Working on a vehicle is a tough job. Often, its all about isolating that little noise, finding out why the engine is not running optimally or maybe just performing a routine service.
But to get the job done properly each time and with minimum fuss, an auto mechanic needs the right tools for the job. You cannot take off an oil filter using a hammer. Well, you probably could, but it's going to get a little messy.
That's why whenever you go into a mechanics workshop, you will see hundreds and hundreds of different tools, all just waiting to be used in the right situation. There are also specialist tools that may only be used once in a while, but having them is essential. Think of a circuit tester to find a broken circuit in the electrical system. Or, what about an engine stand for when an engine is totally removed from the chassis? These are just as critical as a set of wrenches, sockets or screwdrivers.
Now, would you know which tool is best to use in each situation? Well, that is exactly what we want to find out with this little quiz. This is a test of your auto shop knowledge.
Will you pass with flying colors?
If you want to remove a spark plug from your engine, what do you use?
Spark plugs are easiest to remove when using a proper plug spanner. No fussing and fiddling trying to find a spanner or socket to fit the plug! The plug spanner is also hollow, which means the tip of the plug doesn't get in the way. Simply drop it over the plug and turn.
This tool can help you make your own thread or clean up an existing thread that might be damaged. Can you name it?
While this is not a tool you will find in all garages, it can be very useful. A tap and die set is used to make new threads or clean up existing ones that might be slightly damaged.
If you needed to remove couplers holding your fuel line, which of these would you use?
A fuel line has to be held in place as it travels from the fuel tank toward the engine of the car. This is done by using a specific part called a coupler. To remove these properly when replacing the fuel line, you would use a special fuel line pliers.
Need to fix a flat tire? Can you name the garage tool that will lift the car for you?
While not strictly a garage tool -- all cars should have one of these already -- a car jack is the easiest way to lift a certain section of your car to change a wheel. For example, if you left rear tire is flat, you attach the jack to the connection point on the underside of the body near it. A few turns, and the car will be high enough to remove the wheel and put on the spare.
While tightening bolts, you never want to over-tighten them, especially on car parts that will get hot. Of the options below, which is best to ensure you tighten a bolt just enough?
Invented by Conrad Bahr in 1918, the torque wrench applies a precise torque to the bolt you are tightening. This means it cannot be over-tightened and is easily loosened when need be.
Can you name the useful tool for determining if a car's tires have enough air?
Need to tell if a car's tires are inflated enough? A small pressure gauge will do the trick. Simply attach it to the valve of the tire, and the meter will tell you the exact pressure.
What tool would you use to rotate the crankshaft when the damper has been removed?
Used on crankshafts, it allows for the rotation of the crankshaft when the damper has been removed. It works with a normal ratchet.
Any idea as to which tool you would use to remove a stubborn or broken bolt?
Hard-to-remove bolts that cannot be turned off the thread can be a problem in a garage environment. A stud removal tool is just what you need to get the nut off the bolt, or even remove the stud itself from where it is anchored.
A tool for electrical work, can you name this gauge found in most auto workshops?
Ohm meters are a necessity, especially for any auto electrical work that you might need to carry out in your garage, as they can help to measure electrical resistance.
This tool makes sure bolts are tightened properly. Do you know what it is called?
Bolts within an engine are crucial. You don't want them coming loose, do you? This tool helps to stretch a bolt to the tolerance level as instructed by the manufacturer. This torquing process means that the bolt won't come loose during engine operation.
Name the tool that helps remove the dampers in your car engine.
To remove the timing cover of the engine, the dampener must be removed first. It always has an extremely tight fit and needs a specific tool to remove.
From the options below, can you identify the tool you would use to adjust the valves of your engine?
Sometimes called a valve lash wrench, this is used when adjusting the valves on an engine. Sometimes this tool also comes with a built-in torque wrench.
Which of these is a measuring tool that you can use in the workshop?
This tool is used to measure the distance between two opposing sides of a particular object. It has any number of uses when working on a car engine.
What automotive tool can not only start a flat battery, but charge it to full strength?
Flat batteries are a reality. A jumper pack will get it started the first time, and the charger will ensure that you get a charge back into it so you won't need to jump it again.
A clean engine is a happy engine. What would you use to remove dirt and grime?
A good set of cleaning brushes can be used throughout your workshop for a number of different tasks, including keeping an engine spic and span.
Parts of your car are very dirty. To solve that, you would which of these?
Engine parts, particularly on old engine rebuilds, need to be cleaned. The best way to do this is by simply soaking them and then cleaning them in a parts washing container.
Do you know the name of a special fastening tool that can be used throughout a car, not just the engine?
There are many more types of fasteners than a nut and bolt. One of these is an Allen key fastener, which is used in many different areas of modern vehicles.
While it isn't necessarily a tool, which of these would you use to keep pipes neat?
Zip ties are a great way to keep pipes, wires and leads together. For example, keep the high-tension leads, which might be stored between the spark plugs and distributor cap, neat and tidy by using zip ties to bind them together.
If you wanted to measure the gap width in your spark plug, which of these would you use?
Feeler gauges are to measure gap widths, most notably in spark plugs. For example, too large a gap width means the spark plug will not fire properly.
Can you choose the tool you would use to test an electrical circuit in a vehicle?
A circuit tester will see if a certain electrical system is forming a closed circuit and therefore working correctly.
Which of these tools would you use once an engine is removed from a car?
Engines are heavy. When removed from a vehicle, they need somewhere to stand without the chance of falling and getting damaged. An engine stand will do the job perfectly.
Can you name the speciality tool for adjusting a crankshaft?
While working on an engine, the crankshaft will need to be turned and adjusted many times. This socket does this without any fear of damaging the crankshaft itself.
What tool can generate greater torque through extended leverage, allowing you to turn even the most stubborn bolts?
This long bar is non-ratcheting and used to turn very stubborn nuts, as the length allows more torque to be generated through an extended leverage.
Of the tools listed here, which would you connect to the "brain" of a modern car?
All modern cars have computers that run pretty much everything in the vehicle. When something goes wrong with this computer, having one of these gadgets can not only help identify the problem easier, but can also fix it in many cases.
You can use this to fasten just about anything, and every workshop should have it. What are we talking about?
Adhesive tape, or "duct tape," as we know it, was first invented in 1942. It is a must-have around the garage and can be used in many situations. What would we do without it?
Having a set of tools like this makes tightening and loosening bolts and nuts far easier. What is it?
A socket set serves much the same purpose as a wrench, but here, you place the socket over the nut and use a socket wrench to tighten or loosen. The advantage here is that it can be used to work on hard-to-reach nuts thanks to extender bars.
Similar to an Allen fastener, which of these needs a special device to tighten or loosen?
Similar to an Allen key, a torx bit will fit a specially shaped head on a range of bolts. They are easily identified by their six-point star shape.
This tool is a great way to loosen an oil filter stuck tight engine heat. Can you name the part we are speaking about from the list below?
Many oil filters are turned into place by hand and then tightened using an oil filter wrench. These also help remove older filters that might have become stuck in place due to the heat of the engine over time.
Listening to an engine can give many clues as to what might be wrong with it. What would you use?
Is there an auto doctor in the house? These stethoscopes include a long point probe, perfect for placing at points throughout the engine to listen for problematic sounds.
Which of these would help change your tires in a second or two?
Also known as an air gun, this uses compressed air to spin and is the quickest way to attach or remove nuts.
When you need to determine the exact height for the valves in your engine, use this. Can you name the tool we are talking about?
This tool is particularly useful when working on the valves of an engine. It helps to determine the right height for both the spring and the valve in their chambers.
What tool would you use to easily tighten or loosen nuts and bolts?
Wrenches come in many shapes and sizes. They are used to tighten and loosen nuts and bolts and some may even be adjustable.
This tool grips things very tightly! Can you name it?
A vise is a critical piece of equipment in your garage. It allows you to grip things tightly and securely while you work on them. For instance, you might want to put a piece of metal you are cutting with a hacksaw into a vise.
You can't lift an engine out of a car by yourself. Which of these would you use?
Engines are heavy. A pulley, hoist and lift make it possible to not only remove them, but replace them back into the chassis with minimal fuss. It will certainly save your back!
Any ideas as to which of these would be used when working with the valves in your engine, specifically when setting them?
Used in conjunction with a Valve Checking Spring Kit, this micrometer helps determine the height of the valves in the engine.
About HowStuffWorks Play
How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!
Get smarter every day! Subscribe & get 1 quiz every week.
Playing quizzes is free! We send trivia questions and personality tests every week to your inbox. By
clicking "Sign Up" you are agreeing to our
years old or over.