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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From cuts and bruises to more serious injuries, many bad things can happen to the human body, and unfortunately, many of these can take place in a car. It's the job of manufacturers, governments and consumers' common sense to ensure that they don't.

By Garth Sundem

In an age of diminishing fuel resources and increasing gasoline costs, auto manufacturers are doing everything they can to make cars more energy efficient.

By Christopher Lampton

Whether you're debating the need for oil independence or discussing the environmental impacts of oil drilling, there's no doubt about it: Oil is a hot topic of conversation. However, do you know the proper way to recycle it?

By Gerlinda Grimes

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You see it every time that smoke billows from your car's exhaust pipe, so there's no denying that vehicles are major contributors to air pollution.

By Linda C. Brinson

You could burn your old tires and pollute the air with dangerous toxins. Or, you could do the right thing and recycle them. Where and how is that done?

By Patrick J. Kiger

There are lots of reasons a car or truck can shake and rattle while it's on a roll; but engine vibration is one reason that deserves a little extra special scrutiny.

By Akweli Parker

Look under the hood of most cars and you'll probably find one or more pulley-driven belts. But if one of those engine belts break, your car can suddenly become undriveable.

By Christopher Lampton

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Engines were made to run; but if you've ever tried to start an old car that's been sitting unused for a long time, you know that it isn't always as easy as just turning the key.

By Christopher Neiger

With a simple soda can and a handful of basic tools and accessories, it's possible to make one of the first commercially viable engines ever made. Find out what makes a Coke can Stirling engine chug away.

By Eric Baxter

Have you ever considered finding out a way to make your car more fuel-efficient? Or do you just want to give the old heap some more kick? There are a few modifications you can make to improve engine performance.

By Brian Boone

If you own a car with a distributor, you might be able to improve your engine's performance with dynamic timing. How can you make sure everything's running at peak efficiency?

By Eric Baxter

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When you think of your car's suspension, you probably envision creaky metal coils, right? That's not the only type of shock absorber available to make your ride smooth -- take a look at air suspension systems.

By Eric Baxter

Most modern cars use a water-cooled engine with a radiator, hoses and a water pump to circulate coolant throughout the engine. Air-cooled engines want none of this.

By Christopher Neiger

Timing lights come in a few different shapes and sizes, and range in features from bare-bones functionality to lots of bells and whistles. Do you know how a timing light works?

By Akweli Parker

Just seeing the phrase "positive crankcase ventilation" probably makes your head hurt, because it sounds, well, complicated. But it really isn't all that complex.

By Christopher Lampton

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Whether you're stuck behind a slow-moving pig truck or just trying to jump off the line at a red light, quick engine response is important. Here are 5 ways to get more out of your engine.

By Jamie Page Deaton

Your car's engine control module (ECM) continually monitors a vast network of sensors to ensure operating conditions are within normal range. Do you know what the ECM actually controls?

By Cherise Threewitt

Unlike the ever-present ads for drugs on television, there are many pleasant side effects of keeping your car's engine lubricated with oil. Find out what it takes to keep things moving.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

A tremendous amount of force is applied to your car's crankshaft while you're driving. The result is lots of crankshaft vibration. How does a harmonic balancer solve the problem?

By Patrick E. George

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Two relatively cheap filters can keep your engine healthy and smooth-running for a long time. The only catch is that they get so dirty you occasionally have to replace them.

By Akweli Parker

Your engine needs just three things to run: air, fuel and spark. That said, it's easy to see why the intake manifold -- the component your engine breathes through -- is so important.

By Christopher Lampton

A cold air intake is a fairly inexpensive modification and a lot easier to install than most other engine mods. But what does a cold air intake actually do?

By Christopher Neiger

The traditional water pump is a relatively simple, belt-driven component. But could an electric water pump be more efficient and more in tune with your engine's specific cooling needs?

By Akweli Parker

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Does static timing your engine sound a little too intimidating? Well, if you can pop the hood and easily identify your engine's distributor and timing belt, you're probably up to the challenge.

By Cherise Threewitt

It may take a bit of time to understand how this ball gets rolling; but once you get it, you'll see how it just might take hybrid auto engineering to the next level.

By Cherise Threewitt