Skip to Content

Jason Fenske (Engineering Explained)

Jason Fenske is a gearhead, and a popular American YouTuber.

He has more than 3.6M subscribers on his YouTube channel, ‘Engineering Explained.’

Introduction; love for cars-

Jason Fenske was born on 13 December 1989 and hails from Boise, Idaho, United States.

He had a brother.

At a young age, Jason loved disassembling and reassembling electronic toys and loved playing with Legos.

At the time, he loved learning the working mechanisms of things and explaining them to his friends.

‘Project Gotham Racing 3’ is the first racing video game that Jason ever played.

Even though this game had unrealistic physics, he loved the game as it displayed stats about a variety of cars and this got him into the cars.

Jason started following car magazines, online news, TV shows and this passion of cars led him to study engineering at college.

While in high school, he got his first car, a 1999 Acura Integra GS; later, he bought a Subaru STI and then, a Subaru Crosstrek.


In 2008, Jason joined North Carolina State University to study for a Bachelor of Science (BS), Mechanical Engineering.

He graduated in 2012.

He expected his degree to teach him Mechanical Engineering and practical knowledge, but he was mostly taught math and didn’t get any practical knowledge.

Jason did an internship the summer before his senior year but wasn’t able to do anything worthwhile at the internship.

‘Engineering Explained’-

At the internship, he wasn’t given any responsibilities and was given 40 hours per week to do whatever he wanted.

So, Jason used to play Angry Birds and chess against the other intern, who too had nothing to do.

Later, he realized that he was only good at math, not engineering, and feared that he might not get an engineering job.

So, Jason decided to quit playing games at the internship and do something engineering related which would strengthen his resume and eventually land him an engineering job.

So, on 25 June 2011, he started his YouTube channel, ‘Engineering Explained,’ to explain engineering concepts and thereby strengthen his resume, in his college’s apartment dorm room.

For his channel, Jason bought a whiteboard for $30 and markers for $5; he already had a video camera.

Later, he upgraded his camera and is continuing explaining the concepts on the whiteboard, as it’s simpler and cost-effective than producing animations.

On 28 June 2011, Jason published the first video, ‘Purpose of a Turbocharger – Explained.’

At the internship, he used to research cars and engineering topics for his YouTube videos, and after returning home, film videos on those topics.

Thanks to his YouTube channel, in 2012, he got a couple of interviews out of the college when he graduated because at the time, having a YouTube channel was novel.

Initially, Jason didn’t know the working mechanisms of cars, so he started researching and producing videos and used his YouTube channel as a journal of his learnings.


As a kid, he was inspired by the technical diagrams in ‘How Stuff Works’ books by Marshall Brain and later, he decided to draw similar diagrams in his YouTube videos.

After starting the channel, initially, Jason’s focus was to explain a variety of engineering concepts but thanks to his love for cars, in less than six months, he switched to solely producing car videos.

He published numerous videos covering the basics of the working mechanisms of cars; he has also been intrigued by the innovation in cars.


Thanks to his YouTube channel, in July 2012, he secured the job of an Application Engineer at NACCO Materials Handling Group (NMHG).

Jason worked as an Application Engineer until February 2014 and from March 2014 to August 2014, he worked as a Test Engineer – Powertrain Development at NMHG.

From July 2013 to August 2013, he also worked as an Instructor at Saturday Academy. Here, he instructed courses on fundamentals of internal combustion engines.

At Portland Community College, Jason did a couple of intros to the engineering course where he spoke about mechanical engineering.

He also taught at University of Oregon.

Quitting his job for ‘Engineering Explained’-

While working at his engineering job, Jason continued working part-time on his YouTube channel.

After working for around two years at NMHG, his channel grew to a point where he could quit his engineering job.

So, in August 2014, Jason quit his job and became a full-time YouTuber.

At that time, he was earning around $25,000 per year with his YouTube channel which was less than half of what he was making with his job at NMHG.

Even though becoming a full-time YouTuber at that time wasn’t a wise financial decision, Jason thought that he could earn a full-time income by investing his full-time into his YouTube channel.

Also, he had safety nets to fall back on, he had saved for a year’s expenses.

And before quitting, Jason chatted with the VP of NMHG about his decision of becoming a full-time YouTuber, the VP encouraged him to try out and allayed that he could get back his engineering job, if his YouTube channel didn’t perform.

In 2014, after quitting his job, he started reviewing cars with Impress Cars of England but quickly realized that it’s an incredibly competitive space with little to no scope of value addition; so, he switched to his usual explainer videos.

How Does A Car Work? –

In September 2012, Jason started his blog, ‘How Does A Car Work?’, later renamed to ‘Engineering Explained’.

In addition to publishing videos on to his YouTube channel, he started publishing blog posts on to his blog but eventually, he shifted his focus towards his channel and stopped working on his blog.

A successful YouTuber-

As of December 2023, Jason has 3.64M subscribers on ‘Engineering Explained’ YouTube channel, and 271K followers on Instagram.

He earns from a variety of sources like advertisements, and ‘Super Thanks’ on YouTube, merchandise, affiliate marketing, and sponsorships; he also accepts donations on Patreon.

Jason wrote articles for ‘Car Throttle,’ a UK based car platform, this also helped in the growth of his YouTube channel.

He single-handedly works on his YouTube channel and hates video editing but does it anyway.

On 31 March 2015, Jason started his second YouTube channel, ‘Engineering Explained Extra,’ but currently he isn’t working on it.

On Instagram, he collaborated with Emelia Hartford, a gearhead, actress, and a popular automotive YouTuber.

Some of Jason’s book recommendations are ‘Physics for Gearheads,’ ‘Bosch Automotive Handbook,’ ‘Prepare to Win: The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Professional Race Car Preparation.’

Prior to starting the ‘Engineering Explained’ YouTube channel, he used to produce comedy videos in his school and college; currently, these videos aren’t available.

Personal life-

On 5 August 2018, Jason married Tara.

He lives in Boise, Idaho and has severe imposter syndrome.

Jason is an ailurophile and has a pet cat, Bucket.

He is a polyglot, as he knows Spanish and English.

Jason’s favourite cars are Mazda Miata, Shelby GT350, Jaguar F-Type, and Jaguar F-Type SVR convertible.

So, how are you inspired by the success story of Jason Fenske?

Share with me in the comment section below.

About Author

Hello folks, I'm Naveen Reddy.
I love writing the inspiring success stories of people so as to inspire you.
Enjoy the well-researched, thorough articles!
Every article takes many days of effort; so, why not pay it forward by sharing them and spreading positivity.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.