Engineering Explained

  • McLaren 720S suspension on Engineering Explained

    Numerous systems go into making a high-performance car, and while a powerful engine is almost always one of them, engineers never forget about the suspension. What's a lot of power good for if it handles like a sloppy mess? The McLaren 720S uses a very neat system, although it's mighty complex. Thankfully, we have explainer extraordinaire Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained to help us digest the trickery going on. McLaren calls its setup the Proactive Chassis Control II, and namely, it uses fluid in the dampers. The system also foregoes the need for an anti-roll bar since the two dampers...

  • Exhaust water recovery system, Engineering Explained
    Learn how water from your car's exhaust can help make more horsepower

    Water injection systems aren't new to the automotive world, but the idea of using water recovered from an exhaust system is. Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained dedicated an entire episode to describing how such a system could help create more horsepower and remove water storage tanks from cars...

  • Why the McLaren 600LT has a top-mount exhaust
    Learn why McLaren uses a top-mount exhaust for the 600LT

    McLaren's top-mount exhaust pipes on the 600LT certainly look cool, but there are actually multiple reasons why the British marque opted for the design. Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained had the opportunity to speak with the 600LT's chief engineer, and he answered numerous questions about the...

  • How the BMW M4 GTS water injection system works
    Learn how BMW used water to make more horsepower in the M4 GTS

    The BMW M4 GTS is one of few production cars to use a water injection system. The M4 GTS sprays water into the intake manifold to cool down air for its engine. How in the world does water help make more horsepower? That's the question Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained answers in this episode...

  • Performance air filter claim test
    Do performance air filters actually work?

    Air filters are one of the easiest and quickest components to swap out for an aftermarket part, and plenty of companies claim their design will increase horsepower, torque, and improve acceleration. Do they? Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained is here to answer that question. For the test, he...

  • Toyota Supra engine deep dive, Engineering Explained
    2020 Toyota Supra engine deep dive: This isn't a 2JZ

    As we're all well aware of by now, the 2020 Toyota Supra uses a lot of BMW engineering and components. One of the main elements borrowed from BMW is the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 engine. Engineering guru and explainer extraordinaire Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained dedicated an entire...

  • Subaru WRX STI S209 Engineering Explained

    After years of Subaru treating the world to special, more-powerful WRX STI models, the Japanese automaker finally delivered one to the U.S. The Subaru WRX STI S209 debuted in January at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit with the company's most potent production engine so far. The turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-4 pumps out 341 horsepower here, which is 31 hp more than the standard STI model. How did Subaru do it? Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained gives us a detailed look at what's different under the hood of the limited-run S209. Most of the power increase can be...

  • 3D-printed rotary engine from Engineering Explained
    Dive into this 3D-printed rotary engine

    If you've ever wondered what makes up the famed rotary engine from Mazda, now is the chance to dive in. Engineering Explained showed off an incredible 3D-printed rotary engine scale model, and host Jason Fenske walks us through what makes the peculiar powertrain tick. Specifically, this is a...

  • 2017 Honda Civic Type R
    What is VTEC and how does it work?

    Valve Timing Electronic Control, better known to enthusiasts as VTEC. We hear a lot about the system, but what is it exactly and how does it work? Jason Fenske, engineering mastermind behind YouTube's Engineering Explained, has tackled the system in one of his latest episodes. As usual, he breaks...

  • Are expensive tires worth the price?
    Are expensive tires worth the price?

    Everyone likes to find ways to save money. With respect to your car, there are times when you can opt for lower octane fuel, more affordable oil, and non-OEM parts. But should you skimp when it comes to buying tires? Recently, Engineering Explained looked at the performance variation as your tires...

  • What's the performance difference between new and used tires?
    What's the performance difference between new and used tires?

    Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained is here to tell you all about what happens as your tires wear down. While you think it's a simple reduction in grip, there's a whole lot more to process. In fact, certain tires can see an increase in grip as the tire wears down. Confused? You won't be for...

  • How V-8 engines work
    How does a V-8 engine work?

    V-8 engines are one of the most common styles of engine across the entire automotive industry, especially when the goal is to produce a lot of power with a smooth delivery. So, how does such an engine work? Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained is here to shed light on how a V-8 engine operates...

  • Why the pushrod engine still exists

    The pushrod engine is a rather archaic piece of engineering, but automakers have stuck by it to this day. Notably, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors still shove pushrod V-8 engines under the hoods of hundreds of thousands of vehicles. Why has the pushrod engine failed to die, especially when compared to dual-overhead camshaft setups? Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained is here to provide five reasons why the pushrod engine has stuck around. It starts with low-end torque. Although pushrod engines typically don't boast sky-high redlines, they do produce oodles of low-end torque...

  • The RCCI engine uses both diesel and gasoline
    The RCCI engine uses both gasoline and diesel fuel

    When most of us pull up to the pump, we are in vehicles that require gasoline. A portion of us sidle up to diesel pumps. In the future, maybe we'll we'll drive vehicles with RCCI engines and we'll need to hit both pumps. The Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) engine is a concept...

  • What's the difference between lead-acid and AGM car batteries?
    What are the differences between flooded and AGM lead-acid batteries?

    While the engine of your car might be its heart, it's the battery that provides the juice to get that engine moving. By now, you probably know plenty about how your engine works. Do you know anything about your battery, though? If not, you're going to need to watch this video from Engineering...

  • Why do diesel engines make more torque than gasoline engines?
    5 reasons why diesel engines make more torque than gasoline engines

    Horsepower is fun in its own way, but torque can be just as entertaining. If you want to rip stumps out of the ground, you'll want a whole lot of torque. That also means you'll likely prefer a diesel engine. Compared to their gasoline-swilling counterparts, diesel engines are the torque kings. Why...

  • Why expensive cars aren't always reliable
    Here's why expensive cars aren't always reliable

    When you think about expensive automobiles, there's one data point that doesn't often enter into the discussion. That would be reliability. It seems the more you spend on a car, the less reliable it becomes. But is that truly the case? Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained is here to examine this...

  • How Mazda eliminates turbo lag
    Here's how Mazda goes about reducing turbo lag

    Mazda hasn't been shy about its dedication to the internal combustion engine. After all, the Japanese company will likely arrive first to market with a homogeneous charge compression ignition engine (HCCI), which will provide tremendous fuel economy improvements without the loss of performance. But...

  • Why don't pushrod engines have high redlines?

    Pushrod engines may not be high-tech by today's standards, but they soldier on and have benefits of their own. One downfall, however, is their ability to rev. Pushrod engines tend to have rather low redlines. You won't find a GM small-block V-8 revving to 9,000 rpm, but there's a reason for it all. Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained is here to help us understand why we can't push a pushrod engine to higher rpm limits. It comes down to valve float, which is when the pushrod assembly begins to lose contact with the camshaft profile. As the pushrod forces the rocker arm down to activate the...

  • Engineering Explained talks about octane and cetane ratings
    What is an octane rating and what does it mean?

    You pull up to the pump and you are presented with a few choices, and we're not talking about different fuel types here. We're talking, of course, about octane ratings. Those are large figures at the fueling station, and you know if you press the higher one you're going to spend more money. Why is...

  • Why the Ford flathead V-8 engine died
    Why Ford's flathead V-8 engine died

    Ford's famed flathead V-8 was revolutionary when the automaker put the engine into production in 1932. It brought the V-8 to the mass market and ready power to hot rodders for decades to come. But its design would eventually make it outdated. After more than two decades of service, the flathead V-8...

  • Audi is eliminating turbo lag with electric superchargers
    Here's how Audi uses electric compressors to eliminate turbo lag

    Automakers have started using electric compressors to help eliminate lag in their turbocharged engines. The first with the technology was Audi, which introduced it in its SQ7 TDI high-performance diesel SUV sold overseas. The SUV's engine features a pair of turbochargers, a diesel V-8, a 48-volt...

  • Delphi dynamic skip fire technology
    How dynamic skip fire tech can cut V-8 fuel use up to 20 percent

    The dynamic skip fire system developed by Silicon Valley startup Tula Technology is set to make its debut in the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and 2019 GMC Sierra, promising big fuel economy improvements for the big trucks. While normal drivers may never even realize the system is hard at work, Jason...

  • Should you start in second gear?
    Should you start from a stop in second gear?

    Drivers have various reasons for starting in second gear, especially with a manual transmission. Perhaps first gear is too short, or snowy road conditions require lighter acceleration to avoid spinning the tires. But is that a good idea? Never fear because Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained is...

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