Under the Hood: How Cars Work

Important parts of a car explained in simple language, with rich, clear illustrations.

3.75 (218 reviews)
4 hours
Nov 2016
last update
regular price

What you will learn

Understand the important systems in a car

Understand in detail how car engines work - the mechanics as well as the chemistry


This course is a rich, visually appealing guide to what's going on under the hood of your car - explained in language anyone can understand.

Let's parse that.

  • This course focuses on what's going on under the hood. It combines practical knowledge, and required bits of engineering, chemistry and physics to explain how important car systems work
  • This course is taught in language anyone can understand. All of this material is practical and accessible. By the end of this course, you will be able to make sense of the advice that your mechanic gives you, and also appreciate the complexities of automative design.
  • This course is very visual. Cars are incredibly complicated these days, and the key to understanding that complexity is visualising how the components work, and how they work together. This course will help you get there.

What's Included:

  • What happens when you turn the key in the ignition: We start with a step-by-step look at how a car starts, since this is an operation most folks are familiar with.
  • Engines: How internal combustion engines work; the differences between Gasoline and Diesel engines; 4-stroke and 2-stroke engines; the details of each engine stroke; ignition systems
  • Fuel Systems: Rich and lean mixtures; an elementary carburetor; best power and best economy mixtures; improvements for idling, starting and racing
  • Transmission and drive train; the complex relationship between torque and RPM; gearing; the differential and final drive
  • Suspension, Steering and Brakes


Under the Hood: How Cars Work - Screenshot_01Under the Hood: How Cars Work - Screenshot_02Under the Hood: How Cars Work - Screenshot_03Under the Hood: How Cars Work - Screenshot_04


Starting From Basics

You, This Course and Us
Turning on a Car
Car Systems Introduced

Car Engines

Internal Combustion Engines
Parts of an Engine
Some Engine Terms
Engine Classifications
Four Stroke SI Engines - I
Four Stroke SI Engines - II
Otto Cycle
Two Stroke Engines
Diesel Engines

Ignition and Fuel Systems

Ignition Systems
Car Charging
Fuel Systems Introduced
Air and Fuel: Rich, Lean, and Stoichiometric Mixtures
Racing and Cruising
Elementary Fuel Systems
Fuel System Improvements

Transmission and Drive Train

Final Drive and Differential
Drive Shaft
Transmission - I
Transmission - II

Other Car Systems



October 10, 2021
Hard to understand due to accent; graphics could be better as well as a slower explanation and breakdown of the systems.
September 23, 2021
The teacher is an Indian man and his accent is very very thick. I can hardly understand anything he says. This course is nowhere near worth $100, id say maybe $40. Overall I’m extremely disappointed in this course. DO NOT BUY
March 30, 2021
Too much theory in talking with diagrams that can easily be retrieved from the youtube. It would have been better if has real car parts and car videos to show how the mechanism works rather than in the drawings.
February 8, 2021
The accent of the tutor is so strong I am spending most of my time trying to work out what he has said. Shame the good images are not acommpanied by real photographs
December 31, 2020
Just learning about something new but seeing the different parts of of a vehicle that I hear about but never knew what their purpose is.
April 14, 2020
The course was absolutely brilliant! The lessons were short and concise and helped immensely in boosting my knowledge about cars and the way the various systems within them function. I can honestly say it is one of the best courses I have done so far. Thanks :)
April 13, 2020
Good introduction, some concepts were repeated. The course would be better with more animations to show clear indications on the principles covered.
March 24, 2020
Been a great course to learn from basics. Instructor takes us through every detai patiently and reiterates the concepts every chance he gets. Highly recommend it
January 4, 2019
The knowledge the instructor has is really impressive, but the visual presentation is very poor. The course is presented in a schematic way in an era with so many resources available on the internet. For example, when the instructor talks about piston and engines we expect to see something that resemble the real car parts, but instead what we see is just a bunch of bad illustrations and animations. The same applies for the entire car parts. Transmission is represented by some simple lines. The way an engine works is the worse thing explanated. The instructor couldn't even animate the movement done by the piston and the four steps perpassed by it. I can learn much more by watching some videos on YouTube.
October 31, 2018
the objective of this course is to help to teach a person with little to no understanding or knowledge of how cars works in a general sense right?... Then that means that you want to make the learning process as easy as possible for those people to understand the content outlined in this course and to accomplish that i think the first step is good communication. Communication is everything to a person who struggles to listen to directions and digest what information is being given. When i have to maintain a higher sense of focus to understand what an individual with a thick accent is saying (NOT RACIST, AND NO OFFENSE) then that directs my focus away from the lesson at hand and for me, it is very hard to focus. There should be clear communication between teachers and students in order to achieve broader success in learning whatever subject is at hand.
October 6, 2018
This has a good overall technical description of the components of a car. It wasn't too high level and yet doesn't go into every single detail of each component. It is a good overall explanation of how a car operates.
June 27, 2018
It explains the basics but for someone who doesn't know much about cars (who is not really interested but has to learn it anyway) it is plain boring, not animated enough to make it attractive and interesting.
April 22, 2018
Excellent course in giving a general idea how a car runs. The course material is presented in a very well organized way. The instructor, though the accent is a bit strong, was very clear in the explanation, helped with excellent visual displays to compensate the accent. The presentation is also entertaining.
November 23, 2017
Great information, only minor complaint is the accent of the moderator sometimes makes it difficult to follow.
May 27, 2017
It is amazing how little we know about something which we use every day. An awesome course with just enough detail. It may make you smarter while dealing with your car mechanic.



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