What is the sound of one piston slapping?
What is the sound of one piston slapping?
Illustration for article titled Questions From an 18 Year Old (Almost) Gearhead.

Like many of you, I read Jalopnik on an (almost) daily basis, but I'm nowhere near the level of knowledge that many of you have with regards to Jalopnik-related stuff. I'm 18, majoring in mechanical engineering and phsyics, drive a boring 2012 Honda Civic (automatic, but please don't judge me), and am really interested in learning more about the inner workings of things with motors. 

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But where do I start? I obsess about Top Gear, I'm learning how to drive a manual, and I'm ordering shirts from blipshift, but I really want to dig into the meat of cars. I want to be able to turn a 40 year old disregarded car into a beautiful work of art. I want to be able to change my own oil. I want to be able to recognize cars based on their A/B/C pillars or blurry shots of engine parts. I want to be able to distinguish cars by the way their engines rev up. I want to do something to set myself apart from the rest of my booze drinking not-really-all-that-studious classmates. 

So for those of you that are more "seasoned" than I am, where do I start? How can I become a gearhead? 

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