For example, I’m finding in some cases, 车 is written with the downward stroke followed by the second horizontal stoke, whereas in other characters, it is the second horizontal stroke followed by the downward stroke. (Downward second in 车, downward first in 轧).
Is there any special way to know which way is which?
Good question! The answer is that it depends on if it’s written in the original form (车) or the radical form (narrower and on the left, as in 轧). Here’s the correct stroke order for the full character 车:
The (1) is a footnote:
The first line says that the stroke order for the radical form is different, with the vertical stroke second to last instead of last. You can also see that 年 changes in a similar way.
If we don’t follow this for all characters, please report the characters that need fixing!