Auto Basics

The Auto Basics Channel offers detailed, accurate articles about cars and educates you on auto terminology. For fun, get to know how car crushers and car washes work or which 33 cars are named after animals.

The Otto cycle includes the intake, compression, combustion and exhaust strokes. Learn about the four-stroke combustion cycle from this article.

Every driver should keep jumper cables in the trunk and be able to use them if the car stalls. Learn about how to use jumper cables in this article.

How Car Washes Work

Drive in. Soap up. Scrub. Blast. Rinse. Wax. Dry, then touch up. These are the processes of a car wash. But what can't you see from behind the soapy windows?

How Automobiles Work

An automobile contains dozens of different technologies -- everything from the engine to the tires is its own special universe of design and engineering. Here are some of the highlights.

How Car Crushers Work

Ever wonder what happens to junked cars? Car crushers flatten them into tiny cubes or slabs after the vehicle has been stripped of its recyclable parts. How do car crushers work? And is this a lucrative business?

What do you think highways will look like in 2050?

When we think about the ways technology will change the way we drive, we often think about the systems in our cars. But there may be ways to improve the highways themselves. How will our roads change in the future?

Double-clutching used to be a common method to switch gears in manual-transmission vehicles. Learn what it means to double-clutch shift in this article.

To keep your wheels rotating at the same speed, you can manually lock your rear differential. Learn how to lock the rear differential in this article.

How Taxi Meters Work

A taxi meter -- that little box next to the driver - is an impartial arbiter of time, distance and cost. Knowing how a taxi meter and taxi fares work can help you to be sure that you're treated fairly.

How Automotive Proving Grounds Work

In 1924, General Motors opened the Milford Proving Grounds in Milford, Mich. -- the world's first dedicated automotive proving ground. So, what exactly are proving grounds and what do the automakers do there?