How to Replace a Nissan Sentra Rear Bumper | 2004 to 2006

Have you had some sort of damage to your rear bumper and need to get it fixed. This article goes over how to replace a Nissan Sentra rear bumper, between the years of 2004 and 2006. However, this can apply to many types of cars around these years.

The days before inflation went up like it has. Getting a bumper repair or replacement from a body shop, wasn’t that expensive. Today, paint and labor are so expensive, more and more people are learning how to do these repairs themselves.

This article on how to replace a Nissan Sentra rear bumper, really won’t be that long. My goal for this article is to help the DIY car enthusiast, see how simple a job this is. Not to mention, save as much money as they can.

What Kind of Damage Would Warrant a Rear Bumper Replacement

Most car bumpers, both front and rear, are made out of plastic that contains polypropylene. The polypropylene adds a flexibility to allow the bumper to absorb impacts.

I have proven that dents in bumpers can be repaired. You can watch my video, How To Pop Out A Dent In A Plastic Bumper, to see get an idea.

Even though some dents and damages can be repaired in these types of bumpers. There is a point where replacing it is more economical and easier.

Damages to where you would want to replace the bumper are as follows.

  • Multiple dents that warp the entire bumper
  • Bumper warped to where it doesn’t fit correctly
  • Damages to the snaps and mounting areas
  • Heavy splits and cracks
  • Bumper busted into halves or pieces

If you have like a single dent or even a small crack, there are tricks and methods to fix these. However, when you are looking at removing the bumper for repairs, you may want to evaluate your investment.

Cracks and splits usually require a plastic welder and special weld in clips. Many dents require a heat gun to heat it to pop it out. Not to mention all your time.

If you do not have all these tools, then you have to weigh in how much do tools cost to a new bumper?

Tools Needed for Replacing a Nissan Sentra Rear Bumper

If you are on a budget and trying to a rear bumper replacement on a Nissan Sentra, you’re in luck. The tools needed to remove the bumper are a small flat blade screwdriver and a 10mm socket. Provided you have an inexpensive metric socket set.

You can purchase a new aftermarket rear bumper for around $100. Junk yards you have to be careful with. As mentioned, you can buy new for around $100, you will find junk yards want about the same.

If you can find a good undamaged and unscratched junk yard bumper, the price might be OK. Even better if you can find one the exact same color, it is always worth looking.

Junk yards like Pull-a-Part or Pick-a-Part charge around $50 for a bumper cover. But again, if you go that route, ensure that you get one that needs little to no work.

If your new or used bumper requires painting, there is always the aerosol method. Today’s automotive aerosol paints are as good as what comes out of a professional spray gun. RodsShop promotes Automotive Touchup Paints, be sure to check them out.

How to Replace a Nissan Sentra Rear Bumper Cover

The first thing to removing the Sentra rear bumper cover is to find all the clips and bolts. Let’s start with the 4 top plastic clips that need to be removed.

Open the trunk lid and look straight down where the bumper cover meets the truck opening. You will see 4 black push-in type clips. These will require a small flat blade screwdriver to remove them. These are 8mm Retainer Clips.

how to release retainer clips on nissan bumper

Using the screwdriver, place it in the gap between the outer part of the clip and the inside round button. Pry and lift up to release the clip. Once the center is up, lift the entire clip out of its hole.

Note: After some years, these clips can become brittle and break apart. Just be patient and pull the center up. This may require digging into the center with the screwdriver and to lift it.

Once the 4 8mm retainer clips are out, go under the rear bumper and look up, kind of a wide center. You will find 2 more of these same type clips. They will require the same process to remove them as the top ones.

You will now have 4 10mm head bolts to locate and remove. These will be located at the opening of the wheel wells.

There will be 2 bolts on each side, one at the top inside the wheel well and the other at the bottom. Looking at the wheel well, behind the tire and just inside at the top, you will find the first one.

location of 05 sentra rear bumper retainer clips

You will want to look at the bottom of the bumper behind the rear wheel to find the bottom one.

Pulling the Nissan Sentra Rear Bumper Off

Many bumpers today, snap into place on the sides. However, this rear bumper cover does not. It does however slip into some clips that keep the gap between it and the rear quarter even.

In order to remove the bumper once all the hardware removal is complete. You can do each side one at a time and reach in the wheel well area. Grab a hold of the bumper and pull straight out.

Do the other side the same, then from the rear, lift and pull it toward you. You may have to shift a little side to side to clear the sides of the quarter panels as you pull.

Installing the Replacement Bumper Cover

There are a few ways to put the replacement bumper cover back on your Nissan Sentra. If you have a helper, one will get on one side, and the other on the other.

The bumper can be flexed open a little and walk it into place, ensuring that the bumper rest on the inner bumper support. From there, you can line up the mounting holes on each side and place the 10mm bolts back in and tighten.

If you are a solo act, then use some tape Running a blue or green tape on the quarter panels around the mounting areas might be a good idea.

Holding the bumper from the top edge, walk it towards the car. Shifting it a bit side to side will allow the sides of the bumper to go around the quarter panels. Once you have the sides clear to move forward, rest the bumper cover on the inner bumper reinforcement.

Start inserting the 4 top push in clips into the holes. This will lock the bumper into place so that you can get the 4 10mm bolts started. No not tighten the bolts all the way until you have all the push in clips in place.

When you have all the clips in place, you can tighten the 4 bolts. Ensure that you get the top edge of the bumper where it meets the quarter panel, into the plastic track. Often times, it will want to set below it causing an excessive or uneven gap.

Painting the Replacement Nissan Sentra Rear Bumper Cover

When it comes to auto body and paint, many people feel they just can’t do that. Either due to lack of knowledge or not having the equipment.

I can tell you; anyone can paint. It just takes a little information, patients and knowing the materials you will need.

If you are going with a used Nissan Sentra rear bumper cover, you will want to sand it. By purchasing an aftermarket replacement, all you will need is a scuffy pad.

Painting a Used Bumper Cover

As long as the used bumper cover has no damage to it, all you will need is 400 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper.

Get a bucket and put a little dish washing liquid in with some water. Using the 400-grit sandpaper and a small sponge sanding pad. Wet sand the entire bumper cover down. You are not trying to sand the old paint off, just a light sand to where the whole thing is dull looking when dry.

Once the bumper cover is dry, go back over it with a scuffy pad. Set the cover on any kind of make shift stand that gets it off the ground and wipe it down with a prep solvent.

Before applying your base coat, I highly recommend spray an adhesion promoter. Apply one coat and start spraying your base coat no more than 10 minutes after applying the adhesion promoter.

Using aerosol paints, get the base coat that is matched by your paint code. Apply a coat of color and then give it about 15 to 20 minutes to dry. Apply a second and let dry the same amount of time. Lastly, apply a third coat. You may have to apply more if you are not getting the desired color match.

Read the back of the base coat aerosol can to ensure flash times, especially how long to wait before applying the clear.

Most aerosols require about 30 to 40 minutes before spraying the clear. I highly recommend using a 2K clear. Yes, they are more expensive but the 1K will peal dull out and peel often as soon as in a month’s time.

Learn the difference between the two clears in this article, The Difference Between 2k And 1k Clear Coat.

Always where a mask when spraying any kind of paints.

Painting a New Aftermarket Bumper Cover

All the steps will be the same as above except for the wet sanding. New bumper covers come in primer. This makes prepping so much easier. Just run a scuffy pad over the entire bumper cover until it is all dull.

Same as the used bumper, wipe it down with a prep solvent and it is ready for coating. Note: It is crucial that you spray a new bumper cover with an adhesion promoter. If not, I have seen the paint peel right of the cover months later.

Watch How to Replace a 2005 Nissan Sentra Rear Bumper Video


Here is a list of parts, tools and materials mentioned in this article. Some of these links are Amazon Affiliate Links in which RodsShop will collect a small commission, however that does not infalte the cost to you in anyway.


You will find that just the mechanics of swapping out a bumper cover is far simpler than painting it. Do not let auto body and paint scare you off.

I have been promoting a course for years. The course is super cheap and has great reviews. The course is at the bottom of this article.

I have made many paint repairs right in my driveway. Be sure to read my article on Low Cost Clear Coat Repair. In this article, there is a video of doing a aerosol paint repair right in my driveway.