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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 to Gap a Spark Plug

You may need to learn how to gap a spark plug if you get a new one for your car's engine. Learn how to gap a spark plug in this article.


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 »

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 »

You may need to learn how to gap a spark plug if you get a new one for your car's engine. Learn how to gap a spark plug in this article. See more »

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

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 »

How Alternators Work

The next time your car won't start and you're cursing the battery, you might want to blame the alternator, too. This coconut-sized car part works with the battery to generate power for your vehicle. See more »

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

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 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 »

What is the difference between a normal lead-acid car battery and a "deep cycle" battery? I have a trolling motor on my boat and I don't see why I can't use my car's battery with it rather than spending another $80 on a deep cycle battery. See more »