How do they create the hopping cars you see in the...

These cars are known as lowriders, and they seem to be most popular in southern California. A lowrider is any car that has modifications...

Why do some engines use a dry sump oil system?

­­Most production cars have a wet sump oil system. The HowStuffWorks article on car engines shows you where the sump is -- it's the...

What does octane mean?

Octane History The name "octane" comes from the following fact: When you take crude oil and "crack" it in a refinery, you end up getting...

What is the problem with MTBE in gasoline?

If you have ever pumped gas that claimed to "oxygenated" -- something that is common in most urban areas in the winter -- then...

How does a laser speed gun work to measure a car’s...

Exotic Car Image Gallery If you have read the article entitled How Radar Works, then you know how normal radar works. A normal radar...

Will we ever have space ships parked in our garages?

There are lots of things about Han's ship, and other ships that you see in Star Wars, that are extremely appealing. For example, Luke's...

Why doesn’t gasoline burn cleanly?

Why does your gasoline engine spew so much exhaust, when other fuels burn cleanly? See pictures of alternative fuel vehicles that aim to...

What does the weight mean on a can of motor oil?

Measuring Motor Oil Viscosity The standard unit used to measure viscosity is the centistoke (cSt). According to the Automotive and Industrial Lubricants Glossary of Terms: ...

Why are they replacing all of the traffic lights in my...

The new traffic lights you are seeing are made out of arrays of light emitting diodes (LEDs). These are tiny, purely electronic lights that...

Do race cars use gasoline like normal cars do or do...

It depends on the type of race car you are talking about. For example: NASCAR engines burn 110-octane leaded gasoline.Indy cars burn pure methanol (a.k.a....

How does a traffic light detect that a car has pulled...

Image Gallery: Batteries ­There is something exotic about the traffic lights that "know" you are there -- the instant you pull up, they change!...

How does a hybrid car work?

Gasoline-electric hybrid cars contain modified car parts. Explore the inner workings of gasoline-electric hybrid cars with diagrams and animations. See more hybrid car...

How do the automobile ignition keys with chips embedded in them...

Many cars manufactured by GM come with a security feature called the PASS-Key theft deterrent system. You can tell if a car has this...

What does the computer in a car do?

All cars manufactured today contain at least one computer. It is in charge of monitoring engine emissions and adjusting the engine to keep emissions...

How does an air bag work

Air bags have saved thousands of lives since their introduction in the early 1980s. If you run into something, your air bag can inflate...

Could a car run on compressed air?

Yes, it could. You could compress the air at your house using an air compressor, fill a compressed-air tank in the car, and the...

What does the weight mean on a can of motor oil?

Using the right type of motor oil can prevent this from happening to you. See more car safety pictures. Henrik Weis/Getty Images On every bottle...

What’s the difference between gasoline, kerosene, diesel, etc?

Carbon Chains in Petroleum Products The different chain lengths have progressively higher boiling points, so they can be separated out by distillation. This is what...

What’s the difference between gasoline, kerosene, diesel, etc?

­Diesel Engine Image Gallery ­ ­The "crude oil" pumped out­ of the ground is a black liquid called petroleum. This liquid contains aliphatic hydrocarbons, or...

How Torque Converters Work

Inside a Torque Converter The parts of a torque converter (left to right): turbine, stator, pump As shown in the figure below, there are four...

How Torque Converters Work

The Basics The torque converter is situated between the engine and the transmission. Just like manual transmission cars, cars with automatic transmissions need a way...

How Torque Converters Work

If you've read about manual transmissions, you know that an engine is connected to a transmission by way of a clutch. Without this...

How Anti-Lock Brakes Work

Anti-Lock Brake Diagram ­Anti-lock brake components HowStuffWorks Now let's put the parts together to see how anti-lock brakes work as a whole. This diagram provides both...

How Anti-Lock Brakes Work

Location of anti-lock brake components. See more pictures of brakes. ­Stopping a car in a hurry on a slippery road can be very challenging....

How Anti-Lock Brakes Work

The ABS System Anti-lock brake pump and valves The theory behind anti-lock brakes is simple. A skidding wheel (where the tire contact patch is sliding...