Riding along in your car, as you go about your daily business, it's not often that your thoughts will venture to the magnificent piece of machinery that allows you to get from A to B. Yes, we are talking about your car's engine.
Thanks to the invention of the internal combustion engine in the 1800s, we can go just about wherever we want these days. But a car engine is a very complex piece of machinery, far more so than those early engines. It is filled thousands of parts, both big and small, lightweight and heavy, plastic and metal, with each having its own specific task to ensure that the engine runs efficiently. And no part is more important than the others, that's for sure. Why? Well, even the smallest part failure can lead to the engine of your vehicle coming to a grinding halt.
But how much do you know about car engines? In this quiz, we are about to find out just how much knowledge you have about these complex beasts. Do you know your exhaust manifold from your muffler, your oil pump from your fuel pump, or your spark plug from your glow plug? You do? Then this is the quiz for you! Be warned, however - it's a tough one.
So take your time and let's see how well you do. Good luck. You can do this!
The engine block is the bulky part of your car's engine, where all the other parts such as the pistons, cylinders, camshaft and crankshaft are found. It is sometimes called a cylinder block.
The thermostat in your engine is linked to the radiator. It controls the release of coolant to the engine when it begins to heat up. A faulty thermostat interferes with this cooling process.
Air-cooled engines include those found on many motorcycles. Here, water is not circulated to keep the engine cool while running. It is the air rushing through the engine that does so.
No, it's the other way around, in fact. And it stands to reason. When an air-cooled engine is in a vehicle that is standing still, it naturally has a tendency to heat up more than a liquid-cooled engine, and for that reason, air-cooled run hotter.
The combustion of the fuel/air mixture within the car's engine is turned into a rotational motion. This is transferred to the driveshaft which, in turn, will rotate the wheels of your vehicle.
The camshaft and crankshaft in your car's engine are synchronized by the timing belt. This ensures that the engine's valves open and close at exactly the right time. This happens during the intake and exhaust strokes.
Your engine makes four piston strokes in each cycle. These are the intake, compression, power and exhaust strokes. The combustion of the fuel/air mixture takes place during the power stroke.
A valve cover forms a protective overlay for the cylinder head. Because the rocker arms are critical to the operation of the intake and exhaust valves, they must be constantly oiled. Valve covers didn't exist in early engines, which meant that all kinds of dirt and muck could get inside. A valve cover is also known as a rocker cover.
True! A diesel engine does not make use of a spark plug to facilitate the ignition of the fuel/air mixture within the piston. Instead, ignition is achieved through the heat generated by the compression stroke.
Rudolf Diesel was a German mechanical engineer, credited with inventing the diesel engine. This he did over a period of time in the 1890s. His early engines ran at low speeds and were very bulky, but slowly he perfected his invention.
The camshaft is all about timing! It is tasked with opening and closing valves, which let the fuel/air mixture into the cylinder and then, once combustion has taken place, remove it.
An engine is cooled using coolant stored in the radiator. This is moved through the engine by the water pump and returned to the radiator, where it cools, only for the cycle to repeat.
The alternator is a fairly important part in your vehicle. It not only provides electric power for the systems in the car that need it but it also keeps the battery charged while you drive. It's pretty nifty!
Cold starts for diesel engines are difficult. This is because the engine needs to be warm to help burn the fuel/air mixture which is ignited by compression within the cylinder. To help the engine heat up, a diesel engine makes use of glow plugs, which are heaters, effectively.
The first stroke an engine makes in its running cycle is the intake stroke. This sees the fuel/air mixture move into the cylinder, where it will be combusted.
If your car's engine is turning over sluggishly when starting, or nothing happens except for a ticking sound, it's likely your battery is the problem. That is always the first thing to check.
Engine-speak is pretty specific. Any time you hear the numbers four, six or eight, you can rest assured they refer to the number of cylinders the engine has. These can be aligned in a number of ways - for example, in a straight line (inline) or in a V.
The sump is the reservoir where the oil used to lubricate the engine sits when it is not running. It is usually found at the bottom of the engine and is easily drained by removing a single nut. The sump is also sometimes called an oil pan or oil tray.
This is only a quick fix, but by turning on your car's heater you can bring the temperature of the engine down slightly. Why? Well, the heater helps move heat away from the engine. Get to a mechanic as soon as possible, though.
The high tension leads conduct the electrical current from the ignition coil to the spark plugs, creating the spark to start combustion in the engine.
Many cars come with turbochargers these days, but they can also be fitted to older engines. Turbocharged engines are more powerful. The turbocharger pushes more air into the engine, which means more is burned during the combustion process and that, in turn, leads to more power.
A piston moves up and down within the cylinder, compressing the fuel/air mixture, which is then ignited by a spark from the spark plug.
The fuel/air mixture is ignited by a spark from the spark plug, prompting the combustion necessary to keep the engine running.
The piston within the cylinder is connected to the crankshaft by the connecting rod. Usually, they are connected in two places. When a connecting rod fails, mechanics will often say the engine "threw a rod."
The compression stroke is the second stroke to occur. It compresses the fuel/air mixture. This compression creates more energy when the fuel/air mixture is combusted.
Piston pins are held in place on the pistons by piston pin clips. These are really small and pretty easy to misplace when a mechanic is working on the engine.
The air intake system of a vehicle allows oxygen to reach the engine. If it is submerged, the engine compartment will be filled with water, which will kill it and make it impossible to restart. Never try to start a flooded car until all water has been drained and all systems have been checked.
An air filter ensures that the air entering the engine, which is used during the combustion process, is clean and free of any particles that could damage the engine. The filter needs to be replaced every so often.
A common configuration for the cylinders in an engine is inline. Cylinders can also be arranged in a V shape, as well as a W shape, which is two V cylinder banks side by side.
The tailpipe is connected to the vehicle through the exhaust system. The gases leave the engine through the exhaust manifold, they pass through the catalytic converter to ensure they are cleared of certain emissions, and then they exit through the tailpipe.
In a diesel engine, the air is first compressed within the cylinder. After that has taken place, the fuel is added into the mix and combustion takes place.
Any impurities in the oil can damage the engine. The oil filter will remove these, keeping the oil clean and effective. This filter needs to be replaced every so often.
Pistons move in a linear fashion, up and down. The crankshaft, which is connected to the transmission through a flywheel, turns that linear movement into a rotational movement, which is needed to move a vehicle forward (or backward, depending on the gear selected).
The air intake manifold allows the fuel/air mixture into the cylinders and distributes it to the intake ports equally. The mixture is then combusted by the spark from the spark plug.
During the exhaust stroke, the gases produced by the combustion of the fuel/air mixture are removed from the cylinder, through the exhaust manifold. They then exit the car through the exhaust system and the tailpipe.