Auto Mechanics 101: Are You a Car Expert?

By: Robin Tyler

Auto Mechanics 101: Are You a Car Expert?
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Cars are simply fascinating, aren't they?

Made from thousands and thousands of parts, they are getting more advanced every year. Particularly when it comes to the thing that makes them go from A to B. 

No, not a global positioning satellite system. The engine! 

Thanks to those mechanical and automotive geniuses over a century ago, we have some unbelievable pieces of machinery on the road today. And although they are much more complicated now, essentially the engine works in much the same way as it always has. 

So do you know your crankshaft from your cambelt? Your spark plug from your glowplug? Your exhaust manifold from your tailpipe? What about your connecting rods from your high tension leads? Do you know the difference? Could you answer a range of questions on auto mechanics, with a few curveballs about auto history thrown in?

Well, then you are in the right place. Make no mistake, this quiz is going to test your auto knowledge to the fullest. Just take your time, look at each answer and pick the right one ... hopefully!

Good luck, you going to need your wits about you and your gray matter in tip-top form! But we have faith! Let's go!

Spark Plugs What car part is depicted in this image?
Spark plug
The spark plug is crucial in starting your vehicle and keeping it running. It provides the spark that combusts the fuel/air mixture.
Distributor
Piston
Crankshaft

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Low Oil Pressure This warning light is shining from your car dashboard and will not go out. What should you check?
Coolant level
Oil level
A low oil level means there is not enough lubricant running through the engine. This can cause wear and tear on metal parts within the engine and even cause it to seize.
Gas levels
Brake fluid levels

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car battery Your vehicle won't start. It just turns over but won't fire. Name the part in this image you should check first.
Starter motor
Fuel injector
Car battery
The first thing you check when your car won't start is your battery. This is often the problem, and may have run down because an interior light was left on, for example.
Sparkplug

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Engine Temperature The light in the image is glowing on your dashboard. What does it indicate?
Low gas levels
You should change the oil.
Your radiator is leaking.
Your engine is running at a high temperature. Check the coolant levels
Should you ever see this light burning on your dashboard, immediately stop your car as the engine is running far too hot. Check coolant levels and also whether the engine has enough oil.

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Nikolaus Otto The man in the picture invented the internal combustion engine. Who is he?
Henry Ford
Nikolaus Otto
It was Nikolaus Otto who invented the internal combustion engine in the late 1800s.
William C. Durant
Louis Chevrolet

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Piston What part of the engine is shown in this image?
Axle
Crankshaft
Connecting rod
Piston
The piston, moving within the cylinder, is what creates compression of the air/fuel mixture which is then combusted and burns away to provide power

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Brake Light Warning What should you do if you see this warning light burning on your dashboard?
Check oil levels
Check your brake fluid levels.
There is a problem with the brakes, have them checked out.
This warning light will only shine if there is a problem with the brake system on your vehicle. Have it checked out immediately.
Your radiator has a problem.

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Spark Plugs When you turn the key in your ignition to start the car, what begins the whole process of combustion?
Spark plug
The spark plug provides the necessary spark that ignites the fuel/air mixture and sets the engine running.
Fuel injectors
Fuel filter
Glow plug

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Glow Plug The car part in the image is found in diesel engines only. What is it?
Spark plug
Glowplug
A glowplug heats up to help the starting process in a diesel engine, which is very different to that of a gasoline engine.
Radiator
Battery

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Service Required What should you do if you see this light shining on your dashboard?
Take your car for a service
As humans we are forgetful. Luckily, our cars remind us when they need to be serviced. Neat, isn't it!
Add gasoline
Check the oil levels
Add coolant to your radiator

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Oil Can you name this liquid, which is essential in lubricating the moving parts in your cars engine?
Coolant
Oil
Without oil, the metal parts of your cars engine would not be able to work effectively and the moving parts would cause massive friction, damaging the engine.
Gasoline
WD-40

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William C. Durant The man pictured here is the founder of one of the most iconic American motoring brands, Chevrolet. Who was he?
Henry Ford
William C. Durant
William C Durant, together with Louis Chevrolet, formed the Chevrolet Motor Company in 1911.
Ransom E. Olds
Henry Leland

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Hi Tension Leads The vehicle part depicted here connects the distributor to the spark plugs. What is it called?
Cambelt
Alternator
High tension leads
High tension leads give the spark plugs the electrical surge they need from the distributor to be able to produce a spark.
Coil

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Ford Model T Henry Ford once said that you could order the Model T in any color you want, as long as it was ______?
White
Red
Blue
Black
Most early cars were only available in black. Why? Well it kept costs down at the end of the day.

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The airbags on your car must be serviced The light in this image is glowing on your dashboard. What does it mean?
The airbags on your car must be serviced.
Air bag systems need to be serviced every so often to keep them in proper working condition. If this light comes on, you need to take your vehicle to a mechanic.
The seatbelt is not fastened.
The seat must be adjusted.
None of the above

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Gas Tank Which part of the car holds the liquid that burns in your engine to help propel the car forward?
Gas tank
Gasoline is stored in a car's gas tank.
Fuel filter
Oil sump
Radiator

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Fuel line How is gasoline transported from the gas tank to the engine?
Oil line
Hi tension chords
Fuel line
The gasoline is moved along a fuel line to the engine, where it is used in the combustion process
Rubber hoses

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tailpipe The car part pictured here is found at the end of the exhaust system. What is it called?
Exhaust manifold
Tailpipe
The tailpipe usually is found at the back of the car. This is where the gases created by the combustion process in the engine escape through the exhaust system.
Muffler
None of the above

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There is a problem with the emissions levels of your engine copy The light in the image is glowing on your dashboard, what does it mean.
There is a problem with the emissions levels of your engine.
Modern cars have a very impressive system to keep harmful gases produced by the combustion process to the lowest level possible. This has to do with the catalytic converter. If it is not working properly, you could be breaking the law.
Replace the fan.
Your exhaust needs to be replaced.
Check your spark plugs.

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Radiator The car part pictured here is the resorvoir that holds coolant for your engine. What is it called?
Sump
Brake fluid reservoir
Radiator
Every car has a radiator. The coolant is stored here ready to be sent to the engine when needed. The radiator then removes the heat the coolant gathered before repeating the process.
Gas tank

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Hybrid (both gasoline and electric) Modern cars can be powered by motors powered by something other than gasoline. Pick another from the list below.
Hybrid (both gasoline and electric)
Hybrid motors include both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The electric motor generally powers the car from startup and at lower speeds.
Oil
Garbage
None of the above

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Your engine is burning to much fuel and running rich copy Your car is spewing black smoke out the tailpipe while running. What could it be?
You are running out of oil.
Your engine is burning to much fuel and running rich.
A car that is running rich means the fuel pumped into the engine cannot all be burned in the combustion process. This leads to black smoke out the tailpipe.
Your engine is not burning enough fuel and running lean.
None of the above

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Henry M. Leland The man in this image was the driving force behind Cadillac. What is his name?
Henry M. Leland
Henry M Leland is not only responsible for helping to found Cadillac but Lincoln as well.
Henry Ford
Louis Chevrolet
Ransom E. Olds

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Rotary Engine What type of engine do you find in the Mazda RX-7 which is very different from a regular gas engine?
Boxter engine
Rotary engine
The Mazda RX-7 is famous for its rotary engine which not only delivers a lot of pep but makes this little roadster handle beautifully.
Electric engine
Hydrogen engine

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Wankel Engine What is another name for a rotary engine?
Hydrogen engine
Wankel engine
Rotary engines are also known as Wankel engines,
Boxter engine
None of the above

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Check your power steering fluid level This light is burning on your dashboard. What does it mean?
Check your power steering fluid level.
Most cars now have power steering. Make sure that if this light burns on your dashboard you check the level of the power steering fluid in its reservoir as it may cause the power steering system to fail if you don't.
Turn your steering wheel slowly.
Press the horn.
None of the above

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Your car is burning coolant Your car is pouring thick white smoke out the tailpipe while running. What could it be?
Your car is burning oil.
Your car is burning coolant.
A car burning coolant means a bigger problem including a damaged cylinder head, among others.
Your car is burning too much fuel.
None of the above

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ABS What does this dashboard light mean?
Replace the oil.
Your radiator is leaking.
Check your anti-lock brakes.
This warning shows there is problem with the anti-lock brake system on your vehicle.
None of the above

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Six Cylider Engine What does an engine with six cylinders produce more of than a four-cylinder engine?
Noise
Tailpipe gas
Power
The more cylinders or the bigger the cylinder, the more power an engine can generate.
Revolutions

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1908 Ford Model T How many Ford Model T's were sold from 1908 to 1927?
1 million
15 million
That's simply incredible considering this was practically at the dawn of the automobile. Ford was indeed a brilliant man.
800,000
500,000

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You have an oil leak which means the engine is burning oil copy Your car has started to spray blue colored smoke from the tailpipe while the engine is running. What does this mean?
The engine is running too rich and burning too much fuel.
The engine is running too lean and not burning enough fuel.
You have an oil leak, which means the engine is burning oil.
Leaking gaskets mean that an oil leak is the simple reason why your engine is blowing blue-colored smoke out of the tailpipe.
None of the above

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Battery 2 This car part helps turn the starter motor to start the engine of the car. What is it?
Distributor
Condensor
Alternator
Battery
A battery is necessary to provide the initial power to turn the starter motor over and begin the ignition process.

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Above Camshaft Where is the camshaft in an overhead cam engine found in relation to the valves?
To the right
To the left
Below
Above
Overhead cam engines have a camshaft situated above the valves. This is the most common type of layout in engines.

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Inline 6 What is it called when engine cylinders are arranged in a single bank?
V
Inline
Most engines have an inline configuration.
W
None of the above

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Tire Presssure Low What does this dashboard light indicate?
Tire pressure low
Not all cars have this warning but it's useful, especially if you have a slow flat tire that you didn't know about, for instance.
Cruise control faulty
Off-road section detected
None of the above

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Internal Combustion Engine Modern vehicle engines are based on which early power plant?
Steam engine
Internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine was the first engine to make it possible to have a "horseless carriage."
Steam engine
Hybrid

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Piston The engine stroke that lets fuel and air into the combustion chamber is called the ______ stroke.
Fuel and air stroke
Entrance stroke
Intake stroke
Engines work in a particular way, with this movement of the piston letting air and fuel into a combustion chamber. The intake of air and fuel gives this stroke its name.
Opening stroke

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Combustion stroke When the fuel/air mixture combusts, what is this stroke called?
Combustion stroke
By compressing the air/fuel mix, the piston helps to create the combustion stroke
Explosive stroke
Downward stroke
The 'Bang' stroke

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