Car Engine Performance

In the Engine Performance section, learn about horsepower, carburetors, the difference between turbochargers and superchargers and even how nitrous oxide boosts engine performance.

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Are there worrisome sounds coming from under the hood? Whether it's an annoying ping, a persistent knock, or a dramatic detonation, there are many ways to soothe a noisy engine.

By Cherise Threewitt

As engines have evolved over the years, so have the pistons within them. In fact, the shape of a piston has a dramatic effect on the combustion process.

By Patrick E. George

Rebuilding a carburetor is easier than it sounds and cheaper than paying a mechanic. Learn about how to rebuild a carburetor in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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Diesel engines and gas engines work in different ways. What makes diesel fuel injection systems so different?

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Turbochargers can increase an engine’s horsepower and are relatively lightweight. Find out how turbochargers help engine performance in high altitudes, in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Lots of people like to keep their car clean. It's a good feeling to drive around town in a shiny car. But do you ever think about what your car looks like under the hood? Not just on the surface, but inside?

By Cherise Threewitt

With all the hype about hybrid, electric and alternative fuels, it's easy to think the age of the gasoline engine is over. But the fact remains that the vast majority of cars are still powered by gasoline.

By Jamie Page Deaton

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One of the services an oil change technician might suggest is an engine flush to clean the gunk out of your engine. While this procedure has the potential to harm an engine, there are some benefits, too.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

When used correctly, oil provides a number of benefits for the way your engine functions. Wouldn't it be nice to know exactly how much oil your car's engine needs to be filled to its capacity?

By Christopher Lampton

In a typical auto supply store, you'll find bottles of aftermarket engine oil additives that claim to improve performance and make your engine run cleaner. But are these additives really worth buying?

By Christopher Lampton

Did you know that the condition of your car's engine oil can actually provide clues to its health? It helps if you think of it like a blood test for humans.

By Akweli Parker

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Did you know your driving habits have a direct effect on the lifespan of your vehicle? In fact, there are several easy ways to modify your driving habits to make sure your engine will last a long time.

By Patrick E. George

It's unfortunate that the same thing that makes an internal combustion engine work so well (combustion) can eventually hurt the engine. Over time, engine deposits build up and cause your engine to lose power and efficiency. Do you know your options?

By Christopher Neiger

Despite a bewildering array of oils on the market -- with various additive packages and performance standards -- finding the right oil for your car is relatively easy. But finding the best oil out of the array is a little more difficult.

By Eric Baxter

Most drivers know that an engine needs a check-up every now and then. In fact, all engines require regular maintenance to remain in good condition. But do you know how to proactively protect your engine?

By Christopher Neiger

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Poor diet and lack of exercise cause sticky deposits called cholesterol to block our arteries. But what's the culprit behind oil gumming up our engine? What are the clues an engine is harboring oil deposits?

By Akweli Parker

Heat is your engine's worst enemy. In fact, internal heat can cause a chemical reaction in motor oil that causes its viscosity to change. Do you know the steps you can take to prevent thermal breakdown?

By Cherise Threewitt

The same basic principles of early car engines still apply today -- combustion of air and fuel create rotational force to move a car. But how have modern car engines evolved to meet the needs of today's drivers?

By Jamie Page Deaton

Most drivers know their engine needs oil just like it needs gasoline, but how much, what kind and how often to add it can seem like a mystery. Could you benefit from learning the basics of engine oil?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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Internal combustion engines are notoriously inefficient to begin with; and friction is one of the factors that further reduce that already low efficiency. But does friction really affect gas mileage?

By Patrick E. George

Soot buildup is common in diesel engines; however, it's a frequent misconception that soot doesn't occur in gasoline engines. It does. Excessive soot could simply signal the need for an oil change, or it could indicate other underlying problems.

By Cherise Threewitt

Everyone knows that cars and trucks need engine oil in order to operate smoothly. But most people also know a few "facts" about engine oil that aren't necessarily true. Can you separate fact from fiction?

By Christopher Lampton

For more than 150 years, automotive engineers have been continually working on ways to refine and improve the internal combustion engine. These are 10 of the biggest and most significant engine improvements of all time.

By Patrick E. George

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Without frequent oil changes, dirt and sludge can build up in your car's engine. But when it's time for an oil change, why is it important to select a high-quality motor oil?

By Patrick E. George

There's a popular belief that switching between mineral oil and synthetic oil in your car's engine is a no-no. Some say it'll cause leaky seals and internal engine damage. So is it a myth or a reality?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler