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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.

Topics to Explore

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Inside an Opposed Piston Opposed Cylinder (OPOC) Engine

Do you know how Opposed Piston Opposed Cylinder (OPOC) engines work? Check out this amazing graphic that explains how OPOC engines work!

Inside a Sleeve Valve Engine

Do you know how sleeve valve engines work? Check out this amazing graphic that explains how sleeve valve engines work!

How MirrorLink Works

From a user's standpoint, MirrorLink is pretty slick. It's the magic that makes your smartphone's computer and the car's computer talk to each other.

How Run-flat Tires Work

Did you know that Goodyear has been making run-flat tires for NASCAR since 1966? Decades later, tire engineers are still perfecting the design for everyday drivers on public roads.

Are modern cars vulnerable to hackers?

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?

Are auto plastics workers more likely to get breast cancer?

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.

10 Hottest New Cars for 2013

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.

How much horsepower is enough?

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?

What makes certain car accessories unsafe (or even illegal)?

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.

Could shape memory alloys harness heat energy from cars?

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

How does oil recycling work?

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?

How much air pollution comes from cars?

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.

How to Recycle Tires

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?

5 Innovations That Reduce Engine Vibrations

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.

5 Benefits of Beltless Engines

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.

5 Tips for Starting an Old Engine

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.

How to Make a Coke Can Stirling Engine

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.

5 Engine Modifications to Improve Performance

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.

How to Dynamically Time an Engine

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?

How Air Suspension Systems Work

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.

How an Air-cooled Engine Works

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.

How does a timing light work?

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?

How does a positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system work?

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.

5 Ways to Improve Engine Response

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.

How the Engine Control Module Works

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?

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