Worst Case Scenario: Do You Know How to Fix These Car Issues?

By: Steven Symes

Worst Case Scenario: Do You Know How to Fix These Car Issues?
Image: pexels

About This Quiz

Can you MacGyver car repairs using a wad of bubble gum, a paper clip and some shoestring? Could you handle being stuck absolutely in the middle of nowhere, thanks to an unexpected car problem?  Even if you've never been stranded on a dark road, with faint banjo music coming from the trees and what feels like a thousand eyes staring at you from the darkness, you need to take this quiz!

Thanks to this day and age of communication, most people rely heavily on their cellphone, in-car communications system and the proximity of roadside assistance to take care of everything from running out of gas to fixing a flat tire. Some people think these conveniences are making us soft, and there's plenty of evidence to back that up. After all, people have called 911 in a panic because their car's battery died and they don't know how to manually actuate the door locks to get out. 

Some have proposed putting the steps for changing a flat tire on the driver's license exam for different states. Sadly, plenty of people probably wouldn't be behind the wheel, but you really have to ask if that's a bad thing or not.

Could you survive fixing different car issues without help? Take this quiz right now and test your own preparedness. 

What kind of tool do you need to patch a hole in a tire?
flat head screwdriver
plug kit
You can get a plug kit online or at many automotive stores. It's a great thing to take along if you're going to be in the middle of nowhere, especially if your spare and one of your regular tires are both punctured.
mallet
duct tape

Advertisement

If the brake light comes on when driving but the brake pedal feels fine, what should you do?
nothing
Brake really hard really fast.
Roll the windows down and listen for squealing.
Pull over and check the fluid level.
If the brake pedal doesn't feel spongy or offers no resistance, the brake fluid might still be low, so you should check that immediately just in case.

Advertisement

What can you do if your keyless entry stops working and you're locked outside the vehicle?
Break a window with a rock.
Push the car to unlock the door.
Hit the door really hard.
Use the blade key instead.
The battery in a keyless setup can die suddenly, and sadly too many people don't realize there's an analog workaround. The blade key, like what older cars had as the only option for unlocking the doors, is usually hidden under a sheath, so you remove that and unlock the doors old school.

Advertisement

What can you do if the hood release cable snaps and you need to get under the hood immediately?
Hit the hood really hard toward the front.
Reach through the grill to trigger the release mechanism.
This trick admittedly doesn't work on every car, depending on the design of the grille and hood release mechanism, but if you have heavy-duty wire or a long tool, it can help you work around a frustrating situation.
Kick the front fender.
Pull on the release lever 20 times.

Advertisement

What factor can affect how long it takes a dead battery to charge using jumper cables?
outside temperature
age of the battery
how long the battery has been dead
all of these
There's no universal amount of time required to get a car battery charged up enough that the engine will fire up, which is why you should keep the cars connected until you get the non-functioning engine started.

Advertisement

When changing a car battery, how tight should you secure the cables to the terminals?
ten turns of the nuts
less than hand-tight
only as tight as you can get them using your fingers, no tools
tight enough they can't move at all
If you don't tighten the connections completely, even a little bit of movement could cause the battery to not charge enough, or to not connect with the electrical system, and you end up with an engine that won't start later.

Advertisement

What can you use other than coolant to fill a car's cooling system after it overheats and overflows?
water
Ideally, you can mix coolant and water in a half-and-half solution or buy the premixed coolant and water, but in a pinch water can provide enough cooling benefits to get you to a nearby location.
milk
oil
washer fluid

Advertisement

If the horn was working perfectly before and it suddenly stops, what should you check first?
fuse box
Most often, a horn that stops working when it was functioning just fine right before is the result of a burned-out fuse, which you can replace quickly and easily without any tools.
connections behind the steering wheel
the parking brake
turn signals

Advertisement

With a pressurized cooling system, what do you need to be cautious of when refilling low antifreeze after the engine has almost overheated?
that you mix it with distilled water only
coolant spraying out when you open the overflow cap
A pressurized system means opening the overflow cap could cause the antifreeze to come spraying or shooting out, which could seriously burn you, so you must open it slowly and cautiously, or just wait for the engine to cool down.
that you don't fill it up to the minimum line
that too much cold air rushed into the system

Advertisement

What does a car need to have for push starting it to work?
paddle shifters
four-wheel drive
manual transmission
Push-starting a car doesn't work with an automatic transmission, but instead it could cause significant damage to the transmission, so don't try it.
traction control

Advertisement

After a fuel leak you've fixed that drained your car of gas, how can you get fuel from another vehicle into yours?
Mix alcohol with bread.
Pour water into another gas tank, pushing the fuel out.
Siphon it out.
You can buy siphon kits at auto stores, or make one yourself using a hose or surgical tubing. Just be cautious to not swallow any gas.
Use a plunger to create suction.

Advertisement

If your vehicle is stuck in mud, what should you do to free it?
Press the accelerator hard for five minutes, digging to more solid ground.
Shift into third gear and gun it.
Only use reverse and floor the accelerator.
Shove sticks, gravel, and other solid objects under the tires for traction.
The problem with being stuck in the mud is the lack of traction to drive out of the rut, so addressing that should help you get out.

Advertisement

What device can you carry in your car to rapidly inflate tires in an emergency?
your mouth
bicycle pump
ball pump
air compressor
While you can inflate a car tire with a bicycle or ball pump, the process would be a slow one. There are air compressors that just plug into the power outlet in your car.

Advertisement

When changing a fuse, what must you be sure of?
You don't touch the connections with bare hands.
It doesn't get too cold.
You don't start up the engine for at least 5 minutes.
The fuse is seated down tightly.
If you don't push a fuse into the slot completely, it can result in intermittent or constant problems.

Advertisement

What can you do about flats if your car doesn't have a spare tire?
Slap duct tape over the hole.
Carry a can of tire sealant.
Fix a Flat and many other tire sealants are out there. You spray the contents into the tire through the stem and the hole is sealed up enough for you to reach a repair shop.
Shove leaves and twigs in the hole.
Drive on the flat tire to safety.

Advertisement

If a wiper arm comes loose so it won't rotate anymore, what can you do?
Tighten the nut.
Having a socket set or even a crescent wrench when you head out on a trip is a good idea since they'll allow you to tighten essential hardware like this.
Spray it with WD40.
Turn the wiper speed all the way up.
Hit it with a hammer.

Advertisement

What can you use in an emergency to keep broken suspension components together?
duct tape
electrical tape
zip ties
You don't want to carry wimpy zip ties in your car, but instead you should go for the really heavy-duty kind, since they can take the rough forces your suspension endured until it broke.
fishing line

Advertisement

What's one thing you can do on the side of the road to more rapidly cool off an overheated or almost overheated engine?
Idle the engine.
Open the hood.
When you open the hood, you allow the heat that's been building underneath to escape rapidly, accelerating the cooling process for the engine considerably.
Crank the air conditioning.
Turn off the radio.

Advertisement

What can you use in an emergency to fix a blown radiator hose?
bubble gum
super glue
duct tape
Once you've identified the source of the leak, wrap duct tape around that section of the hose tightly, sealing off the leak long enough you can get somewhere safe.
an old sock

Advertisement

What kind of a surface do you need for changing a flat tire?
soft and flat
firm only
firm, dry and flat
Unfortunately, many shoulders on the side of the road aren't really suitable for changing a tire since they're uneven and soft, making the risk of the car falling off the jack quite a bit higher.
flat only

Advertisement

If you see the oil light, what should you do?
Accelerate hard.
Stop the engine immediately.
The oil light is an indication of oil pressure loss, which could mean very soon the engine will seize. Pull over to the first safe spot and turn off the engine immediately, then check the oil level.
Check the oil level when you get to where you're going.
nothing

Advertisement

What risk does traffic play in changing a flat tire?
It can blow the vehicle off the jack.
Honking horns will distract you.
A driver might swerve and hit you.
If possible, you should pull all the way off the road and shoulder, possibly into a parking lot or gas station where traffic isn't an issue.
The passing vehicles will mesmerize you.

Advertisement

How can you clear clogged windshield spray nozzles?
using a hammer
with rubbing alcohol
with a needle
Salt, small pebbles, dirt and other debris can clog the nozzle at any time so the washer fluid won't spray out or will only come out of one nozzle, but sticking a needle in the nozzle will clear it out.
with a plastic bag

Advertisement

What's the worst thing you can do when a car gets close to overheating?
Stop the car.
Turn the heater on full blast.
Keep driving.
An engine that's about to overheat is a real danger since serious damage could be done, so you need to address the situation instead of just continuing to drive like nothing's happening.
Refill the coolant overflow.

Advertisement

How does running the heater work with an engine that's beginning to overheat, or is near to overheating?
It evaporates the oil quicker.
It bleeds heat out of the cooling system faster.
The central heating core, which provides heat for the car's heater, is powered by coolant that's flowed out of the engine, so running the heater helps dissipate heat from the cooling system faster.
It makes the coolant flow faster.
It actually won't help.

Advertisement

How many people do you need to push-start a car?
1
2
Someone needs to be sitting behind the wheel of the car while at least one other person pushes the vehicle, otherwise the operation is too unsafe.
3
0

Advertisement

Which of the following might stop windshield wipers from streaking badly?
pressing the blades hard against the glass for one minute each
heating them up with a hair dryer/lighter
wiping the blades with a soft cloth
Preferably you use a microfiber cloth for this job, since that won't leave behind lint or other debris, removing dirt and grime from the blades and eliminating some or all of the streaking problem.
pouring rubbing alcohol on the blades

Advertisement

If the lug nuts are on tight enough you can't turn them at all using the tire iron, what can you do?
Kick the tire.
Hit the lug nuts with a hammer.
Stomp on the end of the tire iron.
Usually, lug nuts aren't truly secure if you can remove them by hand using a tire iron, so this is a necessary step before you raise the car using the jack.
Spray them with water.

Advertisement

What gear do you put the transmission in to push-start it on a downhill slope?
1st
2nd
As the car rolls down the hill, slowly release the clutch pedal, and eventually the engine will fire up provided there's no other major issues.
3rd
4th

Advertisement

When jump starting a car, which cable do you ground?
negative on the car being jumped
While you might be able to jump start a car not grounding the negative cable for the dead battery without incident, you're running a risk of damaging the cars and injuring yourself.
negative on the car doing the jumping
positive on the car being jumped
none of them

Advertisement

When jumping a car, when do you turn on the car that doesn't have a dead battery?
You just leave it running.
before you connect the cables
after you connect the cables to it, before you connect them to the other car
after you make all the cable connections
The danger is when you connect the cables to the live battery, if the clamps on the other end touch, they can cause sparks to fly and might even electrocute you, so set everything up with the engine shut off.

Advertisement

What can you bring along to deal with leaks in a gas tank?
bubble gum
duct tape
a cotton T-shirt
patches
Automotive stores sell gas tank patches, which are super sticky and will seal up a hole in your gas tank. Hopefully you still have enough fuel to reach a gas station after you plug the leak.

Advertisement

Once you've jump-started a car, what do you do with the cables?
Remove the clamps from the car that was jumped first.
Remove the positive clamps first.
Remove both negative clamps first.
Because of the risk of electrocution and making sparks fly, you always remove the negative clamps first, then remove the positive clamps.
Take the clamps off in any order.

Advertisement

If you hear a whining sound and the car won't accelerate much, what can you do?
Pour water in the gas tank.
Disconnect the fuel pressure sensor.
Those symptoms usually point to a bad fuel pump, so unplugging the sensor will indicate to the ECU that it needs to have the pump run at full pressure, temporarily fixing the issue until you get to a shop.
Remove the oil fill cap, then start up the engine.
Adjust the throttle cable.

Advertisement

If a fuse blows, how do you know which one to replace?
You guess.
Look at the owner's manual.
You should always check the owner's manual. Fuse boxes are not standardized, and not all cars have diagrams on the inside lid.
You must trace the wiring back.
Check the diagram on the inside of the fuse box

Advertisement

You Got:
/35

Featured