Can You Get At Least 30/35 On This Car Maintenance 101 Quiz?

By: Isadora Teich
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Are you ready to go fast? Then put your car knowledge to the test with this mechanically minded quiz. From appreciators of old vintage classics like 60s Corvettes and Aston Martins to those who just know that their car gets them to work and back, everyone needs to know a little basic car maintenance. Whether you go on long road trips or to the grocery store and back, knowing your way around a car can get you out of all sorts of potentially sticky situations.   

A lot goes into making a car that works and even more goes into keeping it running. Cars can take up a lot of time, money and energy to keep up, but when they run perfectly it's all worth it. People love and need their cars. In fact, in the United States of America alone, there are over 250 million cars on the road. While this seems like a massive number, it doesn't even crack the top 10 when it comes to countries with the most cars. Despite America's infamous car culture, a number of countries around the world have more cars per person and some even more cars than people! In the European microstate of San Marino, for every 1000 people, there are roughly 1,200 cars!      

If you think you have what it takes to get a car roadworthy, put the pedal to the metal with this quiz! 

How often should you rotate your tires?

Every 5,000 miles, it is important that drivers rotate their tires. This helps to keep them evenly worn.

Is it true that driving a car too little is bad for it?

Never driving a car can lead to a dead battery, flat-spotted tires and other issues. It's recommended that car owners take their car for a spin every 2-3 weeks minimum to keep everything in working order.

Can bird poop damage your paint job?

If you notice bird poop on your car, wash it off as soon as possible. If you leave it in the sun and the poop bakes into the car, it will make a dull spot in your paint.

Loose mufflers are potentially:

Loose mufflers can rattle and shake, their extra movement putting stress on other parts of the car. If they are loose enough they also hang low, which means they can break off if they hit railroad tracks or bumps.

When you rotate your tires, you:

While many people think that rotating tires means to spin them, it doesn't. It is when you switch the front and back tires to even out wear.

What should you do if you find a nail in your tire?

When you find a nail in your tire, your first instinct may be to pull it out. However, as long as the nail is in the puncture is at least partially sealed. While driving on a tire like this for a long time is not recommended, it will definitely last you until you can get to a tire place.

Should you drive a car that smells like gasoline?

If your car smells like gasoline, there is probably a leak. This leak could be ignited if you start your car.

What can you use to check your tire tread?

In order to check if your tires are road legal, turn your penny head down and stick it between your tire tread. If you can see Lincoln's entire head, you legally need to replace your tires.

Drivers can easily check their ________ level.

If your oil is too high or low, it can cause issues for your engine. Check it by parking on level ground, waiting for your engine to cool, and then locating the dipstick. Wipe it off and reinsert it. If your oil is between the high and low marks on the dipstick, you are in the clear.

If your car smells like rotten eggs or sulfur, what is no longer working?

If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur inexplicably in your car, it's probably because the catalytic converter has overheated. This can be due to a number of core problems, meaning an inspection is needed ASAP.

Make sure your engine is _______ before you check the coolant.

Before taking a look at your coolant system, make sure that your engine is cool. Also, do not take the radiator cap off to check coolant level while the engine is hot, because you could potentially get burned.

What should you do before doing any work on your car involving the electrical system?

If you are going to do any work on the electrical system of your car, be sure to disconnect the battery first for safety reasons. Be sure to loosen the negative terminal first.

What shouldn't you touch when changing headlight bulbs?

If you touch the glass bulb, you will leave trace amounts of oil on the glass. This will cause the bulb to heat unevenly while in use and eventually crack.

How often should you change your oil?

Be sure to read the manual for your specific model of car to make sure you are taking proper care of it. The manufacturer will tell you when to get certain things inspected and replaced and even what kinds of fuel work best for your car, which can vary car to car.

When choosing tires, consider the _________.

Get tires to suit the weather you most often will drive in. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, for example, you might want to consider wet weather tires.

You need to check your oil level and __________.

If you check your oil and it's clean, you are in the clear. However, murky, muddy oil is a big clue that you may have an engine problem.

What should you clean your car battery with?

While most modern car batteries don't require much maintenance, you should know its location and check it occasionally to make sure there's no leaking or build up. If there's mineral build up, you can scrub it away with a brush.

Clean your windshield:

If you notice that your windshield is streaky and hard to see through, the problem may not be with your wipers. Make sure to regularly clean your windshield inside and out for the best visibility possible.

How often should you have your spark plugs changed?

If your spark plugs are worn or covered in grime, it can mean that your engine is not working efficiently. Depending upon the model of your car and type of spark plugs, you could require a change every 30,000-100,000 miles.

Is preventative maintenance important?

Regular maintenance is key to preventing inconvenient, expensive, and possibly even dangerous surprises down the line. Look over your car yourself, and if you are not a professional, have a professional mechanic check up on it regularly.

Do you have to be an expert to replace the air filter in most cars?

While some parts of car maintenance can be tricky or require a delicate hand, changing the air filter in many cars is as easy as opening and closing a box under the hood. Air filters are a simple fix and a cheap part to buy.

If you don't maintain your car's oil, what will happen?

Keeping your oil fresh and at the right levels is critical for the overall performance and longevity of your vehicle. Not maintaining it can also void your warranty.

How can you check your tire pressure?

Get a tire gauge and use it to not only check your tire pressure regularly but the pressure of your spare tire, too. This will improve fuel efficiency, let you know if your vehicle is properly aligned and make sure you are ready in case of emergencies.

What can you use to wash your car?

Random household cleaning products contain ingredients which can strip the wax off of your car. If you don't have any car-specific products on hand, wait to clean your vehicle until you do.

How often should your car get maintenance checks?

Look at the manual for your specific make and model of car. Different maintenance schedules are suggested for different kinds of vehicles.

Which of these is a fluid in a car which you should check regularly?

For optimum performance and safety, you should check all of the fluids in your car regularly. These include the brake, transmission, power steering, transaxle, antifreeze and windshield washer fluids.

How do you know if engine belts need to be replaced?

If your engine belt is cracked or is missing segments, it needs to be replaced. Look for these things when you inspect your car.

You need new brakes if your current brakes are:

There are a few signs that you need new brakes which might pop up long before your brake warning light on the dashboard lights up. If you notice strange noises or your car needing longer distances to stop, it might be time for new brakes.

What are signs you need new tires?

It is incredibly important for drivers to have functional tires which are regularly checked to stay safe on the road. Look out for uneven wear and damage to the rubber.

If your car smells like burnt toast while driving, what should you do?

If you smell burnt toast suddenly in your car, it could be indicative of electrical problems, which are a common source of fires. You should not drive your car.

Is brake dust bad for your car?

Brake dust is what happens when a whole bunch of road grime clings to your wheels. If not cleaned regularly, the heat from your brakes will bake the grime into your wheels.

Which is worse for car batteries?

Heat takes a bigger toll on car batteries than cold. It has been recommended that new car owners in hot climates have the battery tested after 2 years, while those in colder climates can wait 4.

If something in your car smells sickeningly sweet, you are smelling:

If there is an unexplained syrupy scent in your car, you may be smelling an antifreeze leak in your cooling system. You will most likely smell this leak before you see it, and should get it checked out immediately.

How often should you have your timing belt and accessory drive belt replaced?

At the front of your engine, there is a series of rubber drive belts that keep everything in working order. These should ideally be checked every 25,000 miles and replaced roughly every 50,000 miles, depending on manufacturer instructions.

How often should you check tire pressure?

Incorrect tire pressure can negatively affect the fuel economy and smoothness of your drive. Ideally, this should be checked once a week.

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