The vertical support that provides structural integrity to a vehicle’s roof is called a roof pillar. Most cars have three different pillars, but station wagons, minivans, and SUVs usually have at least four. Each pillar is assigned a letter from A to D to indicate where it is on the vehicle.
Where Are the Different Pillars Located?
Pillars A, B, and C are sometimes referred to as the front, center, and rear pillars. However, this only applies to sedans, as station wagons, minivans, and SUVs have extended cargo areas with support structures called D pillars. This naming convention is used by manufacturers to identify roof pillars from the side.
The A pillar is the support structure that holds the windshield in place. It’s located in the front of the vehicle. The pillar’s location is the same for sedans, station wagons, minivans, and SUVs.
The B pillar is the support structure in the center of the vehicle. It’s located between the A pillar and the C pillar. Limousines can have more than one B pillar (B1, B2, and so on).
The C Pillar is the support structure located on either side of a sedan’s rear window. The pillar’s location is different for station wagons, minivans, and SUVs. Rather than being the structure holding the rear window in place, the C pillar, in this case, describes the vertical structure behind the rear door.
The D pillar replaces the C pillar as the rearmost support structure on station wagons, minivans, and SUVs. It corresponds with the C pillar located behind the rear door.
Why Do You Need to Know the Difference Between Pillars?
Knowing the difference between roof pillars is important because manufacturers use them in their specifications. Some cars have thicker pillars that can limit your road visibility. A reviewer might say that a vehicle’s A pillar is wide. That means the front roof pillars are wide enough to create a blind spot. Many classic cars have slimmer A pillars that provide better visibility at the cost of structural stability and strength. Convertibles don’t usually have B pillars behind their front doors, which leaves a gap when the doors are opened.
To cut it short, make sure to consider a vehicle’s roof pillars when window shopping because they can affect your vision on the road.
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