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Rev Up: The Diesel Engine Quiz
by Staff
While diesel earned itself a bad reputation for spewing soot in the early days, improvements have made it much cleaner. Test your knowledge of all things diesel with this quiz.

The diesel engine was invented by…

  • scientists working for the German corporation Die Siel Weltwirtschafts.
  • Rudolph Diesel
  • Otto von Diesel

In a diesel engine, what causes the fuel-air mixture in the cylinder to combust?

  • the heat created when the air is compressed by the piston
  • the firing of a sparkplug
  • leftover heat from the previous power stroke

The largest diesel engine in the world is the Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C, used by the Emma Mærsk container ship. How much horsepower can it produce?

  • about 40,000
  • over 100,000
  • almost 1,000,000

Why are some diesel engines difficult to start in cold weather?

  • High oil viscosity in cold conditions makes it difficult to move the pistons.
  • The fuel is cold when it's sprayed into the cylinder, making it difficult to ignite.
  • The cold cylinder block absorbs much of the heat of the compression stroke, making it difficult to ignite the fuel-air mixture.

What is often used in diesel engines to make cold starts easier?

  • a glowplug
  • a spark plug
  • a heated garage

How is the power of diesel engines in railway locomotives transmitted to the wheels?

  • The engines spin a massive flywheel which transfers its momentum to the wheels with a clutch.
  • The engines operate as generators that power electric motors, which drive the wheels.
  • The engines are linked to a massive gear train and driveshaft.

The fastest diesel locomotive ever made was the Soviet TEP80. How fast did it go to set the record?

  • 123 mph
  • 168 mph
  • 218 mph

How do modern diesel engines accomplish cold starts without using a glowplug?

  • The electronic control module delays adding fuel to the cylinder until the air is sufficiently compressed to ignite.
  • The electronic control module adds a substance to the fuel that gives it a lower ignition temperature.
  • The cylinders are made from a thermally non-conductive material that doesn’t absorb heat on the compression stroke.

When was the diesel engine invented?

  • 1878
  • 1892
  • 1902

What inspired Rudolf Diesel to invent a new kind of engine?

  • global warming
  • family
  • efficiency

What's the first step in a diesel engine's combustion process?

  • fuel injection
  • air compression
  • fuel mixing

Using a separate chamber outside the cylinder to vaporize fuel is known as…

  • engine knock
  • electronic timing
  • indirect injection

Which type of engine has the highest compression ratio?

  • diesel
  • steam
  • gasoline

Indirect injection makes it possible for one engine design to do what?

  • be manufactured in both diesel and gasoline engine versions with minimal changes
  • operate continuously for up to 500 hours
  • power both high speed race cars and high torque trucks

What percentage of shipped freight relies on diesel?

  • 50 percent
  • 75 percent
  • 94 percent

Why does diesel fuel evaporate slower than gasoline?

  • Its boiling point is lower.
  • It's heavier.
  • It's oilier.

Which of the following technologies has helped reduce some of diesel's harmful emissions?

  • catalytic converters
  • diesel daubers
  • smaller engines

What's biodiesel made from?

  • recycled plastics
  • petroleum
  • plant oils and animal fats

A diesel-powered car completed what amazing feat in 1931?

  • pulled a 10-car train loaded with iron ore 500 yards
  • drove from Paris to Johannesburg on a single tank of fuel
  • raced the entire Indy 500 without making a single pit stop

Diesel-electric engines were vital to the development of what military technology?

  • long-range bombers
  • submarines
  • mobile artillery

In some diesel engines, both the exhaust and intake processes happen on the same piston stroke. These engines are known as...

  • 2-stroke engines
  • Sigurdson engines
  • non-conforming engines

A diesel engine helped set a world record of 222 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2002 for the world's fastest what?

  • parade float
  • school bus
  • pickup truck

Why are diesel engines considered more reliable than gasoline engines in damp environments, such as on a boat?

  • Diesel fuel still works even if water gets into the fuel tank.
  • Diesel fuel prevents engine components from rusting.
  • Without spark plugs, they have no complex electrical ignition system that might short circuit or wear out.

What is the common rail in a common rail injection system?

  • a low-voltage, high-resistance wire that assists ignition
  • a single gauge of railroad track that diesel trains run on
  • a single tube carrying pressurized fuel that supplies the injector at each cylinder

What race did a diesel-powered car win in 1998?

  • Daytona 500
  • 24 Hours Nürburgring
  • Indy 500

What is winterized diesel fuel?

  • Diesel fuel that has been properly stored in a corrosion-resistant container for winter storage
  • Diesel fuel that won't "gel" in cold weather because of special anti-gelling additives
  • diesel fuel with a low ignition point for easier cold starts

The Jumo 205 diesel engine is famous for being used in what application?

  • It powered several types of German aircraft in the 1930s and 40s.
  • It provided all the power to light the 1939 New York World's Fair.
  • It was used to power the centrifuges that refined the uranium used in the Manhattan Project.

One of the primary pollutants in most types of diesel fuel is…

  • sulfur
  • cyanide
  • dioxin

Diesel engines are generally more efficient than gasoline engines, but they're especially efficient under what conditions?

  • at low speed and idle
  • at high altitude
  • in temperatures above 90 degrees F

What limits the boost pressure that can be used on a diesel engine equipped with a turbocharger or supercharger?

  • the aperture of the induction channels
  • the physical capability of the engine to handle the pressure without exploding
  • the timing of the injection system