Most people in the world have only a vague concept of how the mechanical components in their vehicle actually function. Ask someone to explain how their engine really works, or what happens when the transmission is “shifted,” and you’ll get a blank stare.

Let me say right now that while I believe everyone should have a basic understanding of how everyday devices work (like a car’s engine, for instance), I will be the first to admit I have no idea how a lot of things work (not when it comes to cars of course, but I can’t explain how babies work to save my life…).

I’ll go one step further and say that when it comes to owning a car, you don’t really need to know how everything works in order to get by. You can enjoy a long and fruitful life of auto ownership without knowing anything about the 4-stroke cycle or how transmissions work.

HOWEVER, the facts are these:

  • It’s nice to know how things work. It makes us feel smarter and more informed.
  • It doesn’t take much effort to learn – two hours of your life *tops* will cover all the bases.
  • Most importantly, knowing the basics of how your car works will dramatically reduce the likelihood that someone will try to take advantage of you.

SO, if you want to learn more, check out Without over-hyping the site, let me say that it is AWESOME. The explanations are all fantastic (and correct), and they’re delivered in a clear, concise method that had me chuckling.

If you’re interested in learning about your car, visit this site. My advice is to start with the article about your vehicle’s engine and fuel system. An hour or two of your time spent reading and learning will go a long ways towards your next visit to your local service facility.

Just think about the look on your mechanic’s face when you start asking intelligent and informed questions about the repairs he or she is advocating. By proving you have a basic understanding, you’re demonstrating that you’re willing to call their bluff. You’ll notice the number of recommended repairs usually drops quite a bit once you’ve proven just how smart you are.

Crack the books and get started! If you like the info as much as I do, make sure to leave the owner of the site, Chris Longhurst, a small donation.

About The Author