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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New Study: How to Build Batteries Out of Thin Air for Carbon-Negative Cars

Scientists propose extracting carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to make carbon nanotubes, and then using those to make batteries, also counteracting climate change.

Hands Free But Holding the Barf Bag: Driverless Cars Could Mean More Carsickness

Depending on how you spend your time in a driverless car, your likelihood of experiencing carsickness could drastically increase.

Are cars designed to fail at a certain point?

Does it feel like your new car is already old by the time it rolls off the lot? If you feel this way, remember that it's probably by design. Learn the subtle and not-so-subtle tricks car makers use to make you yearn for a new vehicle.

Are manual transmissions really faster than automatics?

You've proudly driven a stick shift all your life, so you already know that manual transmissions accelerate faster than automatics. End of story. Well, that was once true, but things have changed.

Can car companies let known defects go without a recall?

You check the mail and notice that you've gotten another recall notice about some defect in your vehicle. Seems like they send them every day. But in reality, car companies do all they can to avoid a vehicle recall.

Do car interiors turn toxic in the summer?

The best part of getting a new car is that new car smell, right? Well, don't breathe it in too deeply — that smell is produced by hundreds of chemicals, many of them harmful.

Do you really need to pay for that 30,000-mile service?

You simply love your car. You've been all over the place with it, but now you're staring at the 30,000-mile service — the first major check up on the vehicle. Is it worth it?

How old is the electric car?

Electric vehicles always seem to look so shiny and new. Shiny, yes — but they're not necessarily new. Turns out electric cars have been around since long before the Model T.

Did Henry Ford invent the car?

There's perhaps no single person more associated with the automobile than Henry Ford, who's credited with bringing the car to the masses. But did Ford actually invent the car?

Do red cars get pulled over more often for speeding?

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.

Did cars ever have external combustion engines?

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?

Did the Nazis invent the Volkswagen Beetle?

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?

Do black cars get hotter in the summer?

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?

Do red cars cost more to insure?

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?

What causes 'new car smell'?

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"?

5 Myths About Henry Ford

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?

10 Most Terrifying Vehicle Manufacturing Defects

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.

10 Features We Want to See in Self-driving Cars

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.

How Coal Rollers Work

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.

How Self-cleaning Paint Works

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?

How Smart Rearview Mirrors Work

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.

Can your car tell you when the light's about to change?

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?

How Retractable-stud Snow Tires Work

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?

How the Open Automotive Alliance Works

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?

How Robotic Gas Pumps Work

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.