The Auto Shop Quiz

By: Dave Davis
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
The Auto Shop Quiz
Image: sturti/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

When car owners bring their vehicles into the mechanic’s garage for routine maintenance or repair, the experience can often leave them feeling vulnerable. The space is filled with unfamiliar tools, machines and strange-looking devices, and mechanics frequently use terms most people don’t understand. For car owners, it’s like being in a foreign country where they don’t speak the language. Add to the fact that, depending on the repair, hundreds or even thousands of dollars could be on the line, and this simple trip could lead to ever-rising levels of anxiety.

Is this your experience, or do you feel that the garage is a second home? Are you afraid of speaking with the mechanic, or do you relish the opportunity to talk shop? This quiz will determine how much you know about the tools of the trade when it comes to auto repair and maintenance!

One of the best ways to lower the fear and dread of visiting your local auto shop is to familiarize yourself with what you’ll find there. While some of these objects resemble medieval torture devices, knowing a strut compressor from a breaker bar will, at some level, put your mind at ease.

Some of these devices are squarely in the domain of the professional mechanic. Others are easily found in a home garage or, at times, in a well-supplied glove box. Even if you don’t consider yourself “handy,” you’ll know far more about the tools found in an auto shop than you did when you started this quiz! So, let’s step past the line that keeps the other customers out of the service bay and take a crack at some questions that will give us a diagnostic of your auto shop knowledge. Pull it on in!

20 - Jack stand
Garage Geek via YouTube
Can you name this simple piece of equipment that could save your life?
Pulley guard
Hydraulic press
Bumper support
Jack stand
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When working under a car that's jacked up, good mechanics know to never go any further without putting jack stands into place. If the jack fails or shifts — and they do from time to time — a jack stand will keep the car supported and off the worker under it. Jack stands can be life savers.

24 - Socket set
mdlee52 via YouTube
What's the name of this basic set of tools that can be found in almost any garage or home?
Pipe fitting set
Socket set
Allen wrench set
Screwdriver set
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If you work on cars — or any type of machine — for any length of time, you're going to run into the need for a socket set. A good wrench, a variety of sizes of sockets (both English and metric), Allen keys and extensions are great items to keep handy.

18 - Combination wrench set
Robert Lowdon/Moment/Getty Images
Sometimes there's no substitute for a good set of these in the garage, but what are they?
Combination wrench set
Tuning compression array
Cable leads
Breaker bars
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While socket sets are often more convenient than an open wrench, there are times when you need a set of these to get the job done — the nut could be in a confined space, or you might need to counter-hold a bolt when getting it loose. A good set of wrenches has been a time-tested tool for mechanics throughout the ages.


23 - Auto fuse puller
furulevi via YouTube
You could use a pair of pliers, but it's recommended that you use this tool for the job. What is its job?
Screw retriever
Auto fuse puller
Circuit tester
Nylon nut wrench
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When a fuse blows, something in the car stops working. The fuses are easily replaced but are usually packed together in a tight enough grouping where it can be difficult to get your fingers on the right one. A fuse puller grasps the fuse firmly but not so hard as to break it.

27 - Magnetic tray
Ramón Espelt Photography/Moment Open/Getty Images
It's simple, but you'll thank yourself when you use which piece of equipment?
Magnetic tray
Oil pan
Hubcap storage unit
Solar reflector
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When working on a vehicle, you'll undoubtedly have a supply of screws, nuts, washers and other small pieces you'll need when it comes time to put it all back together. A magnetic tray or bowl will make sure that the tiny pieces stay put — and no batteries are required!

9 - Door air wedge
Wayne Winton via YouTube
You've been locked out of your vehicle. What's the name of this tool that will get you back in?
Hydraulic air compressor
Machine oil reservoir
Door air wedge
Water-cooled microdrill
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

There are few things as annoying as locking your keys in the car — you look through the window and they're RIGHT THERE! A door air wedge can get you back in by inserting it between the door and the weather stripping and then inflating it so you can slip a rod in and unlock the door. Presto!


15 - Magnetic pick-up tool
Supercheap Auto via YouTube
What's the name of this tool that, when necessary, will keep the cursing in the garage down to a minimum?
Radio antenna
Magnetic pick-up tool
Telescoping circuit tester
Linear stethoscope
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Even the most careful mechanics will drop a screw, nut or other small object down into a crook that's too small or too far away to be reached by hand. By using a pick-up tool with a magnet on the end, however, the part can be easily retrieved, and the work can go on.

8 - Air compressor
Campbell Hausfeld via YouTube
What's the name of this machine that is designed to put other items into motion?
Industrial vacuum
Tire inflator
Fuel tank draining system
Air compressor
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Pneumatic tools are a great help when working on vehicles, but they require one thing to function — compressed air. A single air compressor can power a number of different tools as long as it's big enough to provide the pressure required.

22 - Wheel balancer
Derek Weaver Company via YouTube
What's the name of this device that won't be found in home garages but is a great tool for a professional service bay?
Rim straightener
Retread applicator
Wheel balancer
Precision inflater
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When putting new tires on the rim, the job is not done until the wheel is properly balanced and spins smoothly at speed. By using this machine, the tech will know where to put counterweights to make sure everything will roll evenly for better handling and ride comfort.


25 - Tire gauge
flubydust/E+/Getty Images
Your mechanic has one and so should you. What's the name of this most basic piece of automotive equipment?
Timing key
Tire gauge
Water pressure gauge
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Some have a needle gauge, some are electronic, and others simply have a stick that pops out to give you a reading, but whichever type you prefer, keeping a tire pressure gauge in the glove compartment is a no-brainer. They're cheap and if used regularly, will prevent flats and extend the life of your vehicle's tires.

17 - Creeper
Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Despite its name, this piece of equipment is both useful and completely harmless. What is it?
Nap board
Spider roller
Corpse hauler
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When you spend a lot of time under cars, it's best to keep your back off the ground and be able to move around with a minimum amount of effort. A creeper can make the job of fitting in tight places a lot easier, and if a nap happens to take place on one every now and then, who's it hurting?

28 - Torque wrench
Do It Yourself Bri via YouTube
What's the name of this piece of equipment that can help you from becoming your own worst enemy?
Ratchet wrench
Lighted screwdriver
Torque wrench
Pneumatic hammer
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Tightening a bolt is a simple action, but if a mechanic uses too much force — as we're all tempted to do — it can strip the bolt or, in some cases, shear it off. By using a torque wrench, the mechanic can set it and hear a click when the required tightness is reached. It will also make it easier for the next mechanic to take that bolt off when the time comes.


6 - Spark plug socket
This the right tool for a very specific job, but what is it?
Spark plug socket
Allen wrench
Lugnut socket
Automotive fuse puller
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Removing or installing the spark plugs can be tricky in some vehicles, depending on the structure of the engine. A spark plug socket, however, can make changing them a breeze. The sockets come in two sizes — 5/8 inches and 13/16 inches — and often have a rubber insert to hold the plug firmly without damaging it.

11 - Four-way lug wrench
skodonnell/E+/Getty Images
It looks like a ninja's weapon. What's the name of this tool?
Four-way lug wrench
Crosshatch wrench
Multiple-use tire iron
Camshaft balancer
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Vehicles often have different sizes of lug nuts, and the tool that comes with the vehicle often isn't big enough to provide the leverage you need to get a stubborn lug nut off. The four-way lug wrench not only works with multiple vehicles but gives users all the leverage they should need to get the job done.

36 - Engine hoist
Alvarez Metal Works via YouTube
This machine saves time and the mechanic's back muscles. What is it?
Engine hoist
Car lift
Overhead floor jack
Hydraulic belt adjuster
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

There are times when the engine needs to be removed from the vehicle for repair or a rebuild, and the engine hoist is the key for lifting it out from under the hood. Through the use of chains and hydraulic levers, one mechanic is able to maneuver the engine to where he or she needs it.


34 - Floor jack
Real Tool Reviews via YouTube
Other tools can do the job, but what's the name of this device that makes the task quicker and easier?
Underbody roller
Tire alignment sensor
Floor jack
Frame straightener
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

All cars come with a jack that can be used by the roadside or in the home garage, but if you need to elevate a car quickly and much more easily, a floor jack is the way to go. You can roll it to the preferred place under the car's frame and with just a few pumps of the lever, you're ready to go (after you set the jack stands, of course).

26 - Oil drain and caddy
Greg Smith Equipment via YouTube
It can be a messy business. What's the name of this handy bit of equipment that can make it less so?
Air conditioner recharger
Gas tank drain and reservoir
Oil drain and caddy
Air compressor and filter
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This probably isn't a necessary piece of equipment for a home garage, but for businesses that do a lot of oil changes, this oil collection and storage system is a great use of resources. This item keeps things nice and clean and stores the spent oil until it can be permanently and properly disposed of.

16 - Digital timing light
Supercheap Auto via YouTube
When a mechanic uses this tool, he or she can keep things running the way they should on older or small engines. What's it called?
Digital reciprociter
Remote digital thermostat
Digital timing light
Fuel efficiency sensor
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

For older car engines and other engines with distributors, timing lights are a great tool to make sure the internal combustion process is timed to maximum efficiency. The light helps the mechanic determine if the spark plugs are firing at the correct interval to combust the fuel/air mix in the cylinders.


12 - Strut compressor
OTC TOOLS via YouTube
This tool is vital when working on the suspension system of many car models. Do you know what it's called?
Bushing press
Strut compressor
Spring straightener
Vice clamp
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When repairing or replacing struts, getting the high-tension spring off can be a challenge — after all, it's designed to support the weight of the car's frame. With this tool and a wrench, a mechanic can compress the spring down to the point where it can be removed from the strut's frame.

35 - Breaker bar
Real Tool Reviews via YouTube
This tool is an example of one of humanity's oldest machines. What's it called?
Electrical conduit
Breaker bar
Ratchet wrench
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Although it sounds violent, the breaker bar is as a lever that allows the mechanic to put much greater force on a stubborn bolt. By increasing leverage, one person can generate a great amount of force, and this is the tool that puts that force to use.

5 - Battery charger and jumper
Living Survival via YouTube
Can you name this device that will get things moving when nothing else will?
Oil dispenser
Shop radio
Portable vacuum
Battery charger and jumper
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When you turn the key and nothing happens, you've most likely got a battery issue. A jump starter can be used in cold weather or when the vehicle has a dead or depleted battery. It can help a mechanic find out what's happening with your vehicle.


21 - Battery terminal brush
Greensky438 via YouTube
Simple but effective, what's the name of this tool?
Spark plug cleaner
Battery terminal brush
12V outlet tester
Fuse tester
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

For proper operation, the battery's terminals must make good contact with the rest of the electrical system, but corrosion and other matter can form on the terminal posts over time. By using a bit of cleaner and using a terminal brush, however, the posts can look as good as new!

19 - Multimeter
FotoAta/E+/Getty Images
You know there's a problem, but you're not going to find it just by looking. What's the tool that's going to help you track it down?
OBD-II sensor
Frequency modulator
Timing indicator
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When you need to check a fuse, make sure that a circuit is being completed, or are tracking down some other electrical irregularity, a multimeter is an indispensable tool. It has a bit of a learning curve to know how to use one effectively, but once you're up to speed, you'll find the problem in no time!

30 - Spark plug gapper
donyboy73 via YouTube
Your car won't run smoothly, or in some cases at all, if your mechanic doesn't use this bit of equipment. What's it called?
Timing coin
Spark plug gapper
Distributor cap
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When changing a spark plug, the new plug must have a specific distance between its electrodes in order to make the right spark at the right moment. By using a gapper, you or your mechanic can set the gap at the recommended distance — usually between .02" and .1" — for your vehicle to run its best.


14 - Gasket scraper set
Catus Maximus via YouTube
When rebuilding an engine, you'll need this type of set to seal everything up properly. What's type of set will you be using?
Screwdriver set
Gasket scraper set
Chisel set
Putty knife set
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In order for the new gasket to make a tight seal, it's vital to get all the remains of the old gasket off the surface, and the best tool is one designed to scrape off old gasket pieces and residue. A set of these will offer different sizes and shapes that will allow the mechanic to prepare the surface for the new gasket and make a tight seal.

3 - Brake lathe
BendPak via YouTube
If you're feeling a little warped lately, which of these will put you back on the right path?
Transmission diagnostic scanner
Brake lathe
Angle grinder
Axle straightener
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The rotors or drums of your braking system can become warped with overuse, or they can become pitted because of worn pads. If the warp isn't too bad, however, a brake lathe can give the part a new lease on life. This tool allows a mechanic to turn the surface flat and smooth.

31 - Transmission jack
Danny Johnson via YouTube
What's this heavy-duty piece of equipment called around the garage?
Floor jack
Mechanic's stool
Transmission jack
Engine hoist
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Transmissions are a major part of a vehicle's drivetrain and also one of the heaviest pieces of equipment on the automobile. By using a transmission jack, mechanics can more easily maneuver it around and get it at an angle where it can be serviced.


32 - OBD-II scanner
BSK Garage via YouTube
This machine can answer all your questions — at least when it comes to your car. What's its name?
Infotainment CPU
Circuit tester
Electronic owner's manual
OBD-II scanner
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Your vehicles onboard diagnostic (OBD) system can provide you or your mechanic with codes that can tell you how the engine and other systems are functioning — and even let you know what the "check engine" light's deal is! To read the codes, however, it requires that a scanner be plugged into the ODB port, usually under the dash near the steering wheel.

40 - Fender cover
Ze26 via YouTube
When used properly, you'll never know that a mechanic was there. What's this piece of equipment called?
Driveway cover
Mechanic's apron
Fender cover
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When bent over under the raised hood with their heads deep in the engine compartment, mechanics are going to come into contact with the fenders and grille. By using a fender cover, they can protect your vehicle's paint job from zippers, dropped tools and other scratching hazards.

33 - Brake pad spreader
starastronomer via YouTube
What's the name of this the tool which is most often used when things are grinding to a halt?
Piston repositioner
Hood fastener
Replacement trunk latch
Brake pad spreader
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When replacing the brake pads, the calipers that push the pad against the rotor must be compressed. While something like a C-clamp can be used to do this, a spreader is easier and quicker to use.


7 - Master bolt grip set
Budget Build Garage via YouTube
To remove items that were designed to stay put, you'll need a set of these. What is this set called?
Master bolt grip set
Socket set
Screwdriver set
Bolt hole drilling set
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When you need to get pulleys, gears, steering wheels, harmonic balancers, flywheels and other items that were designed to stay put out of the way when working on the vehicle, your best bet is to grab a master bolt grip set and get to work.

2 - AC recovery, recycle and recharge machine
FordTechMakuloco via YouTube
It can be a complex job, but this is the right tool for it. Which one of these is it?
AC recovery, recycle and recharge machine
Tire inflator
ODB-II diagnostic device
Automatic car jack
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

After it has been in operation for a while, your air conditioner will need a coolant recharge, and a machine such as this is a mechanic's best friend for the procedure. This device will capture the spent refrigerant, test the system for leaks, refill it with new coolant and give a report about what it has found.

29 - Grease gun
Tool Review Zone via YouTube
What's the name of this device that keeps various parts of your car playing nicely with each other?
Air conditioner charger
Radiator coolant pump
Tire air pump
Grease gun
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While oil is the main lubricant of your vehicle's engine, parts like the steering system, suspension system, drivetrain and other elements require a lube job, which involves putting grease in various fittings and spots around the vehicle. A grease gun is the right tool for this job.


4 - Antifreeze tester
theoverengineer via YouTube
Sometimes you need to know what you're dealing with, and you can use this to gather info. What's it called?
Antifreeze tester
Refrigerant tester
Oil tester
Fuel tester
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It's a good idea to keep an eye on the condition of your antifreeze from time to time. If it becomes unable to do its job, your engine will pay the price. By squeezing the bulb and sucking a sample of antifreeze out, you can easily test you coolant's condition.

10 - Seal puller
Robert Lowdon/Moment/Getty Images
Despite its name, you're not doing anything mean to an animal when you use it. What's it called?
Bat wrench
Pidgeon hole grinder
Seal puller
Bulldog cutter
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A car has many seals that have to be removed during repairs or maintenance. The right tool for the job is, of course, a seal puller. This tool has different sized edges for various types of seals and works by providing you with added leverage to pull seals off quickly and easily (or at least that's the theory).

38 - Inspection camera
TheToolReview via YouTube
This device can shed some light on a problem area. What's it called?
Adjustable flash light
Inspection camera
Cylinder inspection tool
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

An inspection camera, sometimes called a borescope, offers a flexible tube with a light and lens at the end that transmits the image back to a screen, allowing the user — in this case, a mechanic — to get a better look at a hard-to-reach area. This saves time and effort because the other option is to remove parts to get a better look.


39 - Pneumatic socket wrench
Supercheap Auto via YouTube
What is the name of this time- and labor-saving device?
Sonic screwdriver
Shock/strut expander
Pneumatic socket wrench
Rachet wrench
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

There's nothing wrong with using a little elbow grease, but when you have tools available that can save you the strain, why not take advantage of them? When coupled with an air compressor — or in the case of cordless wrenches, a can of compressed air — a mechanic can make quick work of tightening and loosening bolts, saving time and energy.

1 - Windshield suction cup
NEW Auto Glass via YouTube
This tool can get you out of a sticky situation by giving you a handle on the situation. Can you name it?
Vacuum attachment
Magnetic gripper
Dent puller
Windshield suction cup
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When installing a new windshield, it can be hard to get a grip on the glass, and you certainly don't want to break it! By using a set of windshield suction cups, you can get a handle on the replacement part, making the work a piece of cake. Get a grip!

13 - Oil filter wrench
stone18/E+/Getty Images
What's the name of this device, which, when used properly, can keep you out of a messy situation?
Oil filter wrench
Gas tank band remover
Channellock pliers
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When a vehicle's oil is changed, the oil filter also needs to be changed. Because they're sometimes on very tightly and it's difficult to get both hands on the filter, the best tool for the job is a special wrench designed to easily remove the filter. Some have a band to wrap around the filter, and others have jaws that grip the filter, but they're both designed to get the part off without spilling oil all over the mechanic.


37 -Serpentine belt tool
Cornwell Quality Tools via YouTube
What's the name of this tool that is designed to tighten and loosen hard-to-reach items under your hood?
"Slim Jim" lock pick
Transmission adjustment wrench
Spark plug puller
Serpentine belt tool
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The serpentine belt is an important part of the engine, providing power for several systems, and has a long life. As with all belts, however, there will come a time when the belt needs to be replaced. With this tool, the mechanic can loosen the idler pulleys, replace the belt and restore pulley tension.

You Got:
sturti/E+/Getty Images