What Are Cars Made Of?

Feb 13, 2022

What Are Cars Made Of:

Everybody knows the story of the first ever vehicle made. Most of us were told in school about Carl Benz and Henry Ford, who ofcourse you now know are the creators of the highly reputable auto brands Mercedes-Benz and Ford. Whilst it is argued that Henry Ford brought the car to the people, it was actually Germany’s Carl Benz who created the first ever auto-mobile. The Benz Patent Motor Car was created just over 130 years ago in 1885 as a new means of transportation for people.

Mercedes Benz

Mercedes Benz has disclosed: “The first stationary gasoline engine developed by Carl Benz was a one-cylinder two-stroke unit which ran for the first time on New Year’s Eve 1879. Benz had so much commercial success with this engine that he was able to devote more time to his dream of creating a lightweight car powered by a gasoline engine, in which the chassis and engine formed a single unit.

The major features of the two-seater vehicle, which was completed in 1885, were the
compact high-speed single-cylinder four-stroke engine installed horizontally at the rear, the tubular steel frame, the differential and three wire-spoked wheels. The engine output was 0.75 hp (0.55 kW). Details included an automatic intake slide, a controlled exhaust valve, high-voltage electrical vibrator ignition with spark plug, and water/thermo siphon evaporation cooling.” As you can see, some of the materials used in the first ever automobile are still commonly used to this day, however it begs the question, what other materials are used in vehicle production?

10 Materials Used In Vehicle Production


Steel is one of the most common materials used in automobiles and was used in the Benz Patent Motor Car (1885). The metal is produced from iron ore and tends to be used to form the vehicle’s chassis and body. There are a few different kinds of steel used in the production of a vehicle but they tend to be either: stainless steel, galvanised steel, high-carbon or low-carbon.


It goes without saying that plastic is used in car production. As you can imagine plastic is never used to create the chassis or body but is instead commonly used for the interior of the vehicle. Plastic tends to be used for the dashboard, dials, switches, coatings, air vents and protective coatings to stop grime getting in. You will actually commonly see plastic being used in manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz to provide a glossy finish on the inside.


In more recent days, vehicle bodies and chassis are commonly being made from Aluminium because of how lightweight and prestigious the material is. It tends to be used in more luxurious manufacturers because aluminium is more expensive than steel. 


Rubber is one of the most common materials used in vehicle production in that tires are made from rubber as well as mud flaps, floor mats, dust covers, and some other minimalistic parts. Rubber has been used for all kinds of wheels for many hundreds of years. 


Glass is of course used for the windscreen, rear-windscreen, and all mirrors throughout the car.  


According to technology.org “Nowadays fibreglass cars are quite rare in the automotive industry. Sure, Lotus still makes them and some Corvette body parts are made from fibreglass, but this material is definitely not as popular as it used to be.”


Lead is used in a number of different car components. Most commonly lead is used in any kind of batteries, electronics, and ceramics. It was also commonly used for vehicle paint, however in more recent days it is no longer commonly used.


Copper is a common material in EV vehicles and especially Tesla. The new Tesla Roadster is the first available EV supercar that is powered by a copper rotor electric motor. 


You may have been wondering what exactly the engine components are made of but this tends to be titanium. Titanium is primarily used in combustion engine components like valves, rods, springs, and retainers.