Archive for the ‘Technical’ Category

The difference between interior vehicle fasteners and exterior fasteners

July 30th, 2021 | Technical | Comments Off on 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.

Automotive Fasteners Used in Motorsport

July 12th, 2021 | Technical | Comments Off on Automotive Fasteners Used in Motorsport

Over the decades of motorsport, racing cars were always laboratories of four wheels that served to test and develop various components. If a specific part endured repeated torture on the track, it was good enough to use in everyday vehicles in mass production. Just like in civilian cars, fasteners are a small but essential part of the championship-winning formula, and in top-notch racing series, constructors pay much attention to them. Today, we will tell you more about the different fasteners used in motorsport.

fasteners used in motorsport

Racing Approach

Firstly, although the fasteners in road-going vehicles and in racing machines serve the same purpose, there is a significant difference in approach and design. First of all, racing fasteners are either made of higher-strength materials or metal, which is more durable. The reason is simple: race cars achieve incredibly high speeds and generate an insane amount of heat, requiring all fasteners on the vehicle to be up to the task. You don’t want your body panels flying off at 200 mph or hearing a suspicious rattle just when you want to overtake somebody for the chequered flag.

Secondly, fasteners have to have a quick-release function on some vehicles since there is a chance that the pit crew needs to replace a part, body panel, or component. Often in the heat of battle, cars swap paint and bump into each resulting in cracked bumpers or damaged front splitters and spoilers. In that case, the pit crew is ready to take the part off and replace it with a brand new one. Using special “quick release” fasteners, it is possible to replace the whole panel in just a couple of seconds, something that couldn’t be done on a regular vehicle.

Thirdly, although race cars use a more advanced set of fasteners, not all kinds are needed for this application. For example, race cars don’t need plastic fasteners that go in the interior and hold door cards or dashboards. Simply, because race cars don’t have an interior or conventional dashboard.

High-Quality Materials

As we mentioned before, automotive fasteners used in motorsport need to be highly durable and withstand extreme heat and forces. For such purposes, manufacturers use high-strength plastics or metal simply because metal can endure higher temperatures. In some cases, aluminum is also used. This leads us to an exciting point that fasteners in motorsport have more in common with those used in the aerospace industry since the requirements are as high and forces they need to withstand are as strong.

One of the critical points in constructing fasteners for motorsport is their weight. In most cases, the weight of a single bolt, spacer, or spring is not relevant, but when you are constructing an extremely expensive race machine from scratch, and you want to find every single way to have a competitive advantage over the rest of the grid, every gram matters.

Types of Motorsport Fasteners

The most common fasteners used in race cars are springs, quick-release latches, rivets, washers, pins, locks, and clips. Most of those are made of metal. For example, the rubber hooks (for holding the bonnet) are also used due to their ability to soften the vibrations.

Better Connected

AFL exists to connect with its automotive customers as a partner, not just a parts supplier. Our aim is to really understand the problems you are facing, to collaborate with you and to help you solve that problem. AFL supports both automotive OEM and aftermarket customers across a whole range of segments including car, truck, commercial, motorcycle, construction and defence.

How to maintain a supply of automotive fasteners to the aftermarket

June 22nd, 2021 | Technical | Comments Off on How to maintain a supply of automotive fasteners to the aftermarket

In the dynamic world of the car industry, a steady supply of parts and components is imperative. Without it, it would be impossible to maintain the desired production levels and keep up with demand and quality standards. Automotive fastener suppliers know that very well, and due to the sheer number of different items needed to complete a vehicle, those companies invest much time and effort in delivering on time and in large quantities requested by car assembly specialists. However, maintaining supply to aftermarket users is a whole other story and a challenging one. Here is why…

Demands Of The Aftermarket

Compared to OEM production and supply, aftermarket users have a completely different set of needs. OEM buyers are buying in bulk with clear plans, amounts, and dates for delivery. They demand specific quality, and their business is predictable. However, aftermarket users are entirely different. Along with the standard set of fasteners used in repair or replacement purposes, aftermarket buyers are also looking for more extreme items needed for tuned vehicles, racing cars, off-road models, and so on. The kind of fasteners for the aftermarket need to perform even better or withstand more torture than the ones used in OEM applications. This puts enormous pressure on the automotive fastener supplier to source a more specific item for those extreme users along with standard items.

Due to the ever-changing nature of the automotive aftermarket world, fastener manufacturers need to pay attention to all current and future trends and adjust to the needs of prospective buyers. Rising interest in a specific type of build will inevitably result in the need for appropriate fasteners and components. It is crucial to see that in advance, develop the product and establish steady supply to the sellers.

Supply Chain

In order to secure their supply chain and minimalise delivery times, most automotive fastener suppliers adopt a three-tier approach. The company establishes a manufacturing site, development centre, and distribution centre.

The manufacturing site is basically a factory where the fasteners are made, shipped to the distribution centre, a giant warehouse from which the product is delivered to shops, retail hubs, and customers. However, the vital part of the three-tier approach is also the development centre, and just like the distribution centre, it needs to be regional. The development centre’s purpose is to work with local car companies as well as with local aftermarket specialists, brands, and shops. This way, the automotive fastener company is capable of answering the aftermarket needs and providing them with products of the highest quality, perfectly tailored for their needs.

The communication between the manufacturing site and distribution centre needs to be constant, and it could be challenging if the factory and warehouse are not on the same continent or in the same country. However, organising distribution centres in major industrial areas, ports, or along the well-developed road network helps deliver products to the customers in the shortest amount of time.

At AUTO-FASTENERS, our aim is to ensure that the supply of automotive aftermarket fasteners and small parts either as individual components or kits is maintained to the highest standards throughout the vehicle life. We offer a range of automotive aftermarket fasteners and small parts solutions backed by highly flexible tailored services to meet the varying needs of different manufacturers and vehicle end of life. Our aftermarket fastener services include stock holding, product marking and labelling, packaging, branding, low minimum order quantities and more.

Get in touch today at:

Plastic Fastener Applications in the Automotive Industry

June 17th, 2021 | Technical | Comments Off on Plastic Fastener Applications in the Automotive Industry

Hidden from the spotlights of the industry, automotive fasteners are silent heroes, which hold practically every car part together. Even though the most common material in the fastener industry is metal, zinc, or brass, the number of items made of plastic is increasing as we speak, bringing numerous advantages to engineers and users. In this article, we explore the various applications of plastic fasteners in the automotive industry.

They Have Been Around For a Long Time

Plastic as a material has a long history in the car industry. After WWII, plastic started having widespread use, but it was still a pretty new and expensive material back then. With the improvements in production, different types of plastic started emerging, and it became a household material by the late ’60s, early ’70s. Today, more and more parts, components, and fasteners have been made out of plastic. Experts claim that this is a future material since the development of metal as materials is pretty much coming to its limits.

The Advantages Of Plastic Automotive Fasteners

Plastic has proven to be a much more durable material than metal and is chemically and thermally resistant. This is very important since it means that plastic will not melt (some types, at least) when treated with high temperatures in the engine bay and will not rust when used in the car’s exterior or undercarriage. Of course, not all types of automotive fasteners can be produced out of plastic, but since the majority can, they also offer a significant weight reduction over metal fasteners. Even if the weight difference between a single metal and a plastic unit is tiny, modern cars use thousands of fasteners, which can add up, making the complete vehicle lighter and more efficient.

The significant advantage is that plastic fasteners are somewhat cheaper and faster to produce and can be engineered to work with the car’s passive safety features to provide better results in accidents.

The Disadvantages of Plastic Automotive Fasteners

Even though plastic is a superior material in some cases, it is not the definitive choice in the fastener industry simply since it has its limits. First of all, you cannot make any type of fastener from plastic and, for example, plastic springs will be terribly unreliable. Secondly, when used as a part of a more significant mechanical device (like an engine), plastic is just not as rigid as metal and cannot withstand heavy-duty use.

There is also a question of recyclability, and since the global car industry is moving towards sustainability, plastic fasteners are, in most cases, more complicated to recycle than metal ones. At the moment, top automotive fastener manufacturers are working hard to discover innovative materials that would be as durable but easier to recycle or re-use.

Plastic Fasteners from AUTO-FASTENERS

We globally source, stock and distribute OEM and TS16949 quality plastic fasteners in a wide range of high grade and certified materials. These include; polypropylene (PP), polyurethane (PUR), poly-vinyl-chloride (PVC), polyamide (PA), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE). We work closely with our customers to ensure injection moulding tooling meets OEM standards, fit and feel. The types of plastic fasteners we’re able to provide include clips, ties, clamps, holders, saddles, mounts, bases, cleats, straps, grips and more.

Find out more by getting in touch with us today on 01926 814600 or send an email to

Types of Automotive Fasteners

June 2nd, 2021 | Technical | Comments Off on Types of Automotive Fasteners

When we think of automotive parts, we often visualise various engine components, bulky doors, or wheels. But the truth is that the average vehicle consists of over 30,000 small parts, most of which fall in the automotive fastener category. The fasteners are a generic term for all bits and pieces like bolts, nuts, screws, spacers, or springs used in practically every car component. Even though the fasteners are small, they are not insignificant, quite contrary. There are over 64,000 of different designs which are used throughout the industry, and there is no vehicle on the planet that would be able to function correctly if it wasn’t for those invisible mechanical heroes. In this article, we explore some of the most common types of fasteners used in the automotive industry.

types of automotive fasteners

Automotive Fasteners According To Material

Metal Fasteners – Iron or aluminium alloy (sometimes copper) is the most common material in the automotive fastener world. Bolts, screws, nuts, and springs are all traditionally made out of metal. Those kinds of fasteners are usually more durable and reusable and used for the firm position of heavy items,engine parts, and suspension components. Most bolts are also covered in zinc for rust protection and durability.

Plastic Fasteners – Plastic is a very popular material in this industry, and numerous types of connectors, pins, spacers, and washers are produced used plastic or composite materials (sometimes rubber). Due to the brittle nature of the plastic, that kind of fasteners is often designed for single-use, and when they are removed, it is not recommended to be used again.

Most Common Automotive Fasteners in Use

Nuts and Bolts – The average car consists of a thousand nuts and bolts of all sizes used in its every corner. The nuts and bolts are used to hold engine components,suspension arms, and dashboards, amongst other things. Simple but irreplaceable, millions of them are produced each day using various iron and aluminium alloys.

Washers – A washer is a thin plate (metal or plastic) that is used in conjunction with a nut and bolt. Its primary purpose is to distribute the load or pressure created by the bolt. It is an extremely simple fastener, and it is often round in shape with an appropriate hole in the middle.

Screws – Screws are commonly used for positioning and tightening panels or components. The head of the screw can differ, and it can require different tools. Just like nuts and bolts, screws are almost exclusively made out of metal and used throughout the automotive industry.

Clips – Clips are very important in the modern car industry since they often replace the nuts and bolts and provide car manufacturers with more straightforward solutions. There are numerous designs for various purposes, but clips can be made out of plastic or metal. Most commonly, clips are used for positioning of exterior trim on a vehicle (metal) or for holding the interior panels, door cards, or plastic bumpers (plastic). Some clips are not reusable, while others are.

Clamps – Clamps are a very important member of the fastener family since they are often used in an engine for holding the hoses and tubes. The classic clamp design is made of metal with a screw to tighten the clamp and firmly hold the hose in place. There are few other designs, and some even made out of plastic, but this one is most common in all vehicles.

Rivets – Rivets are used in car production as well as in aftermarket and repair processes and have the simple task of firmly holding on two pieces of metal or plastic together. Most rivets are made from metal, but plastic ones are used for plastic bumpers or trim pieces. Rivets cannot be reused.

Springs – Made exclusively out of metal, springs are a simple type of fastener used to create tension between two mechanical components.

Pins – Designed to keep the components in place but still allow some movement, pins can be made out of plastic or metal. Metal ones are commonly reusable, but plastic can be destroyed when removed.

automotive fasteners


AFL exists to connect with its automotive customers as a partner, not just a parts supplier. Our aim is to really understand the problems you are facing, to collaborate with you and to help you solve that problem. We globally source, stock and distribute OEM and TS16949 quality fasteners, small parts and engineered components. We can satisfy both OEM production line and aftermarket requirements for both car and commercial vehicles.

Automotive Metal Fasteners Update

June 25th, 2015 | AFL News, Technical | Comments Off on Automotive Metal Fasteners Update

Automotive Metal Fasteners Market Overview

Due to the increasingly complex nature of vehicular designs, automotive metal fasteners assume an increasingly high importance to vehicle OEMs. Automotive metal fasteners are required to be stronger, lighter, more durable, easier to fit and often aesthetically pleasing. Automotive metal fasteners are now as much a bespoke designed component as any other part of a vehicle. Technological developments in metal fastener design and production have enabled metal fasteners to transform into highly engineered components playing a critical role.

The Global Metal Fastener Industry

Global Metal Fastener IndustryThe global metal fastener industry is in good shape. Solid growth in both manufacturing and distribution companies over the last four years is supporting ongoing investment in new technologies and production facilities. All this is good news for the automotive supply chain. The recent International Fastener Fair in Stuttgart had 832 exhibitors from over 42 countries, demonstrating the truly global nature of this industry and huge confidence in its future.


Metal Fasteners vs Bonding

Metal Fasteners vs BondingWhilst the use of chemical bonding and adhesives is increasing, often in order to reduce vehicle weight (lightweighting), automotive metal fasteners are still unsurpassed in many applications for their ease of use, structural strength and longevity. The automotive industry is very aware that the use of the wrong fasteners can lead to a high rate of vehicle recalls, increased warranty claims and customer dissatisfaction. It is here that metal fasteners are often seen as a comparatively safe choice relative to some of the newer technologies.

 Innovative New Technologies

Innovative New TechnologiesThe technological development of automotive metal fasteners continues at a pace. Fasteners being developed to cope with the ever greater demands put on them by vehicle design and quality standards. Examples of this are fasteners that are unaffected by temperature fluctuations, self-sealing or locking, self-piercing rivets and anti-vibration and anti-noise fasteners to help solve NVH (Noise Vibration & Harshness) challenges. In addition automotive metal fasteners are increasingly being designed and supplied as multi-part components to reduce vehicle build times. These applications are specifically important when using automated robots.

3D Metal Printing Prototypes

3D metal PrintingRecent innovations in the sector have included the use of Metal 3D printing (known as Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)) for prototyping of automotive metal fasteners. Fasteners are created by laser fusing of high performance metal powders, layer by layer. Produced from 3D CAD data, the resulting prototype parts are strong, lightweight, accurate and cost-effective. The quality of these metal printed parts is such that they can often be used as if manufactured with convention engineering methods.

Global Sourcing

Global Sourcing of Metal FastenersAuto-Fasteners Ltd (AFL) are a leading name in the sourcing and distribution of a wide range of bespoke automotive metal fasteners. AFL are now a first tier supplier now to many of the World’s leading automotive OEMs for both passenger car, commercial vehicle, off-highway and motorcycle. At AFL we are very close to the ongoing technological developments taking place in the international metal fasteners industry. Working with many of the World’s leading manufacturers we are able to meet the OEM demands of innovative design and the use of high tech materials to produce metal fasteners of exceptional quality at highly competitive prices.

Click to download .pdf of the article>>   AFL – Automotive Metal Fasteners Update

Auto Fasteners Ltd, Global Distribution Centre, Holywell Business Park, Northfield Road, Southam, Warwickshire, CV47 0FP, United Kingdom. Phone: +44 (0) 1926 814600, Fax: +44 (0) 1926 813575, Email:, Web:

Auto-Fasteners Ltd New Website

December 18th, 2014 | AFL News, AFL Opinion, Customer Case Studies, New Products, Technical | Comments Off on Auto-Fasteners Ltd New Website

Welcome to our new website. So much has happened here at Auto-Fasteners over the last few years we almost didn’t know where to start to write it. Our business has grown and changed a great deal and we hope this new web site reflects that. We are now supplying not only aftermarket fasteners to automotive OEMs but also direct onto serial production lines. Our range has expanded to include not just bespoke metal and plastic fasteners but now a wide range of small engineered parts and assemblies. We hope you our customers and suppliers find the website useful and would value your feedback. Thank you for looking, Scott Simpson Managing Director.

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    Auto-Fasteners Ltd (AFL) is a Tier 1 automotive supplier. We globally source, stock and distribute OEM and TS16949 quality fasteners, small parts and engineered components. We can satisfy OEM production line and aftermarket requirements for both car and commercial vehicles.

    Phone: +44 (0) 1926 814600
    Fax: +44 (0) 1926 813575


    Auto Fasteners Ltd
    Global Distribution Centre
    Holywell Business Park
    Northfield Road
    CV47 0FP
    United Kingdom