Car Body Parts and Repair Resources
List of Car Body Parts
Even though nobody wants to get into a car accident, a collision can happen to anyone. Fortunately, most body parts can be fixed or replaced, restoring your car to like-new condition.
Check out this article to help familiarize yourself with the various body parts and what it takes to return your vehicle to its former glory.
There are several ways your vehicle’s hood can get damaged. For example, front-end collisions can cause the hood to bend, or you might damage the hood while trying to close it on top of tools or parts left in the engine bay.
Minor damage to the hood can often be repaired, but you should check with your local body shop about replacement versus repair. Even though replacing the hood is fairly easy, you might need to spend some time adjusting it after installation.
Bumper and Bumper Cover
Bumpers are your first line of defense in an accident. They are designed to absorb impact, protecting the occupants and the rest of the vehicle from harm.
It’s important to point out that the bumper and bumper cover are two distinct parts. The bumper cover (also known as the front fascia) is a visible, molded body component that’s typically made out of either plastic or fiberglass. This is the front-end part that people often misidentify as the bumper itself.
The bumper cover sits in front of the actual bumper. Basically, the bumper cover is there to provide a kind of aesthetic appeal. Bumper covers also enhance aerodynamics and, thereby, improve fuel efficiency.
In many low-speed accidents, the bumper cover is all that will need to be replaced. However, you should always check the bumper reinforcement, which is located between the bumper cover and bumper, and replace it if there is any damage.
If your car’s bumper requires replacement, the good news is that the job can usually be done with basic hand tools.
The grille, which is usually located between the hood and front bumper, allows air to cool your car’s engine. Plastic grilles are usually brittle and can easily crack in an accident.
Grille replacement often requires the front bumper to be removed. While that might sound intimidating, the job can usually be done with basic hand tools.
Door damage is fairly common. For instance, you might accidentally open the door into a post, or another car might hit the door.
Regardless of how the damage happens, it’s often easier and cheaper to repair than replace the door. But if you need to replace the door, the job usually requires transferring the window regulator and interior panels over to the new unit.
If you need advice, it’s good to check prices and get recommendations from your local body shop.
A pair of fenders cover your car’s front tires. The fenders often attach to the front bumper, as well as to points under the hood and near the doors.
The fenders are relatively easy and affordable to replace when damaged. So, replacement is usually the preferred fix.
On most modern cars, the quarter panels are integrated with the roof and unibody structure. Because quarter panels are very difficult to replace, the job is usually best left to a professional body shop.
It is far more common to repair than replace a damaged quarter panel. If you have to replace the panel, the job usually involves a lot of welding and cutting.
Mirror replacement can be necessary if there is significant damage to the mirror’s housing. Sometimes, it’s also cheaper to replace the whole mirror assembly if one of the power adjustment mirrors inside has failed.
Here’s a tip: Mirrors that are painted sometimes have a removable cap that can be replaced or painted separately.
It’s common for windshields to suffer from impact damage caused by rocks and other foreign objects. While small chips and cracks can sometimes be repaired, the windshield will usually need to be replaced if the damage is more severe.
Your car’s trunk panel can be damaged in a rear-end collision. Small dents in the trunk can generally be repaired, but it’s best to check with your local body shop for a professional opinion.
If you need to replace the trunk, the job is usually fairly straightforward, though it can take some time to get the alignment right.
Although damage to sunroof panels is not very common, it can happen in serious accidents, especially if your vehicle rolls over.
Replacing the sunroof is pretty complicated, as the job usually requires other repairs to the roof. You will also need to remove the headliner and perform the tedious task of transferring the sliding mechanism over from the old sunroof to the replacement unit.
Body trim is designed to protect your vehicle from door dings, which often result from other drivers opening their car doors into your vehicle. If the trim is bumped too hard, it can deform or break the retaining clips.
While replacing the trim usually isn’t very difficult, the job can require interior panel removal on some cars.
Tips for DIY Car Body Repair at Home
You can save a lot of money by doing automotive bodywork yourself. Unfortunately, though, it generally takes a lot of practice to get professional-grade results.
Keep in mind that some specialized equipment and supplies are often required to perform panel repairs. For instance, you might need body panel hammers, dollies—and much more. In addition, painting your vehicle requires a dust-free, well-ventilated environment, along with an air compressor, paint gun, a polisher, and good lighting.
That being said, you should give automotive bodywork a try if you’re up for the challenge!
Car Body Repair FAQ
What causes common auto body damage?
As you know, body damage can result from a car accident. The damage can also occur for a variety of other reasons. For example, you might drop something on your car in the garage, or a runaway cart might hit your car in the parking lot.
How much does it cost to fix the body of a car?
Pricing will vary, depending on factors, such as the severity of the damage and the type of car you have. It’s a good idea to contact your local body shop for an estimate.
Usually, the cheapest fixes involve repairing and repainting panels. But if that’s not possible, you’re still in luck because CarParts.com offers a wide variety of replacement panels!
Can a car body frame be repaired?
Most modern cars have a unibody construction, which means there is no replaceable “frame”. However, some trucks and SUVs have a frame-on-body construction that does indeed have an actual frame.
Unibody or frame damage is a worst-case scenario because repair usually requires a frame machine at a professional body shop. The price for this service can sometimes exceed the value of your vehicle, in which case, the insurance company will deem your car a “total loss”.
Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.