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Bumper, Fender, Hood? What Your Car's Parts Are Actually Called

February 14, 2017

Working in the automotive industry, we’ve heard every creative description of car parts that there is.

“The piece at the front.”

“The part that looks like a bean.”

“You know...the um...the part on the left?”

“I don’t know, it’s just dented.”

Of course, that’s perfectly understandable—public schools never teach automotive anatomy, and even if they did, there are so many colloquialisms and nicknames for the pieces that make up your car that anyone who’s not a professional couldn’t be expected to remember them all.

Still, whether you’re describing the damage to your vehicle over the phone or trying to tell your friendly neighborhood auto body shop employee where the rusty spot is, it’s good to know a couple of the basics.


Though a minor crash is often referred to as a “fender-bender,” the truth is that the bumper often takes the majority of the impact.

The bumper is the piece on both the front and the rear of a car which serves as a shock-absorber for low-impact collisions (like when you gently back into the car behind you when parking). It’s often what the license plates are affixed to, and it usually wraps around the front and rear corners of your vehicle.

Older model vehicles tend to have more pronounced bumpers—think the big black things on an old Toyota—whereas newer models have tended toward a lower profile appearance.


The fender is an extremely important part of your car’s body because it holds numerous other parts together. The fenders—which are also in both the front and the rear—typically stretch from the bumper to the door and over the top of the wheels. There are four of them.

In more serious collisions, damage to the bumper may also bend, dent, or otherwise cause damage to the fender. In some vehicles, fenders are easily replaced - in others, the fender is so integrated into the design of the car that it’s a bit trickier.

Trunk vs. hood

Most vehicles have two parts which open upward—the hood, which is in the front of the car and protects the engine, and the trunk, which is in the back. If your vehicle is a hatchback, you don’t have a trunk, but instead, a hatch.

Damage sustained to these heavy-duty pieces of metal may be easily repaired if it’s relatively minor, but in some cases, when the latches or hinge mechanisms are bent or crushed, the repair may be a bit more intensive.

Most shops worth their salt won’t judge a customer who doesn’t know the exact name of a piece or a part—Collision 1 included—but it can be an empowering feeling to go into the shop knowing you can explain exactly what you want and where.

Collision 1 Can Fix Your Bent Bumper or Funky Fender

With six locations and growing, personal dedication to our customers, partners, and the communities we serve in, all make the difference while providing you peace of mind. If you’ve got road rash, curb cuts, a banged-up bumper, or any other auto problems, contact Collision 1 via our web form, email, or phone.