is something like that possible in blender without keyframing?
Yes it is. Do a search for blender physics engine simulations on the blender.org website. You should be able to find some examples there.
there were a couple pages on the physics and whatnot and i skimmed through them. i’ve already tried to do something simple like put four wheels on a cube with four cylinders sticking out (like the axis of a car) but all i get is an explosion. isn’t there a tutorial somewhere so i dont have to come here for the next fifty questions i’m gonna have?
The reason it doesn’t work is because the boundaries of the seperate objects are defined incorrectly. You need to make the boundaries smaller. See the “Radius” setting under Logic buttons.
See this link. It should be sufficient to get you going