Ten Videos That Explain How Cars Work

Want to know how all the complex systems work in your car? Turn to these fantastic videos made by the carmakers themselves.


10.) How Drum Brakes Work, From Chevy

Chevrolet produced many of these great instructional films in the 1930s. This one explains how drum brakes work with fantastic visual aids.

Suggested By: ranwhenparked

9.) Jeep Explains When And How 4WD Works

This video is specific to Jeep's Selec-Trac system on the Liberty, but is still a great explainer for how four-wheel drive works and when to use it.

Suggested By: Boombayadda

8.) How Differentials Work, From Chevy

Want to know why your car needs a differential and how that differential works? Once again, we turn to the great videos from Chevrolet produced by the Jam Handy Organization back in the 1930s.


Suggested By: Raphael Orlove

7.) How To Heel-Toe With Ayrton Senna & Honda

I don't believe this video was intended to be instructional but any serious driver can certainly learn a thing or two watching Ayrton Senna thrash an NSX-R around Suzuka. Whoever decided to mount a foot camera to the NSX deserves a trophy.


Suggested By: Chris_K_F

6.) How Suspension Works, From Chevy

This list has been heavy on 1930s Chevrolet videos, but there's a very good reason for that. As always, great visuals are employed in showing how the springs and shocks in your car absorb the bumps in the road.


Suggested By: Jonee

5.) How Automatic Transmissions Work

This video was produced by the Department of Defense which, I know, isn't really what you'd call a carmaker. They were, however, a major driving force in the development of automatic transmissions. I simply couldn't not include this video that explains the mystery of how they work. Spoiler alert: it's not wizardry!


Suggested By: The Transporter

4.) How Dual Clutch Transmissions Work, From Volvo

Dual clutch transmissions are becoming an increasingly large part of the automotive world, so this short, sweet video from Volvo Trucks is both excellent and timely. I'd imagine Porsche's PDK explanation video would be 4 hours, not 40 seconds like this one.


Suggested By: Lumpy44

3.) Studebaker Tells You Why Disc Brakes Are Better

Don't know the difference between drum and disc brakes? You will within 7 seconds of this excellent video from Studebaker. As if you needed any more reason to want a Lark.


Suggested By: My X-type is too a real Jaguar

2.) How Rotary Engines Work, From Mazda

Who else but Mazda to tell you how a Wankel Rotary engine works? Even if a Rotary isn't really better than internal combustion as Mazda says, this is video is well worth your time.


Suggested By: DartzIRL

1.) Carroll Shelby & Co. Teach You How To Race

Is there any better instructional video than Carroll Shelby, Ken Miles, Pete Brock, and Dan Gurney teaching you how to race? Add in Willow Springs Raceway as well as a Cobra, a Mustang GT350, and an early GT40 and you've got the best instructional video a carmaker has ever made.


Suggested By: schrodingers

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Top Photo Credit: Volvo Trucks via YouTube


Mercedes Streeter

Who else but Mazda to tell you how a Wankel Rotary engine works? Even if a Rotary isn't really better than internal combustion as Mazda says, this is video is well worth your time.

Here's a TL;DW...