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Vehicle parts are made of materials that vary depending on their function. For example, car batteries contain the metal lithium because of its ability to store energy. If you want to familiarize yourself with the various materials in vehicles, read on.

What Materials Are Used to Make Cars?

Here are the materials that you’ll find in your daily driver’s parts.


Because aluminum is one of the lightest metals relative to its strength and durability, it’s common in a wide variety of components. Wheel frames, cylinder heads, and transmission housings are often made of this metal. Nowadays, even the doors, trunks, and hoods of some vehicles are aluminum.

Cast Iron and Steel

Widely considered to be the forefather of most automotive materials, cast iron is used to create various parts that make up the “body” of any vehicle. It’s not uncommon for the chassis, frames, and panels to come in this material.

While cast iron is not that common in newer models because of its brittleness and weight, some components still have it.

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Steel is in a wide variety of common car parts. Indeed, the average car typically has almost 2,000 lbs of steel, particularly in its chassis, body, and exhaust system.


Copper is one of the most electrically conductive metals in the world, making it a key component in electrical wiring and electrical motors. You can expect to see it in your vehicle’s radio, safety systems, electrical components, starters, and charging points.


While it isn’t a metal, glass has many uses in cars. Consider the windshields, which are often made of reinforced laminated glass designed to give you an unobstructed view of the road ahead. Other common applications include mirrors, windows, navigation screens, and camera lenses (if there are any) throughout the vehicle.


Fiberglass consists of plastic reinforced with miniscule strands of glass. While it’s commonly used to create trim pieces, brake pads, and clutch disks also utilize it.


Despite its heavy weight, lead is common in any vehicle. It’s an integral part of car batteries and tire assemblies as wheel weights.


Magnesium is used in transmission systems, suspension systems, and steering wheels. However, because it’s prone to rust, It usually has a protective layer of chrome or resin to prevent it from corroding.


Because plastics are lightweight and malleable, it’s often used in car trim, headlamps, gas tanks, and car bumpers.

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Unlike metals, which corrode, this material never gets rusty. It’s durable and flexible, but it could be damaged by significant impact, natural wear and tear, and extreme temperatures.


Ruvver is a crucial part of tires. It helps generate traction in wheels, enabling the vehicle to slow and stop when braking. It can take the wear and tear that comes with rolling on the ground without taking significant damage.


Even precious and expensive metals have uses in your average car. For example, titanium is a critical element in the internal combustion engine. It’s also a part of the exhaust system, valves, valve springs, and pistons connecting rods.

Titanium is used because of its extreme durability and resistance to corrosion. It’s significantly stronger than most metals while offering the same level of density. These properties, combined with how rare it is, are exactly what makes titanium so expensive.

What Are Car Batteries Made Out Of?

Car batteries usually have cobalt, nickel, steel, plastic, and lithium. While not all car batteries are made of lithium, many are because of the metal’s ability to hold high voltage. This makes them very effective at stockpiling and containing energy.

What Are Electric Car Batteries Made Out Of?

electric car battery component
Lithium-ion batteries are used because of their high capacity and ability to recharge quickly and efficiently.

Electric batteries are usually made of a combination of lithium, carbon, and metal oxides. Lithium-ion batteries are used because of their high capacity and ability to recharge quickly and efficiently.

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What Are Car Radiators Made Out Of?

Car radiators are a combination of different materials, with the most common being plastic and aluminum. Some are made of aluminum, copper, and brass.

What Are Car Bumpers Made Out Of?

Car bumpers are made of either plastic or metal. Most modern car bumpers consist of the former, specifically thermoplastic olefin, a material that combines rubber, carbon fiber, and plastic molecules. Meanwhile, metal car bumpers are usually made of chromium-plated steel.

What Are Car Tires Made Out Of?

Tires are extraordinarily complex. They’re not just made of rubber; the average tire consists of over a hundred different materials, including nylon, silica, steel, and polyester. Some tires, specifically winter tires, also contain walnut shells to help give them more traction.

Tire manufacturer creates tires with different materials, but most (if not all of them) use carbon black, a special substance that gives tires their black color as well as their durability.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

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.

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