Auto Mechanics 101: Are You a Car Expert?

By: Robin Tyler
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Cars are simply fascinating, aren't they?

Made from thousands and thousands of parts, they are getting more advanced every year. Particularly when it comes to the thing that makes them go from A to B. 

No, not a global positioning satellite system. The engine! 

Thanks to those mechanical and automotive geniuses over a century ago, we have some unbelievable pieces of machinery on the road today. And although they are much more complicated now, essentially the engine works in much the same way as it always has. 

So do you know your crankshaft from your cambelt? Your spark plug from your glowplug? Your exhaust manifold from your tailpipe? What about your connecting rods from your high tension leads? Do you know the difference? Could you answer a range of questions on auto mechanics, with a few curveballs about auto history thrown in?

Well, then you are in the right place. Make no mistake, this quiz is going to test your auto knowledge to the fullest. Just take your time, look at each answer and pick the right one ... hopefully!

Good luck, you going to need your wits about you and your gray matter in tip-top form! But we have faith! Let's go!

The spark plug is crucial in starting your vehicle and keeping it running. It provides the spark that combusts the fuel/air mixture.

A low oil level means there is not enough lubricant running through the engine. This can cause wear and tear on metal parts within the engine and even cause it to seize.

The first thing you check when your car won't start is your battery. This is often the problem, and may have run down because an interior light was left on, for example.

Should you ever see this light burning on your dashboard, immediately stop your car as the engine is running far too hot. Check coolant levels and also whether the engine has enough oil.

It was Nikolaus Otto who invented the internal combustion engine in the late 1800s.

The piston, moving within the cylinder, is what creates compression of the air/fuel mixture which is then combusted and burns away to provide power

This warning light will only shine if there is a problem with the brake system on your vehicle. Have it checked out immediately.

The spark plug provides the necessary spark that ignites the fuel/air mixture and sets the engine running.

A glowplug heats up to help the starting process in a diesel engine, which is very different to that of a gasoline engine.

As humans we are forgetful. Luckily, our cars remind us when they need to be serviced. Neat, isn't it!

Without oil, the metal parts of your cars engine would not be able to work effectively and the moving parts would cause massive friction, damaging the engine.

William C Durant, together with Louis Chevrolet, formed the Chevrolet Motor Company in 1911.

High tension leads give the spark plugs the electrical surge they need from the distributor to be able to produce a spark.

Most early cars were only available in black. Why? Well it kept costs down at the end of the day.

Air bag systems need to be serviced every so often to keep them in proper working condition. If this light comes on, you need to take your vehicle to a mechanic.

Gasoline is stored in a car's gas tank.

The gasoline is moved along a fuel line to the engine, where it is used in the combustion process

The tailpipe usually is found at the back of the car. This is where the gases created by the combustion process in the engine escape through the exhaust system.

Modern cars have a very impressive system to keep harmful gases produced by the combustion process to the lowest level possible. This has to do with the catalytic converter. If it is not working properly, you could be breaking the law.

Every car has a radiator. The coolant is stored here ready to be sent to the engine when needed. The radiator then removes the heat the coolant gathered before repeating the process.

Hybrid motors include both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The electric motor generally powers the car from startup and at lower speeds.

A car that is running rich means the fuel pumped into the engine cannot all be burned in the combustion process. This leads to black smoke out the tailpipe.

Henry M Leland is not only responsible for helping to found Cadillac but Lincoln as well.

The Mazda RX-7 is famous for its rotary engine which not only delivers a lot of pep but makes this little roadster handle beautifully.

Rotary engines are also known as Wankel engines,

Most cars now have power steering. Make sure that if this light burns on your dashboard you check the level of the power steering fluid in its reservoir as it may cause the power steering system to fail if you don't.

A car burning coolant means a bigger problem including a damaged cylinder head, among others.

This warning shows there is problem with the anti-lock brake system on your vehicle.

The more cylinders or the bigger the cylinder, the more power an engine can generate.

That's simply incredible considering this was practically at the dawn of the automobile. Ford was indeed a brilliant man.

Leaking gaskets mean that an oil leak is the simple reason why your engine is blowing blue-colored smoke out of the tailpipe.

A battery is necessary to provide the initial power to turn the starter motor over and begin the ignition process.

Overhead cam engines have a camshaft situated above the valves. This is the most common type of layout in engines.

Most engines have an inline configuration.

Not all cars have this warning but it's useful, especially if you have a slow flat tire that you didn't know about, for instance.

The internal combustion engine was the first engine to make it possible to have a "horseless carriage."

Engines work in a particular way, with this movement of the piston letting air and fuel into a combustion chamber. The intake of air and fuel gives this stroke its name.

By compressing the air/fuel mix, the piston helps to create the combustion stroke

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