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Discussion Starter #1
I was out of town on vacation and had a minor impact on my rear bumper. I was sitting at a traffic light. All vehicles were stopped. The kid behind me was about two feet away, maybe three at best, and his foot slipped off the brake and hit the gas. It felt like a hard hit, but not too hard...like the usual rear-ender. My bumper has zero damage. We both looked underneath as well. I'm not sure how many mph it was since he was just about two feet away. His truck was an older Ford Ranger, and his bumper was pushed up all the way across. Absolutely nothing on mine. Not even a scratch, probably thanks to the rubber on his chrome bumper. I'm just curious how much impact an Outback bumper can take without damage to the actual parts beneath the cover. I have searched online, but can't seem to find any info on specs like that. I appreciate any input.
 

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The bumper skin has to be removed to assess the damage. The foam inside is usually only good for one solid impact, which it sounds like yours might have been right on the border of.
 

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The bumper skin has to be removed to assess the damage. The foam inside is usually only good for one solid impact, which it sounds like yours might have been right on the border of.
I think it was on the border, but not sure he hit me hard enough. It would be the equivalent of me backing into a wall two feet away. Is the skin something we can do or does it have to be taken in?
 

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His truck was an older Ford Ranger, and his bumper was pushed up all the way across.
Unless the truck was a rusted hulk, or its bumper was already pushed up before the collision, it seems to me it's more likely something was affected on the Outback. The mentioned foam pad or bumper bar underneath (both critical for proper collision function), brackets or mountings, and rear braking assist sensors (if equipped) are all vulnerable, but might not be apparent without a knowledgeable eye looking underneath.

Being hit in the back is usually a "no-fault" case. Take the car to a Subaru dealer, or recommended body shop that's familiar with the car (Subarus), and have them look it over. If it's good, then you can drive on without any doubts; if they find something, then you can decide what to do, but at least you're not under the mistaken impression there's no damage.
 

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Behind the plastic bumper is a "rear or back beam" which may have been distorted. I would think a shop would have to take the bumper off to see if the beam was bent. I think the ultrasonic rear crossing traffic sensors (if you have that function) are mounted off to the sides of the bumper. Here's a representative diagram of the back beam and bumper cover.
Back Beam
 

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I think it was on the border, but not sure he hit me hard enough. It would be the equivalent of me backing into a wall two feet away. Is the skin something we can do or does it have to be taken in?
you can pull the rear bumper off and look at the foam spacer insert and the rear impact beam, and the inside of the rear skin.

Here, in a trailer hitch installation video - the first 6 minutes or so are removing the stuff to get the rear skin off. Not difficult.
 

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Interestingly, isn't the foam between the bar and plastic bumper considered "optional " when replacing the bumper after a hitch install?
 

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I was out of town on vacation and had a minor impact on my rear bumper. I was sitting at a traffic light. All vehicles were stopped. The kid behind me was about two feet away, maybe three at best, and his foot slipped off the brake and hit the gas. It felt like a hard hit, but not too hard...like the usual rear-ender. My bumper has zero damage. We both looked underneath as well. I'm not sure how many mph it was since he was just about two feet away. His truck was an older Ford Ranger, and his bumper was pushed up all the way across. Absolutely nothing on mine. Not even a scratch, probably thanks to the rubber on his chrome bumper. I'm just curious how much impact an Outback bumper can take without damage to the actual parts beneath the cover. I have searched online, but can't seem to find any info on specs like that. I appreciate any input.
Suggest you take Plain OM's advise above.....its a pain in the buttocks, but for your safety and any doubt, take it to a Subaru dealer.....no one else.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Unfortunately, I did not file a report. Yes, it was an old Ranger...early 90s. He said he paid $90 for it. LOL There could have been some previous damage to his bumper, but I wouldn't know it. I will ask the dealership to take a look at it when I go in for my oil change/5k mile maintenance.
 

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Yep, all those sensors and cameras and electronics back where we used to have a sturdy bumper can result in a minor bump costing thousands to repair. We cannot take anything for granted anymore with modern cars. Again, the tech is great while is works but when it needs to be fixed, you get to pay for it again.
 

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I was hit in a similar fashion last month. We were at a left hand stop, suv behind us got hit and rolled into us. They were around 3-5 feet away when they got pushed into our rear bumper. Visible damage to our bumper with their license plate screws making 2 marks and a slightly dented/scratched tailgate due to it being a higher in the front nose area (mazda cx9) that rolled into us. The damage to the bumper area alone was around $1800 with quite a few bent pieces once the cover was removed. The foam piece needed to be replaced along with the actual rear brace it sat on. I was surprised by the amount, insurance paid out almost $3k to get it all repaired, painted and parts replaced.
 

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Sounds like you got hit much harder. I had absolutely no damage. Not a scratch or dent. He was also much closer to us. Sorry to hear about your damage. I will still get mine checked out.
 

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I was hit in a similar fashion last month. We were at a left hand stop, suv behind us got hit and rolled into us. They were around 3-5 feet away when they got pushed into our rear bumper. Visible damage to our bumper with their license plate screws making 2 marks and a slightly dented/scratched tailgate due to it being a higher in the front nose area (mazda cx9) that rolled into us. The damage to the bumper area alone was around $1800 with quite a few bent pieces once the cover was removed. The foam piece needed to be replaced along with the actual rear brace it sat on. I was surprised by the amount, insurance paid out almost $3k to get it all repaired, painted and parts replaced.
For the parts you mentioned they are listed here https://parts.subaruonlineparts.com/v-2018-subaru-outback--3-6r-touring--3-6l-h6-gas/body--bumper-and-components-rear it's just $400.00
Watching the video of the hitch install it's a simple 2 hour job for parts replacement. Must be that couple of grand to have the bumper cover painted I guess.
You got hit alright :rolleyes: glad it wasn't out of YOUR pocket.
 

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Unless the truck was a rusted hulk, or its bumper was already pushed up before the collision, it seems to me it's more likely something was affected on the Outback. The mentioned foam pad or bumper bar underneath (both critical for proper collision function), brackets or mountings, and rear braking assist sensors (if equipped) are all vulnerable, but might not be apparent without a knowledgeable eye looking underneath.

Being hit in the back is usually a "no-fault" case. Take the car to a Subaru dealer, or recommended body shop that's familiar with the car (Subarus), and have them look it over. If it's good, then you can drive on without any doubts; if they find something, then you can decide what to do, but at least you're not under the mistaken impression there's no damage.
Wait, what? If a car is rear ended it's 99 percent of the time the car in the rear's fault without question. The guy in the Ranger should for sure be on the hook for it. I'm unfortunately speaking from experience being rear ended twice, once at a red light similar to what the OP posted about. Did you get his info? Insurance details? Call your insurance? Take it to a dealer for inspection and make his insurance cover it.
 

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For the parts you mentioned they are listed here https://parts.subaruonlineparts.com/v-2018-subaru-outback--3-6r-touring--3-6l-h6-gas/body--bumper-and-components-rear it's just $400.00
Watching the video of the hitch install it's a simple 2 hour job for parts replacement. Must be that couple of grand to have the bumper cover painted I guess.
You got hit alright :rolleyes: glad it wasn't out of YOUR pocket.
The parts page shows a bumper cover with parking sensors. I was not aware there was a Gen 3 US Outback offered with parking sensors. Does anyone know what other parts in additon to the cover are needed to attain this feature?
 

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The parts page shows a bumper cover with parking sensors. I was not aware there was a Gen 3 US Outback offered with parking sensors. Does anyone know what other parts in additon to the cover are needed to attain this feature?
That’s a 2018 parts diagram.
 

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I was out of town on vacation and had a minor impact on my rear bumper. I was sitting at a traffic light. All vehicles were stopped. The kid behind me was about two feet away, maybe three at best, and his foot slipped off the brake and hit the gas. It felt like a hard hit, but not too hard...like the usual rear-ender. My bumper has zero damage. We both looked underneath as well. I'm not sure how many mph it was since he was just about two feet away. His truck was an older Ford Ranger, and his bumper was pushed up all the way across. Absolutely nothing on mine. Not even a scratch, probably thanks to the rubber on his chrome bumper. I'm just curious how much impact an Outback bumper can take without damage to the actual parts beneath the cover. I have searched online, but can't seem to find any info on specs like that. I appreciate any input.
Benign. I've rebuilt multiple totaled Subarus, plenty of other wrecked ones, and yours has no substantive damage.

I don't see any electrical concerns. That usually happens when stuff starts getting pushed/ripped/pinched/dragged across surfaces, etc....you didn't even have a scuff mark. They bury electrical stuff deep enough that minor surface bumps aren't close to hurting them.

The foam and small corner plastic brackets are what will be cracked or fatigued/partially cracked. But they can't inspect that without $100+ labor. Foam is like $60 and brackets are like $8 or something.

If you're worried about it and paying labor for them to inspect it anyway, just ask them to replace the foam and side brackets while they're in there - the foam just falls out - it's no labor to replace it once the bumper is off for "inspection".

If we want to get technical, the shop isn't going to do an accident reconstruction, stress analysis, any model the fatigue in CATIA. So they really won't know anything about the actual structural properties of the components we're talking about even if they "look" good.

On an incident like you're describing, it's unlikely anything is compromised enough to be bad but still look great. Worst thing that happens is the foam or a bracket is fatigued now and cracks 0.2 seconds earlier than normal at your next accident. Which is why i say 'benign'.
 
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