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.


Thieves and thugs will always find a way to take something they didn't work for. But just how vulnerable are modern automobiles to a high-tech attack?

For a long time, a group of female automotive plastics workers in Canada knew their work environment was unpleasant and probably sickening. But they didn't know it could actually be fatal.

Will 2013 be a decent year for the auto industry? Well, if these 10 cars can make it to production, there should be a lot of happy motorists out there.

Modern car engines can create massive amounts of horsepower -- and everyone wants more power, right? But how much is too much? And how much is just enough?

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.

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

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

The mechanics from Fast and Loud work furiously to restore and old Ford Model A truck in time for a swap meet.

Watch as the gang from Fast and Loud put new hydraulic brakes in a classic Ford truck.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?