Auto | Under the Hood | 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 does the thermostat in a car's cooling system work?

How does the thermostat in a car's cooling system work? I had to test my thermostat today and was amazed as I watched it!


How does an engine cooling system work?

The job of a car’s cooling system is to release the surplus heat from the engine as the car burns fuel. Learn more about how an engine cooling system works from this article. See more »

How do you wire an ignition coil to a distributor?

The ignition coil passes its power to the cylinders through a distributor. Learn how to wire an ignition coil to a distributor in this article. See more »

How to Gap a Spark Plug

Do you know how to gap a spark plug? Find out how to gap a spark plug in this article from HowStuffWorks. See more »

How are hot and cold plugs different in ignition systems?

The difference between hot and cold spark plugs lies in their ceramic insulation. Learn how hot and cold plugs are different in ignition systems in this article. See more »

How Spark Plugs Work

How Spark Plugs Work

Spark plugs are relatively simple to replace. Learn how spark plugs function and get tips on how to replace them in this article. See more »

Are you an ignition expert? Take the quiz!

Are you an ignition expert? Take the quiz!

The ignition system quiz will test your knowledge about the automobile ignition system and how it works. Take the ignition system quiz. See more »

How Alternators Work

How Alternators Work

Alternators work with the battery to power the electrical components of your vehicle. Learn how alternators provide the electricity for your car. 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 Wires, Fuses, and Connectors Work

How Wires, Fuses, and Connectors Work

Wires, fuses and connectors are the kind of thing in your car that you never think about, but they are essential. They're not just there to keep your radio and lights working! Learn why they are so important. See more »

How Automobile Ignition Systems Work

How Automobile Ignition Systems Work

The ignition system brings your car's engine and subsystems together. Learn about the parts of your ignition system and innovations in ignition systems. See more »