Are You a Car Guru?

Steven Symes

Where is Porsche's global headquarters?

Porsche is one of several German automakers, even though the name might not sound like it to everyone. Oddly enough, names like Carrera aren't German. Still, Porsches are held up as symbols of the superiority of German engineering.

Why do cars do burnouts before running the quarter mile?

Drag race radials heat up easily when you do a burnout, which makes them stick to the track surface better. Drag strips are slippery, so having heated up tires, achieved through doing a burnout, gives you a distinct advantage. Burnouts also remove rocks and other debris from the tires, keeping the drag strip free of foreign objects that are at best, an annoyance.

What brand sold a car with the Looney Tunes Road Runner on it?

It might look ridiculous to people who know nothing about it, but the huge wing and conical nose of the Plymouth Superbird help the car slip through the air and not go airborne on the track. It was a legendary race car that members of the public could buy, complete with Roadrunner decals.

In what city are all Chevrolet Corvettes produced?

The Corvette factory officially called the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, is usually open to public tours. When a new generation of the legendary car or other top-secret production programs are underway, those tours shut down for a time. However, the National Corvette Museum is located nearby, providing you with all kinds of education and excitement about this American sports car.

What kind of engine does the Mazda RX-7 and RX-8 have?

While many automakers experimented with rotary engines, which were adopted from the aviation industry, and used them in production cars, Mazda became the champion of their use in cars. The Japanese automaker used rotaries in quite a few vehicles, but the RX-7 and RX-8 sports cars are cult favorites and highly sought after by enthusiasts.

A sign that your car's alternator is likely dying would be which of the following?

While it's not absolutely certain that dimming lights are caused by a bad alternator, it certainly should make you suspect as much. The battery provides power to start your car, while the alternator supplies electricity for the lights, etc. as you're driving. Since it's a belt-driven component, the alternator should run just fine as the engine is running, especially if you're traveling at higher speeds.

What is the name of Audi's legendary all-wheel-drive system?

When quattro first debuted about 35 years ago, it wowed and confused people. After all, not many cars had featured all-wheel drive before, but Audi's participation in rally races quickly demonstrated the superiority of quattro. While other automakers have adopted different all-wheel-drive technologies, Audi helped shape the current automotive landscape.

Which automaker invented the three-point seat belt?

It shouldn't be a surprise that an automaker famous for pioneering safety technologies also introduced the three-point seat belt to cars. It was Nils Bohlin, an engineer at the company, who originally came up with the idea back in 1959. At the time, cars only featured lap belts, and not even for everyone riding inside.

What is the name of the factory that assembled all Dodge Vipers?

On August 31, 2017, Conner Assembly Plant shut down, perhaps for good, as Fiat Chrysler decided to stop producing the Viper. All vehicles were assembled by hand, which contributed to the fairly steep price of the Viper. Even though the American supercar took a hiatus for a time, supposedly it won't be returning. That's too bad since it's impacted the automotive scene since the 1992 model year.

What's usually the cause of flames shooting out of a car's tailpipe?

While it sure looks cool, flames shooting out of an exhaust pipe means the engine isn't running as efficiently as it should. Really, all or at least most of the fuel in the cylinders should combust, which would mean there wouldn't be enough entering the exhaust to really produce much of a flame. Some people outfit their cars with special kits that will produce the flames, which is illegal in some areas but provides the cool effect without the engine inefficiencies.

What do some people call turbos?

The shape of a turbocharger does resemble a snail shell. It's ironic since snails are known for being slow, while turbos typically make vehicles faster. That shape facilitates the turbine, which spools to move air through the housing quickly and ultimately to the engine intake manifold.

What was the super car produced by Toyota starting in 1967?

Most people don't even know this car existed. Even fewer realize it was originally designed by Yamaha for Nissan. After Nissan passed in favor of the Datsun 240Z, Toyota picked up the project and produced a vehicle that at the time changed perceptions about the Japanese automaker. It was even featured in a James Bond movie.

In a mechanical setup, what component touches the engine's flywheel?

The clutch disc in your car has been designed to create friction, similar to the brake pads. It touches the flywheel on one side and the pressure plate on the other, creating a connection between the engine and transmission. If your clutch is burned out, the car will delay moving when you press on the accelerator.

What things hold a car's exhaust up, so it doesn't droop?

Hangers made of rubber and metal create a connection between the cat-back portion of your car's exhaust and the chassis. If you ever notice an exhaust that's hanging down, or even dragging on the road, likely one or more hangers has detached or broken, which is an easy thing to fix.

Where is Cadillac's headquarters?

Current Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen made the decision to move the brand from Detroit, where it was based for more than a century. Its new headquarters is right in the middle of the Soho neighborhood, with designers, marketers, etc. drawing inspiration from the new location, which is reflecting in new vehicles and approaches. Not everyone is a fan of this move.

Which automaker has the philosophy to "simplify, then add lightness"?

Colin Chapman first coined this phrase, which has become a mantra for the British automaker. As a result, Lotus has pioneered quite a few lightweight-ing techniques, which has become a hot field in the industry. That also means Lotus cars are especially quick and handle quite well, making them ideal for track use.

In autocross, you're not supposed to hit what?

Plenty of people get into autocross because it's highly accessible. After all, you don't need some track monster to participate, since events usually happen in a big parking lot or on an old tarmac. You also don't risk hitting any walls or other cars, but you might murder a few cones if you're not careful.

Which brand makes the Power Wagon?

Fiat Chrysler resurrected the beloved Power Wagon name for a new version of the Ram 2500. It's aimed at people who want to go off-roading, complete with a winch integrated into the front bumper, among other trail-ready features. Many reviewers have praised the Power Wagon for its amazing abilities in a variety of conditions.

Which of the following things should you not use to support your vehicle as you climb under it?

You must ensure your car won't come down on you before getting under it to perform any work or to just take a look around. That means you should absolutely stay away from wood blocks, which can shift, break, etc. Also, never use a jack of any kind to support the vehicle when you get under it since the car could slip off it.

What kind of powertrain does the McLaren P1 have?

This was one of two supercars that proved to the world that hybrid technology could, in fact, be used to create an exhilarating experience for the driver. Unlike vehicles like the Toyota Prius, the battery and electric motors work to enhance performance, resulting in a 0-62 mph time of just 2.8 seconds.

Which of the following is a potential sign that your head gasket has blown?

A blown head gasket can manifest itself in a number of ways, including chronic problems with the engine overheating, fouled spark plugs, and white smoke always coming out of the tailpipe. When the gasket blows, you often will get dark swirls in the coolant, or the oil turns milky white.

The Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Challenger are all considered what?

Today, most people only refer to the Mustang as a pony car. Originally, pony cars were small, affordable, and stylish cars that were supposed to be fun and appeal to younger shoppers. Plenty of enthusiasts will contend that these three models are muscle cars, which isn't an inaccurate statement. But when they launched in the 1960s, they were considered part of this important class of cars.

AMC made all of the following vehicles, except...

The Barracuda was made by Plymouth. American Motors was a competitor to the Big Three, being the product of a merger between Hudson Motor Car Company and Nash-Kelvinator Corporation. It eventually went under in 1987, after being acquired by Chrysler.

Paul Walker's character in The Fast and the Furious first drove what kind of car?

More specifically, Brian O'Connor is seen in the opening few minutes of the movie practicing drag racing with his 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS. It was highly customized and has become a symbol of the tuner culture that thrived in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

What is the highest tire speed rating?

Technically, a tire with a Y speed rating can handle up to 186 mph. They're supposed to be for exotic sports cars, so good luck getting any for your Honda Accord. Tire manufacturers make a big deal about saying their products shouldn't be used to exceed legal speed limits, just in case you get any ideas.

You should tighten lug nuts completely using what?

A torque wrench will help you not over-tighten the lug nuts or leave them too loose. Automakers always specify the torque value for the lug nuts, guarding against damage or accidents, so following that recommendation is a good idea.

What are the spaces between tire lugs called?

The voids play an important role, since they can be the pathways for water, slush, mud, or other things to flow out from under the tire. In less-than-ideal conditions, these voids are essential to the tire achieving optimal grip. You'll notice track cars have flat or almost flat tires because they won't deal with those kinds of conditions, making voids unnecessary.

What parts of a camshaft determine valve movement?

Camshaft lobes come in a variety of shapes or contours, which affect how wide and long the valves on the exhaust and intake sides of the cylinder head are open and when. Many tuners will install performance camshafts with more aggressive lobes to extract more performance out of their engine.

What does the name MOPAR come from?

MOPAR, which is the parts, service, and customer service division inside of Fiat Chrysler, has long been a symbol of American performance. Long ago, the phrase "MOPAR or no car" was coined by people who felt extreme allegiance to Chrysler and is still used by some enthusiasts today.

Which of the following isn't a brand GM has owned?

General Motors has had a hand in a quite a few long-gone automotive brands. However, Aston Martin at one time was owned by Ford, not GM. The legendary British automaker is now owned by a group of investors, after Ford sold it back in 2007.

Which of the following brands isn't German?

Even though Lamborghini is owned by the Volkswagen Group, the brand is still based in Italy, just like it always has been. That being said, some components in modern Lambos come from Audi and other fellow Volkswagen Group members, which some view as a negative, but others think is a big improvement over the questionable quality, prominent in early models.

What does the W button in a Volvo do?

Because Volvo is so concerned with safety, and the brand is based in Sweden where snow is common, it developed the W button to keep drivers from losing control when starting from a standstill. You can use the setting in heavy rain too, but the idea is that it keeps the tires from spinning, keeping traction at a maximum as you start off from a standstill.

What kind of Ferrari did Magnum P.I. drive during the fourth season?

This Ferrari captivated audiences as much as Tom Selleck did in the 1980s. A fun fact about the car was that Selleck was so tall, he almost exclusively drove the Ferrari with the top down, so he could fit comfortably. Of course, nobody complained.

What is detonation?

Under normal conditions, your engine controls exactly when the fuel in the cylinders ignites or combusts. Detonation is a violent and unexpected event that can seriously damage valves, pistons, or other components. Sometimes people call it 'engine ping,' and it's never a good thing.

What was the first Hyundai model sold in the United States?

Back in 1986, South Korean automaker Hyundai entered the highly competitive US automaker game with the Excel. The subcompact sedan was extremely basic but only sold for $4,995 MSRP, making it attractive for people on a tight budget. It gained surprising praise, including Fortune magazine calling it a "Best Product" for the year.

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About This Quiz

VROOM VROOM! Every day when you leave your house, there's probably one thing you can't go a block without seeing - a car. Once a novelty, cars have become commonplace, and you're probably here because you love them! From foreign to domestic, are you a car guru?

While cars might be ordinary now, they clearly weren't when they were first invented. German inventor Karl Benz is credited with the invention of the true car with an internal engine. I bet you can name what brand was named after him! Since then, cars have grown beyond Germany to the entire world.

In the world of cars, there are a few countries that are considered leaders in the industry. The United States is known for Jeep, Ford, Cadillac, and Chevrolet. Germany is one of the top three contenders with Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen. The top three couldn't be complete without Japan's Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Toyota.

While these three countries are major leaders, there are tons of other vehicles you'd need to know to be a true guru. France has the Bugatti while Italy has all the luxury cars you could possibly want. In addition to knowing all these cars on the outside, how well do you know their insides? Do you know the different types of engines? Do you know what lug nuts are?

There's only one way to find out! Put the pedal to the metal of this quiz and let's see if you're speeding your way to proving that you're a car guru!

Seat belts on!

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