Kristen Hall-Geisler

Kristen Hall-Geisler

Contributing Writer

Kristen Hall-Geisler is a freelance writer and book editor living in Oregon. As an automotive journalist since 2006, she's honed her research and interviewing skills with HowStuffWorks, The New York Times, TechCrunch, Popular Science, US News & World Report and more. She loves falling down the rabbit hole of research and emerging with a book or article that others find useful and — she hopes — entertaining while still being based on solid sources. She is the author of the historical novel "Skull and Sidecar" as well as the nonfiction books "Take the Wheel: A Woman’s Guide to Buying a Car Her Own Damn Self" and "Lightning in a Throttle: Three Early Electric Vehicle Victories."

Recent Contributions

Flyting, which was essentially a verbal contest of poetic abuse, was public entertainment in the 15th and 16th centuries. Think of it as the rap battle of medieval times.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

These saltwater clams are the largest on the planet, and some can live as long as 100 years. And despite their, well, looks, they're pretty darn tasty.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

A new study out from AAA found that advanced vehicle safety systems struggled when weather conditions weren't optimal. Some test runs even ended in collisions.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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Electric motors power almost everything in your kitchen, bathroom and office. But how do they perform their magic?

By Marshall Brain & Kristen Hall-Geisler

Diesel engines are often more efficient and less expensive to operate than their gasoline alternatives. So why aren't there more diesels on the roads? Well, they have their own issues, too.

By Marshall Brain & Kristen Hall-Geisler

You've surely heard it in the movies even if you've never used it. So who came up with the phonetic alphabet and why is it used?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

When your car overheats, the best thing you can do is head to a garage for coolant. But in a pinch, you can add water to the radiator if you're careful. We'll tell you how.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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Not much could be better than coming back in your next life as a house cat (OK, maybe a dog, but we won't go there). But if you had the chance, you'd better think hard about where you'd live first.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

With the fall migration season for birds just around the corner, we took another look at how to prevent birds from colliding with windows.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Cats howl for a lot of reasons: They want you to buy them things; they want more food (better food). But as they age, they howl a lot more. Are they trying to tell us something else?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

This tiny village in upstate New York has been channeling spirits since the 1800s.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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You probably know that any car with a manual transmission has a clutch — it connects and disconnects the engine and transmission. But did you know that automatics have clutches, too?

By Karim Nice, Charles W. Bryant & Kristen Hall-Geisler

A 'suicide door' was the popular name for car door that opened from the rear rather than the front. Why were they called that, and do any cars have this feature?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

If the battery light stays on when you're driving your car, does that mean you need a new battery?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

If your front end is not aligned, you may find your car veering to the right or left. Here's how to fix that.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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We've all become hyperaware of the importance of toilet paper during our lives in the world of COVID-19. But there are some Earth-friendly options that exist as well. Have you tried them?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Putting sugar in someone's gas tank has long been rumored to ruin someone's car. But does it really work?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Have you ever hit your brakes and had the pedal go all the way to the floor? It shouldn't happen, and you should get it checked out as soon as possible if it does.

By Jamie Page Deaton & Kristen Hall-Geisler

If you suddenly hear a grinding or whining noise coming from under your hood, it may be time to learn how to remove air from the power steering pump.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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You might think it's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. But you're wrong. And anyway, that's a song, not a word.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Your car's suspension maximizes friction between the tires and road and provides steering stability. But how have suspensions evolved over the years and where is the design headed in the future?

By William Harris & Kristen Hall-Geisler

It's easy to take online comments out of context. Is it serious, or is it satire? That's where Poe's law (and a winking smiling emoji) comes into play.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

If you're looking for a new car or truck, there's a chance you're considering a hybrid. Before you sign any paperwork, take a look at why you may not want to.

By Patrick E. George & Kristen Hall-Geisler

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A study using citizen science tries to help explain why cats love sitting in boxes — even ones that aren't there. What did they find out?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Knowing how to react (or not react, as the case may be) when you drive across a patch of black ice is useful; but if you've ever wondered how black ice forms, and what makes it so dangerous, we're here to help.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler