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A Ford Flex Is Not a Van and the Definitive Rules of Vanhood A Ford Flex Is Not a Van and the Definitive Rules of Vanhood

Yesterday, it came to my attention that, incredibly, there are people out there who do not know what a van is. More incredibly, one of those people seems to be our own very talented reporter Ryan Felton, who tweeted “is a ford flex a van” No, Ryan, it’s not. Dummy. This alarming exchange made me realize that our poor,…

Why Some Cars Look Like They're Driving Sideways Down The Road

Have you ever driven down a straight road and noticed that the car in front of you appeared to be driving sideways, with all four tires visible from directly behind? If so, you’ve been witnessing “Dog Tracking.” Here’s why it happens.

How the Most Interesting Toy Cars in the World Get Made

If you love cars, I’m just about positive you started life loving toy cars. I’ve yet to meet any gearhead that doesn’t have some toy cars rolling around on their desks or shelves or floors, just waiting to be stepped on, painfully. I unashamedly love toy cars, so I was thrilled to be invited to see Candylab Toys’…

This Is Why You Can't Unlock A Car Door If Someone Is Trying To Open It At The Same Time This Is Why You Can't Unlock A Car Door If Someone Is Trying To Open It At The Same Time

This is one of the most common shared experiences in all of automobilia: You’re outside a car, trying to get in. The person inside the car is attempting to open the door lock at the same time you’re pulling the handle to open the door. A comedy of errors ensues, with each of your actions canceling out the other’s,…

Here's How Electronic Parking Brakes Work Here's How Electronic Parking Brakes Work

Quickly fading are the days when we were free to dream of cranking a lever connected to cables that would squeeze the brakes and break traction, as more and more modern cars replace cabled emergency and parking brake systems with simply a button. But there’s a lot of good reasons for it, so here’s how electronic…

This Is Why Some Automatic Transmissions Shift Straight and Some Are All Zig-Zaggy This Is Why Some Automatic Transmissions Shift Straight and Some Are All Zig-Zaggy

If you’ve ever looked at floor-mounted automatic transmission shift levers, with either disdain or genuine gratitude, you’ve probably noticed that they tend to fall into two main categories: the ones that have a simple, linear path through the PRNDL family, and those that use a convoluted, maze-like route through the…

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.

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