Autos 101: The Point of Your Car's Suspension System

A complex system makes driving more enjoyable

The overall point of a car's suspension is to smooth out the ride of your vehicle and keep the tires in contact with the road surface. Without a good suspension system, riding around in a car would be extremely uncomfortable and dangerous. The vehicle would likely sustain serious damage from potholes, cracks and other imperfections in the roadway. Even on a well-paved road, bumps, waves and other rough patches of pavement do occur, making suspension systems necessary.

Something as Dumb as Poorly Painted Lines Pose a Huge Obstacle to Autonomous Driving

Small towns and big cities are both wildly inconsistent

Though it doesn't seem to matter to most drivers unless these poorly painted lines appear in crucial locations, it will always be crucial to self-driving cars because the cameras that are central to the self-driving functionality depend on well-painted lines. The problem is that this seemingly basic area of traffic and road operation often gets neglected or poorly done.

Autos 101: Which Car Parts Wear Out First?

You're probably going to replace these parts at some point

Car maintenance can be costly and if you're thinking of purchasing a car, you need to consider maintenance costs of that vehicle into your overall budget. Despite the fact that automotive technology greatly improved in recent years, the parts, components and systems of your vehicle will wear out eventually. When they do, you're going to have to find a way to get your car repaired.

Autos 101: How Launch Control Works

The guide to having a lot of fun in a fast car

If you want to be fast in any situation, whether it be in professional racing or just having some fun, you need to be able to launch your vehicle properly off the line. Generally, this means maximizing traction and not putting down so much power that your wheels lose grip.

How to Avoid a Craigslist Car Scam

Don't let yourself get taken for a ride, a really bad ride.

Most of us have been there, looking for a car anywhere they may be. You search used car lots, chain dealerships, car shopping websites, and of course, the hit or miss site called Craigslist. The classifieds website that allows you to post and respond to ads about anything. Because of the nature of the site, open to just anyone who wants to post something, there's a pretty high chance you'll run into people trying to run a scam on those who aren't privy to such activities.

The Importance of the 2-Second Follow Rule and Human Reaction Time

Are you following too close behind the car in front of you?

One of the first things you learn about driving is the 2-Second follow rule. No one likes a tailgater, and I'd venture to say that no one really likes to be one either. Many rules, techniques, and behaviors are used while driving, a lot of which, if not all, are there to keep everyone involved safe and alive. Not only does the 2-second rule provide a generally safer way of driving, it also helps you in other ways that may not seem as obvious as safety.

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Reduce Your Chances of an Accident

None of these measures requires major work but could save your bacon

We'd all like to think we're good drivers and that we can avoid most accidents thanks to our skills behind the wheel. Well, you might be a pretty good driver, but you're not so skilled that you can stay out of trouble 100% of the time. Here are five key things you can do right now (that you've probably avoided doing) that will keep you and yours safer on the roads. Put them into practice on a regular basis, and you'll reduce your chances dramatically.

Autos 101: What Does Automotive Reliability Actually Mean?

If it keeps breaking down, you can't drive it

You hear car commercials about car reliability all the time. Sure, the term sounds great, and the public has a general idea about what "reliability" means. If a car is constantly having issues and breaking down, that means it's pretty much unreliable--you just can't depend on it. But there's much more detail to this, and we get down to the nitty-gritty.

Autos 101: How to Maximize Gas Mileage

There are steps you can take to improve fuel efficiency

The cost of fuel may still be relatively low compared to what it was a few years ago, but achieving a high number when it comes miles per gallon of gas is still a priority for most people. There's steps you can take with the vehicle you currently own to improve your car's fuel economy. Here's what you can easily do to up your mpg.

Autos 101: How Long Do Hybrid Car Batteries Last?

You may have to replace your battery pack at some point

Unfortunately, batteries don't last forever. While this might seem like an obvious statement, some people who own hybrid cars expect their battery to keep working like it should indefinitely. The battery in your hybrid car is like any other engine component. It will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. When will that happen? Probably not for a very long time.

Autos 101: How Tire Pressure Can Affect Traction and Mileage

A few more pounds per square inch of air can go a long way

We've all heard that keeping your tires properly inflated is important, but many of us don't know why exactly it matters. By taking a few minutes each month to check and adjust the air pressure of your tires, you'll enjoy better fuel efficiency and handling as well as experience proper tire tread wear.

Autos 101: When to Wax Your Car

The art of keeping your car's paint job shining

Before car companies started applying a clear coat of paint to cars, waxing your vehicle regularly was extremely important. In the 1980s, when clear coats became widespread, waxing your car suddenly wasn't as important. The clear coat did a tremendous job of protect the car's paint. Since then, car paint technology has only gotten better. Despite this, if you really want your car's paint job to last, you need to rob wax on it from time to time.

Autos 101: How Turbocharging Works

It's best to know how this common engine part functions

Turbocharged engines seem to be in just about every new model out there. Sure, a naturally aspirated option is usually available but a turbocharged four-cylinder is in everything from a Honda Civic to a Mazda CX-9. Why? With a turbocharged engine, you get more power and better efficiency. As interesting as the end result of a turbocharger is, you may be wondering how exactly turbocharging works. Let us explain.

Autos 101: How to Recondition Your Headlights

Don't just light up the inside of your headlights anymore

Changing your oil, getting tune-ups and rotating your tires aren't the only important car care tasks you need to manage in order for your car to work properly. Many cars that have more than a few years on them tend to get faded headlights due to numerous factors such as road grime and chemicals, oxidation, water vapor and road damage. The result is faded headlights that don't project light well at all. Not only is it ugly, it's downright unsafe since you decrease your nighttime visibility.

Autos 101: Repair Your Old Car or Replace It?

What to think about when the costs of repairs are high

If you've had your car for a few years now, you've probably had to pay for at least one expensive repair. While paying for one expensive maintenance task is no big deal, after a while, those costs can add up and you may begin to wonder if it's worth it to fix your old, unreliable car or buy a new one. Here are some things to think about.