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Here's The Difference Between Synthetic And Normal Motor Oil, And What The Numbers On The Bottle Mean Here's The Difference Between Synthetic And Normal Motor Oil, And What The Numbers On The Bottle Mean

I just changed the oil in my Nissan Pao last week, and in doing so I was warned—several times—that my plan to replace the conventional oil in my car with synthetic was a terrible idea. But you know what? It’s not! That got me thinking that maybe a little oil refresher might be of use. Not to you, of course, you know…

It's Time You Knew The Difference Between Boxer Engines And Flat Engines It's Time You Knew The Difference Between Boxer Engines And Flat Engines

You’re a gearhead. You know to chuckle knowingly and condescendingly when some dumbass refers to the “V4" in their Honda Civic. You know your stuff. You know what a flat engine is, too. It’s an opposed-piston engine, right? Sometimes they’re called boxer engines, like what Porsche and Subaru use. Same thing, right?…

Here's Everything You Ever Needed To Know About Speed Limits

Surely you knows you’re supposed to follow posted speed limits, but do you know how they’re set in the first place?

Here's Why Knowing The Correct Racing Line Makes You Faster Here's Why Knowing The Correct Racing Line Makes You Faster

A lot of street driving novices might try to justify swerving like a maniac all over the road in some sort of effort to hit what they call a “racing line” with their car to be faster. They’re dumb, but the actual racing line is pivotal to get right, and there’s a lot of interesting factors that play into how a racing…

Here's Why Automakers Don't Advertise How Long It Takes To Fully Charge An Electric Car

Almost every EV in production today has one thing in common—lithium ion batteries, from the Tesla Model 3 to the Nissan Leaf and Jaguar I-Pace. As the EV market gets more competitive, automakers have started benchmarking charge times to only 80 percent. Why don’t they advertise how long it takes to fully charge?

Here's What 'Compression Ratio' Actually Means And Why It Matters

You’ve heard the term compression ratio before, but have you ever wondered exactly what it means? Well, it’s time to explain exactly what compression ratio is, and why every carmaker is now obsessed with it like it was the Holy Grail.

Here's What Those Weird Black Tubes In The Road Are For Here's What Those Weird Black Tubes In The Road Are For

I’ve been thinking about tubes. Specifically, the weird black tubes that you often find stretched across a roadway. What are those tubes for? What are they tracking? How do they work?

Here's What Interference Engines Are And Why They Exist At All Here's What Interference Engines Are And Why They Exist At All

Do you know what an “interference engine” is? While I know a great many of our regular readers do, there’s no shame if you’re not exactly sure. It’s a term that gets thrown around a lot, and is really quite important. In fact, I bet a lot of readers who are familiar with the term are nervously wondering, as we speak,…

Here's How Speed Limits Are Set Here's How Speed Limits Are Set

You, a human being who we imagine likes to drive cars, are probably aware of the signs posted that state exactly how fast you can legally drive on a given road. But how the hell do those things even get determined?

Here's What DOHC Means And Why It Matters Here's What DOHC Means And Why It Matters

For years, carmakers have been in the habit of putting some of the technical innovations they’re proud of on the back of their cars via badges. This practice probably peaked in the ‘80s, but it’s still around, to some degree. Today I want to look at a badge that was once quite common to see on car buttocks: a series…

This Is Why People In Southern California Say 'The' In Front Of Freeway Names This Is Why People In Southern California Say 'The' In Front Of Freeway Names

I don’t know if you have noticed this but I certainly did when I first moved to Southern California: People insist on adding the definite article “the” in front of major freeways. Turns out, it’s not just some baseless regional slang, there’s a decent amount of history behind it.

How To Win A Championship Title In This New, Confusing Age Of NASCAR 

At the end of Sunday’s Daytona 500, there will most likely already be a driver in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. How, you ask, could someone be in the postseason playoffs after the first event of the year? Thank NASCAR’s complicated new championship format, which we’re here to help simplify.

How To Drive A Right-Hand-Drive Car How To Drive A Right-Hand-Drive Car

I never really planned it this way, but despite being a proud American, I’ve been driving on a sort of regular basis right-hand drive cars for over 10 years now. I started with my lovely (if currently forlorn) Reliant Scimitar, and now I also have an imported Nissan Pao from Japan. I’ve been driving on the wrong side…

Mexico City's 'Beetleland' Is Where The Unlicensed Volkswagen Beetle Cabs Still Thrive

The market, like nature, finds a way. Despite their ancient design, Volkswagen Beetles were famously still made in Mexico until 2003 and incredibly common as Mexico City taxi cabs until 2012. They’re illegal for cab use there now for being too unsafe, but the city’s Cuautepec area is plenty dangerous on its own.

Here's Why Stop Signs Are Red Here's Why Stop Signs Are Red

I know what you’re thinking. What is this dummy trying to accomplish here? Of course, I know about stop signs. But maybe—maybe!—you didn’t know this: stop signs weren’t always red. We’ve talked about other red things before, and there’s a reason we ended up with red octagons telling you to STOP. I swear it’s…

America Once Planned An Unstoppable Nuclear Doomsday Nightmare Weapon

If you were to take the collective nuclear anxiety of the world during the height of the Cold War and somehow transfigure that into cold, hard engineering, you’d probably end up with something like this: the supersonic, low-altitude missile known as ‘The Flying Crowbar.’

Why You Shouldn't Run Your Car Low On Gas Why You Shouldn't Run Your Car Low On Gas

Sometimes it’s tempting to try to eke out as many miles from your tank of gas as possible. But you shouldn’t do it. This video showing the innards of a fuel pump will help you understand why.

Here's The Deal With That White And Blue Crap On Your Car's Battery Terminals Here's The Deal With That White And Blue Crap On Your Car's Battery Terminals

I’m sure anyone who’s ever jump-started a car, replaced a car battery, or built a small 12V DIY nipple-torture device has seen this: a powdery, white and blue and maybe sometimes green substance on battery terminals. What exactly is that crap? What causes it? Can you spread it on crackers and eat it? Let’s figure this…

Here's The Deal With Nitrogen-Filled Tires Here's The Deal With Nitrogen-Filled Tires

Filling one’s tires with nitrogen is one of those things, like rubbing cheetah’s blood on your engine block, that’s taken on almost mythological status among gearheads. The inert gas nitrogen is given credit for everything from improved handling to better MPG to reduced wheel wear. How much of this is true? What does…

A Design Engineer Explains Exactly Why Your Car Is So Boring A Design Engineer Explains Exactly Why Your Car Is So Boring

Imagine you’ve just been hired as a design engineer at a major automotive manufacturer. Your boss introduces himself and says “Hey, are you ready to design the most innovative, mind-blowing, original car you’ve ever seen?” Now stop imagining that, because your boss isn’t going to say that. Maybe Elon Musk says that to…

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