What Materials Are Used to Make a Car?

by Dwight Malone

Cars are complicated pieces of machinery that use a variety of materials, and automakers continually update their designs to incorporate different materials to help meet consumer needs. Over time, automakers have decreased their use of steel and opted for lighter materials.

Metal

Cars contain a variety of metals, including steel for the frame, copper in the electrical wiring, aluminum for the radiator and platinum, palladium and rhodium in the catalytic converter.

Glass

To make them safer, windshields are made of two separate layers of glass separated by a layer of Polyvinyl Butyrate, which prevents the windshield from shattering into small pieces.

Plastic

Plastic is used for a variety of parts in a car, ranging from body panels and fenders to dashboards and headlamps.

Rubber

Rubber is used in many more car parts than just the tires, as a number of hoses, gaskets and belts are made from rubber.

Lead

Plates of lead are used in the lead-acid batteries that are required to start and run the electrical system.

About the Author

Dwight Malone is a journalist who has worked for various Chicago-area newspapers, including the "Chicago Tribune" and "Naperville Sun." He has been a writer, editor and graphic designer since 2000. Malone studied journalism at Eastern Illinois University.