OTHER SYSTEMS

Learn about the various electrical and other systems that lurk under your hood, including cooling systems, ignitions, wires, fuses and connectors.
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How an Air-cooled Engine Works

Most modern cars use a water-cooled engine with a radiator, hoses and a water pump to circulate coolant throughout the engine. Air-cooled engines want none of this.

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  • How Automobile Ignition Systems Work

    How Automobile Ignition Systems Work

    Other HowStuffWorks articles explain the mechanics of the engine and many of its subsystems, including the fuel system, cooling system, camshafts, turbochargers and gears. But the ignition system is where it all comes together, with a perfectly timed spark. See more »

  • How Automotive Air Conditioning Works

    How Automotive Air Conditioning Works

    If you're buying a new car, you know air conditioning is almost certainly a standard feature. But it wasn't long ago when AC was an expensive option. Find out how this now nearly universal feature works. See more »

  • How Automotive Exhaust Systems Work

    How Automotive Exhaust Systems Work

    Whether it makes your car sound like a swarm of angry bees or the deep rumble of an earthquake, your car's exhaust system is doing its job every time you turn the key. See more »

  • How Car Cooling Systems Work

    How Car Cooling Systems Work

    A car engine produces so much heat that there is an entire system in your car designed to cool the engine down to its ideal temperature and keep it there. But cooling systems serve other purposes too.  See more »

  • How does a positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system work?

    How does a positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system work?

    Just seeing the phrase "positive crankcase ventilation" probably makes your head hurt, because it sounds, well, complicated. But it really isn't all that complex. See more »

  • How does a timing light work?

    How does a timing light work?

    Timing lights come in a few different shapes and sizes, and range in features from bare-bones functionality to lots of bells and whistles. Do you know how a timing light works? See more »

  • How Evaporative Emission Control Systems Work

    How Evaporative Emission Control Systems Work

    As if the price of gasoline isn't bad enough: Did you know that the fuel in your car's gas tank is slowly evaporating away? Even when parked? See more »

  • How Fuel Gauges Work

    How Fuel Gauges Work

    Has your fuel gauge ever read "empty" when you know there are gallons left in your auto's tank? Learn all about how fuel gauges work and how to know when "Empty" means "No seriously get gas." See more »

  • How Paintless Dent Removal Works

    How Paintless Dent Removal Works

    If you've ever watched a real pro in action, paintless dent removal appears deceptively simple. But is it really as easy as it looks? See more »

  • How Spark Plugs Work

    How Spark Plugs Work

    As engines and their electronics become more complex, spark plugs remain accessible and easy to understand. It doesn't take long to figure out the inner workings of a spark plug. See more »

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