The Official HowStuffWorks Engine Quiz

By: Robin Tyler
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
Who invented the diesel engine?
Rudolf Diesel
It was German engineer Rudolf Diesel who introduced the world to the diesel engine in the 1890s. He applied for a patent in 1892, which he received a year later. However, early diesel engines were large and cumbersome.
Karl Benz
Ransom E. Olds
The Dodge Brothers

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Which famous Ford engine, first seen in 1932, is still revered today and much loved in the hot rod community?
Inline 4
Flathead V8
Released by Ford in 1932, the Flathead V8 was a revelation. It was cheap to make, powerful, and like nothing else on the market. Even during the Great Depression, it became a favorite.
EcoBoost I-3
Kent engine

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Muscle cars are known for their powerful engines. What is the engine type most associated with them?
W16
Straight 6
V8
Although not all muscle cars have been marketed with V8 engines, the ones that matter have! A muscle car without a V8 is just wrong in our books. And it doesn't need to be a big block V8—a small block is fine as well!
1-cylinder

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Which of these parts is exclusively found in a diesel engine?
Fuel line
Crankshaft
Piston
Glow plug
A glow plug is only found in diesel engines. It helps start the engine by heating, making it turn over easier, especially in cold conditions. Essentially, glow plugs are tiny heaters.

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From these options, pick the engine found in a 1968 Shelby Mustang GT350?
Flathead V8
Inline 6 cylinder
302 V8
As iconic as any car ever made, the Shelby Mustang GT350 was powered by the Ford 302 V8. So not only did it look good, it had the power to match!
Duratec 8v PS

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When the camshaft turns, it does so at what ratio to the crankshaft?
1/32
1/16
1/4
For every two turns of the turn of the crankshaft, the camshaft turns half a turn. This is achieved through gearing.
1/12

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An essential part of the engine, this helps to keep the lubricating liquid as clean as possible. What part are we talking about?
Water pump
Fuel filter
Oil filter
Oil keeps all the moving parts of an engine lubricated. An oil filter helps to remove impurities in the oil that might damage the engine. Generally, the oil filter is changed when your car is serviced.
Solenoid

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From the list below, what burns within the engine to keep the combustion process going and the engine running?
Carbon dioxide
Nitrogen
A mixture of air and gas
The air/gasoline mixture is ignited by the spark from the spark plug. This starts the combustion process within the cylinder which is necessary to keep the engine running.
None of the above

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Can you name the famous Italian brand responsible for the Colombo engine?
Fiat
Ferrari
The Colombo engine was made by Ferrari between 1947 and 1988. It takes its name from its designer, Gioacchino Colombo and was a 60 degree V12 configuration.
Citroen
BMW

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In which brand did Chevrolet introduce their small-block V8 engine?
Camaro
The legendary Chevrolet small-block V8 was first seen on the Camaro when it was introduced in 1967. It proved that small-block V8's were also perfect for muscle cars and provide over 300 bhp.
Citation
Cruze
Silverado

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Which of these parts is not involved in the ignition system of the engine?
High tension wires
Magneto
Catalytic converter
The catalytic converter has nothing to do with starting a car. It deals with the emissions produced by the engine.
Starter motor

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What do spark plugs need before they can provide a spark to ignite the fuel/air mixture?
An electrical charge of high voltage
A high-voltage charge, generated by the ignition, is needed at exactly the right time to ensure the spark plug ignites the air/fuel mixture. Without it, the car simply won't start.
Heat
They need to turn 180 degrees
None of the above

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Can you identify the part that gets gas from the tank to the engine?
Fuel crank
Fuel pump
A fuel pump makes sure fuel gets from the area where it is stored (the fuel tank) to the engine where it is burnt to help propulsion. A broken fuel pump means the engine will not receive any gas and the car will not go.
Fuel filter
None of the above

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What is another name for a rotary engine?
Spinner
Twirly Whirley
Wankel
A Wankel engine is essentially a rotary engine with all parts rotating in the same direction. It's named after Felix Wankel, the man who invented it.
None of the above

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Which race engine grabbed 64 out of 78 race wins including six Indy 500s?
Chevrolet/Ilmor 2.65 Liter Turbo V8
Six Indy 500s and 64 race wins! Those are some impressive numbers. And Chevrolet achieved it by teaming up with British engine maker, Ilmor.
Ford EcoBoost 1.5
Mazda 1.3
Honda K20

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Which of these is a famous muscle car engine?
Eagle
HEMI
The V8 Hemi engine was a product of Chrysler. It received its name from the fact that it has hemispherical combustion chambers. The Hemi was the powerplant for a number of cars, not only muscle cars.
Grafter
Vroom

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

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The combustion process in a diesel engine starts with which of these below?
Ignition
Compression
The fuel/air mixture in a diesel engine is combusted through compression in a muscle car. This is achieved by the piston forcing the air and compressing it until combustion occurs.
A spark plug
Decompression

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From these engines, which has the highest compression ratio?
Gas engine
Diesel engine
A diesel engine combusts the fuel air mixture in a different way to a gas engine. It will use compression of the piston to do this. This generates heat which eventually combusts the fuel/air mixture.
Hybrid engine
Electrical engine

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First released in 1955, over a million units of this small-block V8 were built by 1956—it was that popular. What make of engine is it?
Chevrolet
The Chevrolet small-block V8 was first released in 1955 and by the end of that year, over a million had been built. Simple, yet effective and powerful, derivatives of this engine are still made today and over 100 million have been made.
Opel
Renault
Citroen

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What important component under the hood will rotate an engine just enough to get it rotating on its own?
Spark plugs
Carburetor
Starter
The primary role of the starter is to turn the engine over, causing it to fire and to run on its own. Starters can sometimes be the main cause of an engine not starting, especially if they jam.
Rotor

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What is the name of the engine part found between the crankshaft and the engine block?
Distributor
Main bearing
The main bearings are found between the crankshaft and the block. The crankshaft rotates on these bearings. They are kept lubricated by engine oil.
Carburetor
Engine manifold

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By what other name is a horizontally opposed engine known?
Boxer engine
A boxer engine, or horizontally opposed engine, sees cylinders arranged on either side of a crankshaft. Boxer engines are found in a range of Porsche models as well as those from Subaru.
V engine
W engine
Inline engine

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In terms of displacement, which of these would be accurate for the engine in the Ford Model T?
5.0-liter
1.0-liter
2.9-liter
The Ford Model T was powered by a 2.9-liter inline-four engine for the length of its production run. Of course, it was modified over time and produced more horsepower towards the end. The engine was also used in boating and engineering.
1.5-liter

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Which American manufacturer introduced the "Stovebolt" engine in 1929?
Ford
Chevrolet
The "Stovebolt" was introduced by Chevrolet in 1929. It replaced the older straight-four engine and was used on a variety of Chevrolet vehicles. The engine was available as a 3.0-liter, 3.2-liter or a 3.4-liter unit.
Dodge
Studebaker

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The combustion process in a diesel engine is caused by which of these below?
Spark plug
The compression of air in the piston
A diesel engine is a compression ignition engine and not a spark ignition engine. This is because compression of the air by the piston causes combustion.
A small flame
Glow plug

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Can you name the car part that not only runs electrical systems but helps start the car as well?
Starter motor
Battery
The battery on your car is one of the most crucial engine components. Not only does it ensure that the starter motor turns over, thus beginning the process that starts the engine, it also runs other systems, including the radio as well as lights, both internal and external.
Distributor
Fan

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If your brake pedal feels spongy, what does it mean?
The tires are faulty
The brake system has air in it
If any air has worked its way into the brake system, the brake pedal will immediately feel spongy. The brakes will need to be bled to remedy the situation.
A new brake cable must be installed
None of the above

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What is it called when air circulates through an engine?
Breathing
Flow
Normally aspirated
Most vehicles you will see on the road run normally aspirated engines. Other engines might have superchargers or turbochargers.
None of the above

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From the list below, can you name the car part that brings fuel to the engine?
Fuel line
The fuel line connects the gas tank of a vehicle with the engine. It is tasked with bringing gasoline from the tank where it is stored to the engine when it is started and running. The gasoline is passed through a filter to remove any impurities in it. Impurities, if not removed, can damage the engine leading to costly repairs.
Fuel filter
Fuel flow piston
Fuel air duct

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Which Ford engine was produced between 1965 and 1996?
300 I-6
Produced for a 31-year period between 1965 and 1996, the 300 I-6 from Ford was a stalwart of their F-truck series. So impressive was this engine that Ford used it in heavy-duty truck models as well.
Model T Inline-4
Flathead V8
Windsor

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Air-cooled engines are far lighter than traditional liquid-cooled engines. Which of these below is true about them?
They use more gas
They run colder
They run hotter
Air-cooled engines run hotter than a liquid-cooled engine because their is no coolant flowing through it to cool it down. So when the car stops driving, the engine will increase in temperature.
They use more oil

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Do you know another name for piston pins?
Connectors
Wrist pin
A piston pin is known as a wrist pin. It's a tubular metal shaft that attaches a piston to a connecting rod. It moves when the piston moves up and down within the cylinder.
Rotors
None of the above

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Can you name the engine part that converts the mechanical energy produced by the engine to electrical energy?
Crankshaft
Cambelt
Alternator
The alternator is an important part of your car's engine. It takes mechanical energy, converts it into electrical energy, and then uses that to keep the battery charged, for example.
Solenoid

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Which car manufacturer is responsible for the famous XK6 engine?
Lada
Jaguar
A dual overhead camshaft inline-six engine, the XK6 was first produced by Jaguar in 1949 and remained in production until 1992! Over that time, it was manufactured in five displacement sizes ranging from 2.4 to 4.2 liters.
Skoda
Geely

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