Do Your Automotive Skills Stack Up to World Famous Car Experts?


By: Robin Tyler

6 Min Quiz

Image: Colin Hawkins/Cultura/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Do you know your valves from your intakes?

What about your spark plugs from your glow plugs, your gasoline from your bio-fuel, your diesel from your gasoline, your coolant from your brake fluid and your power steering from your driveshaft?

If you have even a clue as to what we are talking about, you might just be one of those 'world famous' car experts, ready to ace our automotive skills quiz. 

Were you good in auto shop at school? Well, then you stand every chance of crossing the finish line in first place with the checkered flag waving in the breeze just for you.

Rest assured, however, you won't have it all your own way! In this quiz, we are going to test your knowledge of engines, suspensions, exhaust systems, pistons, valves, cylinders and just about every other car component. 

So don't idle! Let's get those revs up and see how you fare! A simple image and a few clues are all you have. Will it help separate the know-it-alls from the know-nothings?

Let's see where you end up! Good luck, take your time, trust your grey matter and you should be fine! Aim for 100 percent. You can do it! 

Touching this bulb will actually shorten its life. Name the bulb, please.

The oils and moisture found in your fingers will shorten the life of a halogen bulb when touched.


You won't need a car jack to replace which of the car parts below?

To replace a spark plug, simply open the hood and loosen it using a plug spanner.


What car part is often found on the passenger side, behind the glove box?

The air entering the cabin through the climate control system is first filtered to help remove any particles and impurities. The air filter which does this is often found behind the glove box.


When trying to determine a problem that a vehicle has, a mechanic should first ______.

Always ask the driver as to what he/she has experienced while driving the vehicle and exactly why they have brought it in.


When doing an oil change, what other parts are changed at the same time?

As the dirty oil has been running through the car's oil filter, a brand new one should be installed when an oil change is made.


This part in your engine ensures that the gasoline entering it is free from impurities. Can you name it?

Gasoline passes through the fuel filter in your vehicle before it is burnt with the air mixture. This removes impurities that may prevent the engine from running at its optimal level.


Name this part of the suspension system on your car.

The shock absorber helps to absorb the bumps as your vehicle travels on a road, making the ride more comfortable


Pictured here is a major component in the braking system on a vehicle. Do you know what it is?

Often the first part of a braking system to be replaced, the brake pads wear down as they are brought into contact with the brake disc when the brakes are applied to slow a car down.


Can you identify this part of a vehicle's exhaust system?

The exhaust manifold is the link between the engine and the exhaust system which ends in the tailpipe.


What is the main purpose of the exhaust manifold?

The manifold is connected to all cylinders to allow the gases produced in the combustion process to escape out of the engine, down the exhaust and out the tailpipe.


What is the first thing to check if a car's steering is pulling to the side.

If the wheel alignment of a vehicle is out, it will pull to one side. If not fixed, the tires will wear unevenly.


What could be the cause of a spongy feeling when pressing the brake pedal?

A spongy brake pedal means only one thing - air in the brake system.


If a vehicle suddenly becomes harder to turn, or the power steering works intermittently, what should you check first?

The power steering system is a hydraulic system that requires the correct level of power steering fluid. If this is low, the power steering on your vehicle might stop working altogether.


Name this part of the brake system on a vehicle, please.

When the brake is applied, brake pads will push onto the brake disk which, in turn, slows the turning wheels of a car.


In this image, you will see part of a car's suspension. What is it called?

A strut forms part of the suspension. Like a shock absorber, it helps to make the ride smoother.


What is the minimum tire tread allowed in most states in America?

Most states in the America require a tire tread of no less than 2/32 of an inch. Anything less is in violation of the law.


A car with intermittent starting problems could mean ______?

Car maintenance is an ongoing thing. If owners do not look after their vehicles, things like dirty battery terminals can wreak havoc.


What part of the car should you check if your headlights start to dim?

The alternator is failing and not generating enough power for the electrical systems in your car. If you notice a burning smell, then this is definitely the problem.


What reason below, could make an engine misfire?

A common reason for a misfiring engine is a clogged fuel filter. Replacing the filter should correct the problem.


A client brings you a car that is pouring white smoke but the check engine light is not illuminated on the dash. What could be the problem?

The most likely cause of the problem is a clogged fuel injector, especially since the check engine light is not on.


A car belching black smoke usually means?

When a car runs too rich, too much fuel is pumped in with air and not all of it is burned during combustion. This causes black smoke to come out of the exhaust.


This car part is found only on diesel-powered engines. What is it?

Glowplugs are used in the startup process of a diesel-powered car. They get hot, heating the engine to help it start easier.


If a car is experiencing transmission problems, what is the first thing that should be checked?

Sometimes, a car might simply run low on transmission fluid and that can cause all kinds of gearbox problems.


When should you rotate you car tires?

Tires should be rotated very 6,000 to 8,000 miles. This helps to get the maximum effect out of them.


Name this car part, please.

A crankshaft is essential in starting the rotational motion that will drive the driveshaft, axle and then the wheels.


When testing the voltage of a battery, what should it be?

A car battery should be 12.6 V when fully charged.


On an oil can, to what does 5w30 refer?

You need to put the right viscosity oil in your vehicle. If unsure, check with the manufacturer.


What liquid is usually poured into the radiator?

Having coolant in your car is very important. This is released into the engine to keep it running at the proper temperature so it doesn't overheat.


Can you identify this car part?

This protects the internal parts of the distributor.


This is found in modern cars. It ensures the spark plugs fire at the correct time. What is it called?

To keep engines running as efficiently as possible, a computer, called the engine control module, ensures the park plugs fire at the perfect time.


The part that moves up and down in the cylinder is called the ______.

Pistons are the very heart of an engine. Without them, it simply won't run.


In what order does a four-stroke engine fire?

Intake brings the air/fuel mix into the combustion chamber, where it is compressed and combusts, providing power. The exhaust gases are then removed.


Which of these fuels generate more torque?

Diesel is the propellant that generates more torque than any other.


Where are the pistons and cylinders located in an engine?

The cylinder block houses the cylinders and the pistons inside them.


Which part of the engine helps to turn it over when you turn the key?

Without a functioning starter motor, your vehicle will not start


Name this belt found in the engine, please.

The timing belt helps to ensure that the valves open and close in time with the movement of the pistons.


Name this valve, please. It lets gases out of the engine.

The exhaust valve is important because it allows the gases formed during combustion out of the engine.


What is the name of the valve pictured here?

This valve lets air into the engine, where it is burned with fuel.


If you car is running hot but has enough coolant and the radiator is not leaking, what should you check?

A faulty thermostat is the likely cause of your problem. Have it checked out.


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