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.

Each year, the Highway Loss Data Institute releases its list of the most stolen car makes and models in the United States for a given year. So which cars made 2010's top 10? Here's a hint: It's dominated by flashy, fully-loaded SUVs and pickup trucks.

Every 40 seconds, a car or truck is stolen in the United States. And nearly 25 percent of those are stolen by professionals who run illegal chop shops where mechanics dismantle cars and sell them for parts.

Buying a new car can be an intimidating experience. How do you know you're getting a good deal? How can you be sure you aren't making a crucial (and costly) mistake? These 5 tips might help.

Several states have created new laws to ban drivers from texting while operating a motor vehicle. But is there really any proof that texting while driving is more dangerous than drunk driving?

Despite modern forecasting techniques, wind remains a fickle element. It's seasonal, dependent on storms and highly variable. Can we really count on wind to deliver steady, reliable energy for our cars?

The word "autobahn" conjures images of top-speed thrills on smooth stretches of highway in the Bavarian heartland. The truth is, most German drivers simply consider it a way to get from point A to point B.

Automotive recalls are often front-page news -- and for good reason. Recalls warn consumers that a specific product poses a potential threat. What do you do if your car is recalled?

You probably pass by several gas pumps on your daily commute, but you never pay them any attention -- until you need some gas, of course. Here's everything you'd ever want to know about them.

If you're anything like us, you have a ton of questions about the car or truck that you drive to school or work each day. In fact, we're not sure how we managed to narrow this list down to 10 questions.

Most consider Leonardo da Vinci the ultimate Renaissance man. But did this 13th-century genius have the foresight to sketch the basic principle for today's cars?

Cars are a relatively recent phenomenon. They've only been around for a little over a century, yet they've made a huge impact on U.S. culture. How did the car become so important in American life?

World speed records are kept for just about everything that goes. Here are records for some of the world's fastest vehicles on land and sea.

Sometimes a great idea just doesn't pan out when the rubber hits the road. Check out our list of 8 automotive lemons and learn why they flopped.

Whether channeling the speed of a stallion or the sting of an insect, automakers have often named vehicles after animals. How many of these do you recognize?

Trace the exciting history of sports cars, from their postwar boom to the present day. Along the way, you will also find links to individual sports car profiles that offer history, specs, and photos. Here is your chance to climb behind the wheels of some the fastest and most innovative sports cars ever built.

As illustrated by the hundreds of individual parts for sale at your local Pep Boys Autozone or Napa Auto Parts it takes a lot of machinery to make cars work. Learn about the key parts.

A car contains dozens of different technologies -- everything from the engine to the tires has its own special universe of design and engineering.

Did you know that the fob that you carry on your keychain or use to open the garage door is actually a small radio transmitter? Find out how the original 1950s fobs evolved from single-code transmitters to the high-tech security devices they are toda