Other Car 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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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."

By Karim Nice

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.

By Karim Nice

Other HowStuffWorks articles explain the mechanics of the engine and many of its subsystems, including the fuel system, cooling system, camshafts, turbochargers and gears. But the ignition system is where it all comes together, with a perfectly timed spark.

By Karim Nice


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.

By Karim Nice

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.

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!

If the battery light stays on when you're driving your car, does that mean you need a new battery?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler