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.

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How Automotive Quality Control Works

In the auto industry, the quality control process starts long before the first cars ever roll off the assembly line. In fact, by that point, most of the kinks have already been worked out.

Has Prius engineering changed over the years?

The third-generation Toyota Prius is in dealer showrooms right now. Has Prius engineering really changed much over the years? If so, what are the updates?

Top 5 Latest Auto Manufacturing Trends

Henry Ford's Model T factory revolutionized the ways cars were built in the 20th century. What are five of the latest auto manufacturing trends that keep modernizing the industry?

What is car depreciation?

Unless you own a rare or classic model car, there's a good chance that your vehicle is going to be worth considerably less next year. But why do most cars depreciate so quickly?

How Q Tires Work

Icy roads are scary. Wouldn't it be great if you could find a tire that would make that wintry drive a little less terrifying? Q Tires may be the answer.

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.

Can you assemble your own car?

When most people are ready for a new car, the process typically involves a local car dealer or a few hours of online auto shopping. For others, it's the start of a project that may take years to finish.

How Automotive Production Lines Work

There was a time when all cars were entirely hand-built -- assembled one at a time until each one was complete and then it was on to the next one. Automotive production lines changed that forever.

How In-wheel Motors Work

It's possible that someday there may be no need for a lot of the components that you currently find under the hood of a car or truck. That is, if the vehicle is equipped with in-wheel electric motors.

Is premium gasoline really better for luxury vehicles?

If you own a luxury or performance vehicle, then you know how expensive it can be to fill the fuel tank with premium gasoline. But is this high-octane fuel really necessary in most cases?

What's new in synthetic oil technology?

Synthetic motor oils have evolved rapidly in recent years to improve gas mileage, increase time between oil changes, clean out harmful engine deposits and more.

How Self-regenerating Tire Tread Works

Most people know that tires are designed to wear with use. Wouldn't it be great if you could buy tires that regenerate the tread as they wear down?

Is anyone developing lifetime engine oil?

Lifetime fluids are developed to require little or no maintenance for the life of your vehicle. But, is anyone developing lifetime engine oil?

What is an eLSD?

You might not know that eLSD stands for electronic limited slip differential, but when one wheel of your car is sliding on ice and another isn't moving at all, you'll wish you had paid attention to this technology.

How Auto Transport Works

Have you ever wondered how cars get from the production plant to your local dealership? Believe it or not, there's an entire industry devoted to getting them there.

Is it possible to assemble a car with glue?

Would you be surprised to learn that automakers are using adhesives to bond components on modern vehicles? We're not talking about the glue you'll find on a typical craft table. These are automotive structural adhesives.

How Hypercars Work

Even if you drive a hybrid vehicle, wouldn't it be great if you could get better mileage? How about 100 miles per gallon, or even more?

10 Everyday Car Technologies That Came From Racing

Most race fans dream of slipping behind the wheel of a purebred race car. As it turns out, your own car already has several features that were originally designed for racing. So what are they?

What is the DARPA Urban Challenge?

People are bad drivers. But as the DARPA Urban Challenge proves, sometimes cars are, too. Why does a department of the U.S. government conduct an annual race for fully robotic cars?

How the Tesla Turbine Works

High gas prices are driving people to look at alternatives to fossil fuels, such as a turbine designed by the father of alternating current, Nikola Tesla.

What are tiny leaning cars?

If your car were skinny enough, you could follow that guy on the bicycle who is threading his way through parked traffic. What a joy that would be. Is there such a car?

How light will cars be in the future?

The glory days of the over-sized SUV have ended. The lighter the vehicle, the less fuel it needs to get up and go. How light can a car be?

How Driverless Cars Will Work

Sure it'd be nice to have your car ferry you through the morning commute, but that's the stuff of sci-fi dreams, right? You'll be surprised at what driverless technology is already under your hood.

How Stackable Cars Will Work

The next time you're at the grocery store, take a moment to glance at the stacked shopping carts -- their space-saving design may be the basis for automobiles of the future.

Will we drive on underground automated highways?

If life is a highway, get ready to take a long subterranean trip. Underground automated highways will allow drivers to relax while self-driving vehicles steer, and tunnels could help conserve land.

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