Can You Identify These Parts on the Outside of a Car?

By: Robin Tyler

A car rides on its tires. They provide essential grip in all conditions. Specialist vehicles, like off-roaders, can have very specific tires.

In years gone by, the bumper stood proudly out from the rest of the body work of your vehicle and protected it in the event of an accident. This has disappeared in modern designs.

The headlights on a vehicle ensure that the driver can see in conditions where light is poor or at night.

Doors that open upward above the driver's head are known as gullwing doors. They first appeared on the Mercedes Benz 300SL in the 1950s. The failed DeLorean sports car of 'Back to the Future' fame also had gullwing doors.

Although antennas are now hidden away in modern cars, a couple of decades ago, you needed one sticking out your car's roof or next to the hood to pick up your favorite radio station.

This pipe runs all the way from your car engine and ends at the rear of the vehicle. Gases produced during combustion within the engine chamber are excreted through this pipe.

All cars left and right side mirrors. This helps the driver observe behind them to the left and the right, crucial when changing lanes.

This is a covering for the wheel nuts that hold the wheel to car axle.

Raining? The windshield wiper clears the windscreen, keeping the driver's view clear. It was invented in 1903.

Ah, the sunroof. Letting the sun in since 1973! Let's be honest, you either love them or hate them!

It's a massive metal bar in the front of your vehicle that offers impact protection. Normally seen on large pickups!

To get gas into your vehicle, you first need to take off the gas filler cap. Its main purpose is to stop gas evaporating out of the tank.

This is normally found on pickup trucks and in some older models. The running board is a piece below the door that can be used to step up into the vehicle.

Found more in older models, a mudguard stops mud from been flicked up under the car and onto the bodywork. It hangs in front of the rear tire and behind the front tire.

To open your car door, you pull on the door handle once it has been unlocked

This is the small piece of plastic (usually) that is found in the gap between the windshield and the hood.

Roof racks attach to the top of the vehicle and can carry luggage, surfboards, equipment - well, almost anything that fits.

- The tail lights on a vehicle have two important functions. First, they aid visibility, and second, they allow cars following you to see if you are braking.

The hood is the protective cover for the engine.

License plate - A registration plate allows authorities to keep a record of your vehicle and identify it when you transgress any traffic laws.

Side windows are found in the doors of the vehicle. They can be lowered and raised again, when necessary.

Appearing on the front of the car, the grille is often used by manufacturers as a iconic way to identify their cars. Think BMW and their famous grille design that appears on all their models.

A roll bar is found on vehicles without a roof. It is the highest point on the car and ensures that the driver and passengers are not crushed should the car overturn.

Vertical support pillars are found around the car and provide the support for the roof.

Tires are attached to rims, which in turn are connected to the axle with bolts and nuts.

One of the larger windows on a car, this allows rear visibility.

Many sports cars have spoilers on the back of the vehicle. These provide more aerodynamic downforce for the vehicle.

The trunk is the protective cover for the storage area on your vehicle.

One of the larger windows on a car, this allows visibility for the driver.

Front spoilers appear at the bottom of the body work in front of the car and provide extra down force.

The rocker is a body panel that is found below the door. It is normally very small and not found in some vehicles.

Quarter panels are found between the rear doors and trunk.

Fog lights are an extra set of lights used in mist or fog to provide more visibility and make the vehicle more visible.

A tailgate is found at the rear of the vehicle, normally a pickup. By dropping the tailgate you can load equipment, for example, or have a party!

Not all cars have them, but those that do look spectacular. Scissor doors open upward and point toward the sky to add a bit more cool to sports cars such as the Lamborghini Countach.

Many modern cars simply do not feature a door lock anymore with access now gained electronically. Older cars, however, were locked and unlocked using a key.

A favorite of '70s and '80s station wagons, a wood facia panel finish on the doors of your vehicle was paramount on the family wagon.

Not all cars have them, but a rear window wiper allows for greater visibility in rainy conditions.

Need to tow a mobile home? A tow bar is all you need.

Instead of opening thanks to a hinge on the front of the door, suicide doors are hinged at the back and open behind the passenger or driver. They were popular on cars in the 1920s, the '30s and '40s but are not found much today as they are said to be unsafe.

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About This Quiz

The first cars were very simple.

They basically were a motor attached to an open top carriage. Those carriages were similar to horsedrawn carriages. Let's just say that vehicle design wasn't a big thing back in the day! 

As time went on, however, the motor car became far more complicated. Of course, the most complications were mechanical. The internal combustion engine was improved, leading to more power, torque and of course, speed.

But vehicle design also came on in leaps and bounds. As cars became faster, drivers needed protection from wind (and bugs) and so the windshield was born. More cars on the road meant that safety became important. Things like the side mirror helped in that regard. And what about bumpers? These were initially designed to protect a car in a collision, although today, they have changed significantly. 

Although your car won't go anywhere if you have major internal car part problems, the external parts are just about as important for your safety and others on the road around you. 

So let's cut to the chase. For this quiz, we are going to test your knowledge of external car parts. Let's see how many you can identify correctly. Of course, many are obvious, but don't get too confident.

Good luck.

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