Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Auto Manufacturing

Auto manufacturing is a complex, multi-step process. Not only is the auto manufacturing process interesting, it also helps fuel the world's economy. In this section you'll find articles all about auto manufacturing.

Featured
What are fit and finish and why do they matter?

Nobody wants a car that looks (or feels) like it was hastily put together at the factory. But are automakers really paying more attention to the details now than they were in the past?


Is carbon fiber old news?

Carbon fiber is one of the lightest and strongest materials used in auto manufacturing; however, it's expensive and time consuming to produce. Has it already been replaced by something better? See more »

What does the reptilian brain have to do with car manufacturing?

There's a deep level of our brain that controls survival functions, like hunger, breathing, and fight-or-flight responses. It's called the reptilian brain. Oddly enough, it chooses the cars we buy, too. See more »

How Automotive Metal Cutting Works

The metal cutting tools and techniques used by automakers require both precision and speed. But how do auto manufacturers maintain that balance? And what are the tools (and tricks) of the trade? See more »

How Automotive Metal Forming Works

Man's ability to form metal into useful shapes dates back thousands of years; however, over the last century our metal-forming technologies have dramatically improved. Modern cars are proof of that. See more »

How Automotive Finishing Works

Automotive paint finishes do more than boost aesthetics; they also protect the rest of the car. What goes into applying a vehicle's finish before it gets to you? See more »

How are automotive plastics manufactured?

You're probably aware that modern auto manufacturers use lots of plastic in the production process. But do you know the reasons why they use plastics? Or how they do it? See more »

Does CAD make better cars than human designs?

Designing a car is tougher than it looks -- pencil and paper just won't cut it these days. Computer-aided design (CAD) software makes the job easier, but will it eventually replace human automotive designers? See more »

How Automotive Fine-Tuning Works

If you've ever driven a brand new car, then you may have noticed how smoothly it runs and how everything is in working order. But how are vehicles fine-tuned to give you that new car experience? See more »

What are fit and finish and why do they matter?

Nobody wants a car that looks (or feels) like it was hastily put together at the factory. But are automakers really paying more attention to the details now than they were in the past? See more »

How are interior car panels installed?

Interior car panels cover wiring and motors, protect windows and keep you safe during impact. How are these panels constructed and installed? See more »