If you’re new to car parts, you might not know what is the front of a car called and what is the front bottom of a car called. But hey, we all got to start from somewhere.
The front of a car is called “hood” in American English and “bonnet” in British. It covers the engine compartment.
The front bottom of a car is known as a bumper. The purpose of the bumper is to protect the car’s body and engine in the event of a collision.
Bumpers are made of plastic, metal, or fiberglass, designed to absorb impact and reduce damage to the car.
While a car’s bumper is not typically designed to withstand a major impact, it can still help reduce the damage sustained in a low-speed collision.
Table of Contents
- What Is the Front of a Car Called?
- What Is The Front Bottom Of A Car Called?
- What Is A Bumper In a Car?
- Bumpers on Cars: Why Are They Important?
- What Is the Front of a Car Made Of?
- What Is The Average Life Span Of A Bumper?
- What is a 5 MPH Bumper?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Front of a Car Called?
The front of a car is typically called the hood in the United States and the bonnet in the United Kingdom. A car’s hood is the metal cover that protects the engine, which is the part of the car that powers it.
What Is The Front Bottom Of A Car Called?
As I said before, the front bottom part of a car is typically called the bumper. However, depending on what area you’re pointing it to, it can be called different names.
For example, the car’s part in front of the bumper and houses the headlights are typically called the grille.
A bumper can also be referred to as a front cap or a loader header with bumper assembly if you are buying parts.
Bumpers are typically located at the front and rear of a car and may be integrated into the car’s body or mounted separately.
Some cars have bumpers that cover the entire width of the car, while others have smaller, localized bumpers.
What Is A Bumper In a Car?
A bumper is a strip of material, usually metal, plastic, or rubber, attached to a car’s front and rear.
Bumpers are designed to absorb impact in a collision and protect the car’s body.
Many new drivers assume that a bumper will protect the car in the event of a collision, but this is not always the case. Bumpers are designed to absorb impact, but they are not indestructible.
In a high-speed collision, a bumper will not protect the car from serious damage.
As you can watch in this interesting video, a car’s bumper will protect your car and the people inside it in a low-speed collision.
Bumpers on Cars: Why Are They Important?
According to Wikipedia, the front bottom part, bumpers, was introduced in cars as early as 1904.
Back then, car bumpers were made of stiff metal and primarily served as ornaments.
Over the years, bumpers have evolved and are now made of materials designed to absorb impact and protect the car’s body in a collision.
Here are a couple of reasons bumpers are important in cars and other vehicles.
Protect the front and back of the car during a collision
One of the most important functions of a bumper is to protect the front and back of the car during a collision.
Moreover, bumpers protect other car parts by removing the kinetic energy made from a collision.
Protect pedestrians from injury
Another important function of a bumper is to protect pedestrians from injury in a collision.
Front bumpers are now lowered and made from softer materials like foam and crushable plastic to reduce the likelihood of serious leg injuries during a collision.
In the United States, bumpers are required by law on all passenger vehicles.
These regulations aim to ensure that all cars have bumpers that can protect occupants and pedestrians in the event of a collision.
Improve car aerodynamics
Aerodynamics refers to the movement of air around a car. Good aerodynamics can help improve a car’s fuel efficiency and performance.
Bumpers play a role in improving a car’s aerodynamics because they direct airflow around the car.
In modern cars, bumpers are designed to complement the shape of the hood and grille, which helps improve the car’s aerodynamics.
Watch this video to understand more about how a car’s aerodynamics works and how a well-designed front part helps it.
Reduces repair costs
Now, there are two types of materials used in making a bumper. First, bumpers that withstand impact well and are cheaper to repair.
Second, pedestrian-friendly bumpers ensure pedestrians’ safety in low-speed collisions but are costlier to repair.
The type of bumper you have will determine the cost of repairs after a collision. The repairs will be more expensive if you have a bumper made from softer materials.
On the other hand, if your car has a bumper made from stiffer materials, the repairs will be cheaper.
Install sensors and lights
Bumpers can also be equipped with sensors and lights. These sensors help detect objects in the dark and activate the brakes automatically.
Additionally, some cars have cameras mounted on the bumper, providing a clear view of the road while driving.
What Is the Front of a Car Made Of?
If you’ve driven more than one car, you’ve probably noticed that the front of each car has a different sturdiness.
The bumpers can be made from various materials, including steel, aluminum, plastic, and fiberglass.
Here are a few popular material types that most manufacturers use:
Plastic is the most popular type of bumper material for valid reasons. It’s lightweight, which helps reduce fuel consumption, and it can be easily molded to fit the contours of a car.
Generally, the plastic used for cars is mixed with polymers (70%), reinforcing filler, and rubber.
Mixing this material helps the front bottom of the car withstand impact and vibrations better while being cheaper to repair.
Aluminum is a more expensive option and is generally used in expensive cars. Aluminum is very strong yet lightweight, making it an ideal material for car bumpers.
Another advantage of using aluminum is that it doesn’t rust, so you don’t have to worry about it corroding over time.
However, as you can guess already, Aluminum bumpers will be costlier to repair.
Carbon fiber is one of the strongest materials used in car manufacturing. It’s five times stronger than steel and twice as stiff. However, carbon fiber is also very lightweight, making it a great material for car bumpers.
The only major con of carbon fiber is that it is brittle. So, if your car hits something hard, there’s a chance that the carbon fiber bumper could shatter.
That’s why most manufacturers use carbon fiber for racing cars that need to be lightweight and stiff but aren’t expected to hit anything hard.
Steel is the most common material used for car manufacturing, and that’s because it’s strong, cheap, and easy to work with.
However, steel is also very heavy and has a higher chance of injuring pedestrians in case of a collision.
You may find Trucks and SUVs in rural areas installing bumpers made of steel (known as bull bars) to protect the vehicles in case of collisions with large animals.
What Is The Average Life Span Of A Bumper?
The average lifespan of a bumper is around 5-8 years. However, this number can differ based on the materials’ quality and how often you use your car.
Most importantly, if your car is involved in a collision, the lifespan of the bumper will be significantly reduced.
What is a 5 MPH Bumper?
Five miles per hour is the standard speed for bumper impact tests, which generally only cause minor cosmetic damage.
A 5 MPH bumper is a type of bumper designed to minimize damage in low-speed collisions.
However, the five mph label doesn’t necessarily mean that the bumper will protect your car at higher speeds.
It’s important to remember that a five mph bumper is only designed to minimize damage, not prevent it altogether.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you drive without a front bumper?
No, you can’t drive without a front bumper. In most states, driving without a front bumper is illegal, and if pulled over, it could affect your driver’s license.
What are the parts of the bumper?
The front bumper comprises four parts – bumper cover, bumper absorber, bumper reinforcement bar, and bumper mounting system.
Is a bumper and fender the same thing?
No, a bumper is located at the front and rear of the car to protect your vehicle during a collision. In comparison, the fender covers the wheel wells to shield your tires from debris like rocks.
Can plastic bumper be repaired?
Yes, a plastic bumper can be repaired if it’s not severely damaged. However, if the damage is too severe, it must be replaced.
How long does a bumper repair take?
The time it takes to repair a bumper depends on the severity of the damage. Generally, it takes around 1-2 days to fix a cracked or scratched bumper. If the damage is more severe, it could take up to a week to fix.
Can you replace a bumper yourself?
It is possible to replace a bumper yourself, but you’d struggle to match the same level of paint and bodywork as professionals. However, if you only need to replace the bumper cover, that can be done by following the instructions.
There you have it – everything you need to know about car bumpers.
Now that you know what the front of a car called, what is the front bottom of a car called, the different materials used to make bumpers, and what the average lifespan of a bumper is, you can be sure to choose the right one for your car.
Robert Bacon is a car nerd and automotive lover who has dedicated his life to understanding the inner workings of vehicles. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering and has spent years working as a mechanic and engineer for some of the world’s top car companies. In his spare time, he enjoys writing about cars on this blog and tinkering with his 2016 Toyota Mirai in his garage.