56 PM   #12
ShiberuWRX
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This is somewhat comforting (knowing it's kinda common). I have the same gap on my car and it annoys the **** out of me. I'll have to try and fix it soon
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:17 PM   #13
Pingers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esmcblur View Post
Did you have to replace the bumped clips the first time after they were mangled? Looking forward to trying this when I have some free time next week..
You can't, the clips on the actual bumper itself are a part of the bumper mold. (It's a slot that the black plastic piece of the fender clicks into. I just straightened out the slot, loosened the screws on the long black plastic piece on the fender which allowed it to click in easier. Once clicked in, I tightened the screws by reaching in through the splash guard fender wall.

I have heard of a few people grinding down the slot and or black plastic piece so that the bumper clicks into place easier, but they also say that their bumpers click OUT of place easier now and constantly have to press their bumper back into place. My solution ensures this issue does that occur consistently unless you whack it really hard on a piece of ice like the OP did. I'd shoot some pictures, but I really don't feel like removing my bumper for a 3rd time, specially for no reason.

Do it on your own vehicle and it'll be obvious what you need to do.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:43 AM   #14
Ruzty1311
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I was going to say I wish you posted a pic of the screws you need to loosen haha Mine is bad....I'm going to try to fix it tomorrow and see if I can follow your instructions
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:13 AM   #15
foolycooly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingers View Post
I've removed my bumper twice in the last 2 months to change front lips. Your bumper just came un-clipped. When you are trying to jam it in place, you're just bending the plastic clip because Subaru's design is a bit flawed and is rather flimsy. This only seems to be an issue with the driver's side from my own experiences. What you need to do is start from scratch on that side.

1.) Turn your steering wheel to where you can access the driver's side wheel well.
2.) Next remove the 4 black plastic retainers that hold the splash guard in place. Three are phillips head, 1 is push in and pull out.
3.) Next on the under side of your bumper remove a few of the black retainers, likely the three closest to the driver side will be enough.
4.) You basically want to completely un-clip the driver side of the bumper so you can see behind it and how the bumper is clipped in.
5.) There will be a black plastic piece that is screwed in that is held up by two phillips head screws. The one closest to the light you loosen.
6.) Once loose, you can pry up (micro-fiber cloth over a flat-head screwdriver) allowing a slight gap so you can actually re-clip in your bumper.
7.) Once you have the gap and your bumper is clipped back in, you'll go through the splash guard and reach your arm up to push back in the long black plastic piece
8.) Once pushed in, you can re-tighten the screw. You're basically allowing the bumper to click back into place with less resistance by loosing the screw that holds on the black plastic piece with the clips.

I've had to do this both times I removed my bumper to get the bumper back on correctly. If you don't, you'll just mangle the plastic on the actual bumper and it will never sit right again.
Just had this problem on my my front bumper--these instructions were very helpful, thanks.

The screw you refer to is pretty far in there...definitely took some work to be able to align the screwdriver properly since you're essentially working blind if you go in through the wheel well. I only loosened it partially and was able to coax the bumper back over the clip and retighten. Took about 15 minutes.
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:07 AM   #16
arani rey
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I use a thin cloth over a screw driver to get the top clip on the driver's side to engage properly. The top clip (highest part of the fender sort-of below the headlight) is the most important and also very flimsy. The urethane bumper tab wears out and doesn't have the strength needed to engage the fender clip properly.

Just take a tiny standard screw driver with a cloth over it and work that clip on, when it pops in it will grab the screwdriver to carefully work it out without scratching the paint.

You can also go in the fender liner and unbolt the bumper's fender clip, attach the bumper, then bolt it back on. Make sure the fender clip is all the way back into the fender before putting the bolt back in otherwise your bumper will still have a gap.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:21 PM   #17
Pingers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foolycooly View Post
Just had this problem on my my front bumper--these instructions were very helpful, thanks.

The screw you refer to is pretty far in there...definitely took some work to be able to align the screwdriver properly since you're essentially working blind if you go in through the wheel well. I only loosened it partially and was able to coax the bumper back over the clip and retighten. Took about 15 minutes.
Excellent! Yeah I never remove the screw entirely. Just enough to where it isn't holding the black clip in place and can pry against it creating that gap needed. It's a tight squeeze, but I'm pretty skinny and had no issues fitting my arms up there.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:22 PM   #18
Pingers
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Satin White Pearl

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arani rey View Post
I use a thin cloth over a screw driver to get the top clip on the driver's side to engage properly. The top clip (highest part of the fender sort-of below the headlight) is the most important and also very flimsy. The urethane bumper tab wears out and doesn't have the strength needed to engage the fender clip properly.

Just take a tiny standard screw driver with a cloth over it and work that clip on, when it pops in it will grab the screwdriver to carefully work it out without scratching the paint.

You can also go in the fender liner and unbolt the bumper's fender clip, attach the bumper, then bolt it back on. Make sure the fender clip is all the way back into the fender before putting the bolt back in otherwise your bumper will still have a gap.
This definitely works too. I was too fearful of scratching my paint to try this method and realistically going through the fender liner wasn't that much harder.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:42 PM   #19
esmcblur
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Turns out my top clip is actually broke. I must have tapped the snow harder than I thought. Hopefully I can replace it, though it looks like one integrated piece.


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Old 07-29-2014, 12:04 AM   #20
Pingers
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Clip on the bumper is all one piece. Clip on the fender that is black is removable and replaceable.


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Old 07-29-2014, 08:16 PM   #21
esmcblur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingers View Post
Clip on the bumper is all one piece. Clip on the fender that is black is removable and replaceable.


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I'll have to check again. But I think it was the bumper clip sadly.


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Old 09-10-2015, 02:59 PM   #22
jcmales
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I know this is an old thread, but what did you end up doing to fix the broken bumper clips? I'm afraid I might be having the same problem on my '12 sedan.
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