Under the Hood

The Under the Hood Channel explores the systems that make your car function correctly. Learn about car parts and systems and how to do routine maintenance.


We've all heard the same old line countless times: Red cars get pulled over more often for speeding than cars of any other color. But is it true? The answer may surprise you.

Most modern cars and trucks are powered by an internal combustion engine. But was there ever a time when vehicles were powered by engines that required an external source of heat?

It had to seat five occupants. It had to be easy to maintain. It had to be capable of traveling quickly on the autobahn and be affordable on an average salary. Was the VW Beetle really a Nazi design?

It's common knowledge that dark colors absorb heat while light colors reflect it. But does that really mean that black cars tend to get hotter in the summer?

If you drive a red car, it might seem like the world is out to get you. You already get more speeding tickets. Wait, that's not true? Well, then there must be some amount of truth to the notion that red cars cost more to insure, right?

There's nothing quite like the smell of a new car interior. It's not exactly a fresh scent, but it's definitely an unused scent. So what really causes that "new car smell"?

Henry Ford didn't just build cars — he totally revolutionized the process, inventing new systems and methods that are still in use today. But is everything you've heard about the man accurate?

Each year, auto manufacturers issue about 500 recalls. Most of them are small, inexpensive, easy to repair and not terrifying at all. These are not those recalls.

It's arriving in bits and pieces, but there's a whole new world of automotive tech coming in the next decade. The future of self-driving cars has the potential to be pretty amazing.

In a truck pull competition, excessive clouds of diesel smoke are a byproduct of the truck's functionality. But coal rollers have taken this idea from the county fair to the public roads -- all in the name of making people angry.

Nissan, along with nanotechnology firm Nano Labs, has created an automotive paint that repels water and oil. Will it be an option on your next new car?

Nissan's Smart Rearview Mirror is the world's first LCD monitor that helps you see more clearly what is behind your vehicle when you're driving down the road.

Audi's Project Traffic Light Online uses the Audi connect Online system to read the signals from a city's central traffic computer. Will this be the end of waiting at tedious traffic lights?

CarPlay debuted at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, and unlike that rigged-up system you've got going now with your car stereo, your phone and about seven cables and cords, CarPlay completely integrates the car and the iPhone.

What if you could get snow tires mounted that offered good traction for most wintery days and, when the sleet hit the fan, could offer studded traction on the fly?

Google isn't content with simply syncing smartphones anymore -- the company wants to get its technology much deeper into the car. Will the Open Automotive Alliance be successful?

This robot may be a one-trick pony; but what it does, it does so well. It fills your fuel tank faster and better than you ever could, puny human.

Everyone wants a loaded car, but it's expensive to get all the options. You have to pay extra, sometimes a lot extra -- like buying-a-whole-Bentley extra -- to get the coolest of the cool bits.

Whether you're an all-around gearhead or you’re usually indifferent to cars, you're likely to find something on this list to spark your interest. These autos bring new (and awesome) features to the table for 2014.

Motor mounts normally hold your car's engine firmly in place. But worn-out mounts allow a running engine to shift and bounce in all kinds of unpredictable, power-sapping ways.

There are plenty of great reasons to design a car with its engine in the front; however, the same can be said for placing the engine behind the driver. Does engine placement really matter?

Modern car and truck engines are typically efficient and powerful at the same time. But is there a relatively simple way to free-up some additional horsepower through the exhaust?

A cold air intake is one of those rare modifications that works pretty well on its own. But how much horsepower can you really expect to gain?

Replacing your car's stock muffler with a performance muffler is a good idea -- that is, if it's a rusted-out mess and you need to replace it anyway. But will this mod actually increase horsepower?

If you're serious about increasing your car's horsepower -- and you have deep pockets -- your options are almost unlimited. But what can you do if you're on a tight budget?