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Car Trim Parts: Their Names and Descriptions

CarPart  ·  April 5, 2022

Car Trim Parts: Their Names and Descriptions

One of the coolest things about cars is just how customisable they are. You can invest in modifications to make a vehicle uniquely yours, even if other people drive the same model. A popular way to do that is to change the car trim parts in and around your car. But what are they exactly?

Car trim parts (not car trim ‘levels’!) are interior and exterior parts that change how your vehicle looks. Those parts don’t affect your car’s performance because they’re primarily aesthetic, but some have the added benefit of increasing your comfort and even safety. 

Common examples of trim parts you already know include seats and seat covers, bumpers, spoilers, weather stripping, and more.

Still curious about car trim parts? Well, keep reading. This guide will show you how they’re different from car trim levels, what they are, and how they’re made.

Let’s get started.

What Are Car Trim Parts? (Not to Be Confused with Car Trim Levels)

Let’s start this guide by clearing the air. As you might know, there are heaps of terms in the automotive world that people use interchangeably.

Some of those terms might mean the same thing, and that’s fine. Unfortunately, the same term that people use loosely could, in reality, refer to completely different things.

That’s certainly the case for the word ‘trim’, especially when talking about car trim levels vs car trim parts.

So, here are a couple of definitions to help you understand which is which.

What Are Car Trim Levels?

The term ‘car trim levels’ refers to different versions of a particular vehicle model. 

At its core, it's the same car, but manufacturers release that model with various combinations of parts, accessories, and features to target different groups of buyers.

For example, some buyers will choose a base trim because it costs less and doesn’t come with flashy accessories they don’t want or need. Others might prefer a sport trim level that offers more power and looks fancier with its extra accessories.

Naturally, the higher the trim level, the more expensive the car. There are no fixed rules for how manufacturers label their cars’ trim levels, so they’ll be different between brands and models.

What Are Car Trim Parts?

Next, the term 'car trim parts' refers to the car parts that are primarily aesthetic (i.e., they're meant to make your car look nicer) but don't directly affect the vehicle's performance.

While trims are primarily about looks, some of them are functional. For instance, several interior car trim parts increase the driver's and passengers' comfort (e.g., special seats, lumbar support). Similarly, there are car exterior trim parts that make a car look a certain way (e.g., sporty or luxurious).

You can find car trim parts at all quality and price levels, but some interior trim parts can only be installed by a professional (think: car seat upholstery). 

Still, there are others that you can buy online or from a store and fit onto your car without any tools. For instance, you can purchase self-adhesive chrome trim for cars and stick it on in minutes.

What Are Car Trim Parts Made of?

Car trim parts come in a wide variety of materials and manufacturers produce them using different methods.

For example, you’re likely familiar with moulded plastic trim parts on the car’s interior. It’s one of the most common methods and materials for these parts, and they’re standard features in most models.

You can also choose from products like car interior wood trim, even leather trim, and car chrome trim for the exterior, which is quite an attention-grabber.

Naturally, different materials and car trim moulding methods will also affect the price that you pay for them.

What Are Some Common Car Trim Parts?

There is a long list of interior and exterior car trim parts, and an even longer list of materials, manufacturing methods, colours, and matching designs that you can choose from.

So, let’s look at a few common car trim parts for a vehicle’s interior and exterior.

What Are Interior Trim Parts?

Common interior trim parts include:

  1. Car seats: Whether it's the driver's seat or any of the passenger ones, you can get them reupholstered in any design you want. Alternatively, you can also remove and replace them entirely with a bucket seat. 
  2. Seat covers: Seat covers are a neat way to protect your car’s seats while also customising them further. These are also temporary and removable interior trim parts that you can change quickly if you don’t want them anymore.
  3. Carpeting or floor mats: The standard carpet or floor mats might not suit your liking. Thankfully, aftermarket options offer better designs, more comfort, and superior dust-catching abilities, too.
  4. Steering wheel covers: Here’s yet another example of an interior car trim part that prioritises aesthetics and functionality. Leather is on the high end, but there’s no shortage of cheaper synthetic options, if you’re interested. Aside from making your steering wheel look better, covers also increase your hand comfort and grip, helping you drive more safely.
  5. Headliners and sun visors: Lastly, you also have trim parts like headliners and sun visors. Sun visors do have a functional aspect to them and both trim parts improve your car's interior.

What Is Considered Exterior Trim on A Car?

Aside from buying car trim interior parts, you can also invest in several exterior ones. Many people like to focus their attention on exterior trim parts because they’re visible to other people on the road.

So, for example, you can make your car turn heads by investing in exterior trim parts like:

  1. Bumpers: Front and rear bumpers are functional in that they help absorb impact during a collision. However, they also give you an excellent opportunity to customise your vehicle.
  2. Spoilers: These are the wings on the back of cars. Some are there just for show, though some are effective at improving the car’s aerodynamics
  3. Hoods with scoops: This exterior trim part covers your vehicle’s engine bay. Most people don’t do much with it, though you can buy hoods with scoops that allow air to cool the engine bay. Again, some are functional, while others only look as if they let air in (even if they don’t).
  4. Other auto body parts: You can consider all exterior body parts on auto body panels as exterior trim parts (like the roof rail, sidestep, chroming, and many more).

Another cool thing about interior and exterior car trim parts is that since they’re primarily aesthetic and less about function, you can buy them new or used. 

For that, you can check out CarpartAU for the parts you want. The Marketplace has deals on high quality used parts, and you can submit a request through the Part Finder for new ones!

By Ray Hasbollah

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