GMC Yukon XL Denali - 16095 km: Bumper Repair

O.K. I am now officially done with the snow. I've had enough and it can't melt fast enough.

Sadly, the last statement is all too true. The snow that has been sitting around blocking the side-streets has still not been cleared and the warm days and freezing nights have changed it into rock hard ice crystals.

Late Friday afternoon when I was picking up my daughter from a play-date, I was very surprised to see that their street had not been cleared at all--even after 2 weeks since the last snowfall. The roadway was wide enough for only one vehicle and each driveway was marked by 3-foot piles of snow on either side. I could still see people shoveling out a wider opening for themselves. It was nearly impossible to turn our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali our friend's driveway and when I tried to get out I backed into a snow--no, it was an ice-bank and put a huge dent in the rear bumper. I know it didn't sound....

...good but when I got home and took a look, I saw the extent of the damage.

One of the annoyances of rear backup cameras (not only GM's but all the ones I've used including Honda) is that they don't give enough of a wide-angle view so that you can actually see the corners of your bumpers. It's the same with rear park sensors. GM and Honda don't place sensors on the corners so they don't warn you when you get too close. To me, the corners are critical points on the bumper. Could this accident have been prevented if either one of my pet peeves were addressed? It's hard to say--the view out the rear camera was also difficult to see because the white ice/snow didn't show up in good detail in the screen especially with the sun and shadows in the back. I'm kicking myself because I normally backup much more slowly and carefully. Needless to say, it wasn't a good start to my weekend.

When I got home, I tried quickly to hammer out the dent. It's completely empty behind the bumper cover but without really going under and taking a look all I ended up doing was giving myself a cut on my hand. With nightfall and dropping temperatures, I decided to wait until the next day to do repairs.

Since hammering the plastic didn't work, I knew I needed something to push out the indentation. I used the bottle-jack from the Yukon's spare tire kit and was able to brace it against the bumper beam under the vehicle and simply kept turning the knob until the whole thing popped back in place. It looks almost as good as new....

Well, as good as new except for the rips and tears and cracks--but definitely way better (and cheaper) than replacing the entire bumper cover and repainting it. At least the rear park sensor was not damaged and besides, the battle scars just give The Beast a bit more character.


  1. I am wrestling with trying to decide what color to get. I am looking at an 08 Stealth Gray or a Summit White Denali XL to replace my Summit White / Black Denaly shorty.
    White was my first choice, until I saw a Stealth Gray XL at the dealer.
    I am also trying to decide on the Cashmere interior. Looks nice but that black is hard to beat for keeping it clean.
    Any thoughts on my delema now that you have some time with this color?
    You feel the same way about the interior as I do?
    Thanks for any help you can provide!

  2. I see your dilemma. Both colours are very nice and you can't go wrong. It just depends on where you are in life and what part of the country you live in. When I was shopping for my Subaru STI, the salesperson tried to steer me away from white because he said it was a "young person's colour"--LOL!

    After living with Stealth Gray, I've really grown to like it more and more. In bright sunlight, the paint has a depth of colour that is very unique--it's got a touch of green in it. There are not many other vehicles on the road with the same colour. The gray also hides dirt and scratches very well--which was my main goal. After owning two black vehicles, I wanted something that was less work to keep looking good. White looks great, but with the amount of rain we get here in the Pacific Northwest, it wouldn't stay clean for more than a few days at a time.

    I agree with you that a black interior is the best at looking/keeping clean. If I didn't have a family, maybe I would pick a lighter colour, but black really is easier to match if you get mats or other interior accessories. I owned a black Mazda MPV with a tan interior and I loved the way it looked, but over time that tan leather just started to look more old and worn. None of my other vehicles with black leather ever did that. The light coloured carpet also showed up even the smallest specs of dirt.

    Good luck with making your decision, Joe!

  3. Hey thanks for the help.....I owned a black truck years ago and swore I would never own a black vehicle again.....

    So my main concern is if this is a real cleaning maintenance nightmare color like black (swirl marks, light dust / road grime etc). Also you mentioned a greenish hue at times in certain light, I have noticed a blue tinge, is there some blue in there in your perception?

    Again, thanks for assistance!

  4. Yes, that's what makes the Stealth Gray interesting. The metallic flecks makes subtle changes in sunlight and it gives it a blue-ish-greenish gray look.


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