The difference between interior vehicle fasteners and exterior fasteners

The world of automotive fasteners is a fascinating place with so many kinds, designs, types, and uses. The average car has a few thousand fastener units installed during production, which holds the vehicle together as well as provides easy de-installation if needed. However, there is a specific difference between the fasteners used in the interior and the car’s exterior, and in this article we explore the difference in more detail…

Automotive Fasteners Used In The Exterior

Fasteners used on the car body or in the engine bay are a wide selection of nuts, bolts, screws, springs, and clips which have the sole purpose of firmly positioning components or allowing controlled movement of some parts. When used in the exterior, it’s imperative to make them dependable and easily changeable. However, one of the most critical aspects is to make them durable since exterior fasteners are exposed to the elements, water, chemicals and extreme temperatures, just like those used in the engine bay. That is why metal is the material of choice for the areas exposed to extremely high temperatures (engine bay) or severe forces (suspension). However, plastic is still widely used for making exterior fasteners since it is lighter and doesn’t corrode. So, almost all outer clips, washers, and fasteners used for connecting plastic parts of the body, bumpers, trim pieces, and so on are manufactured from composite materials.

Automotive Fasteners Used In The Interior

In the interior, fasteners have the same job: holding the door cards, dashboard, trim, and panels in place, but the material choice, construction, and requirements are usually a bit different. While metal fasteners are widely used on the outside of a vehicle, plastic is the top choice for interiors. There are several reasons for this decision. Firstly, since internal fasteners are not exposed to high forces, temperature or chemicals, plastic is a perfectly sound choice. Secondly, the fasteners used in the interior have to be a bit softer and have more play, so the interior feels more comfortable, plusher and isolated. The third reason, and it is the most important, is safety; in the unfortunate case of an accident, plastic fasteners can bend easily and help protect the occupants.


AUTO-FASTENERS is able to provide its customers with the latest technology, steady supply, and even more importantly, knowledgeable advice and know-how. We’re not just a parts supplier, we are a partner. Our aim is to really understand the problems you are facing, to collaborate with you and to help you solve that problem. The range of fasteners and small parts we source and supply includes a vast number of metal and plastic fasteners used in vehicle interiors and exteriors. Get in touch with us today on 01926 814600 or at to learn more.

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