Can You Answer These Engine Questions While Being Distracted by Pictures of Sexy Women?
By: Dave Davis
Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/GettyImages
About This Quiz
It's been said that the human mind can't actually multitask. It can only pay attention to one thing at a time, and when people think they are multitasking, they're just quickly switching tracks over and over. Well, we've got just the quiz that will put the theory to the test! How easily are you distracted? Can you actually look at the beauties presented here while answering questions about your car's engine? We usually have faith that you'll ace our quizzes, but we're not going to lie; this one's gonna be a challenge. Think you're up to it?
For most men — and women who are so inclined — this will be a test of keeping your eye on the prize and not on the models that will grace each and every question presented here. Can you multitask? Can you switch mental tracks quickly? Are you ready at all for what's about to happen? Think you can handle it? We're about to find out!
Some of these questions will be easy and others are tough, but all the ladies presented in this quiz are beautiful. So what's it going to be — cold, sexy metal or warm, sexy bodies? Or do you think you can have it all? Only one way to find out ... Let's go!
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You can do this! What part did the fuel injectors replace on modern engines?
The fuel pump
The intake manifold
The fuel from the tank needs to be mixed with air to form a mixture that will burn to power the internal combustion engine. Older vehicles used a carburetor to create the mixture, while in modern cars the fuel injectors create a fuel mist that combines with oxygen. The end result is the same, though: Boom!
Keep your cool, if you can, and tell us what process the radiator uses to keep the temperature down in your engine.
The engine's coolant travels in small tubes (aluminum, in most modern vehicles) with thin fins which come in contact with the air by the movement of the car and/or the radiator's fan. Some of the heat is transferred to the air, leaving the coolant at a lower temperature and ready for further action.
When it comes to cars, how many strokes are used in each cycle?
The internal combustion process in a modern automobile's engine has four processes, or strokes, to turn the potential energy in the fuel into motion and get rid of the resulting waste. Smaller engines often only have a two-stroke process.
What connects the camshaft to the crankshaft in your car's engine?
Trick question — they're not connected
The camshaft, which opens and closes the engine's fuel valves, and the crankshaft, which conveys the energy from the internal combustion process to the transmission and, ultimately, the wheels, must play nice together and work in unison. The timing belt (or chain, in older vehicles), makes sure this dance takes place properly.
Need your eyes here, buddy. Which of these answers best describes the motion of the engine's pistons?
Side to side
Back and forth
Up and down
The pistons travel up and down within the cylinder's body, propelled by the internal combustion process. This linear motion moves the crankshaft, to which the pistons are attached, and transforms it into a circular motion and drives the wheels.
Hmm — something's missing. Which of these parts do gasoline engines have that diesel engines don't?
Diesel fuel doesn't actually need a spark to combust — the pressure that the pistons place on the air/fuel mix is enough to do the trick. Diesel engines do have what are called glowplugs, which warm the cylinders and air/fuel mix that allow the process to combust when the engine is cold and in cold weather.
They sound like delicate parts, but what do tappets do in a car's engine?
They deaden engine sounds.
They assist in lifting the valves.
The tappets, also called cam followers or valve lifters, translate that motion of the camshaft in order to open and shut the valves to each cylinder. Some tappets are mechanical (which could need adjustments from time to time), while others work with hydraulic pressure and automatically adjust when needed.
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Hey, can you slow down there and tell us what the function of the engine's rocker arms are?
They hold the engine in place.
They open and shut valves.
The rotational motion of the camshaft needs to be converted to linear motion in order for the valves to open and close, and this job falls to the rocker arms. They are usually made of steel and can take a lot of motion and exert a lot of leverage to get the job done.
What's oil's main job when it comes to your car's engine?
It cools the engine's parts.
It helps with steering and braking.
It lubricates the moving parts.
There are a lot of moving parts in your car's engine, and moving parts mean friction. Without oil, those parts would grind together and then your engine would grind to a halt. Oil is the blood of the engine, so make sure that yours is clean and vital!
Pay attention to the sounds! What is the probable cause when your car starts making a loud, abnormal roar?
A busted hose
A broken belt
A blown head gasket
A hole in the muffler
Unchecked, your engine is a loud beast. The exhaust and muffler help quiet down the racket caused by the internal combustion process. After a while, though, the muffler will start to break down, and when you get a hole in it, you'll know it pretty quickly. Replace it and get some peace!
Which has more bang for the buck: diesel fuel or gasoline?
Gasoline has more energy.
They have the same energy.
It depends on the manufacturer.
Diesel fuel has more energy.
In samples with the same volume, diesel fuel contains more energy than gasoline (it's denser). This means that the combustion process is more efficient, giving more miles to the gallon, and the process also puts out less harmful emissions when compared to gasoline.
This is important! Which of these devices is used to check the oil level in your engine?
Oil sump gauge
The dipstick is a long, thin piece of metal with a handle that can be used to check the level and condition of your vehicle's oil. It's simple to do, so now and then check your dipstick and see how things are going down there!
You're looking a little hot there. You might need a rev limiter, but do you know what it does?
It controls the temperature of your engine.
It keeps the engine from running too fast.
As much as you want to go faster, sometimes your need for speed runs counter to what's best for the engine. Modern cars have rev limiters, which kick in when the engine is running too fast and could become damaged. Basically, it keeps you revving on the happy side of the red line.
It keeps harmful exhaust gases out of the car's cabin.
What another name for your vehicle's combustion chamber?
The internal combustion process takes place in the cylinders of your car's engine, where the explosion of gases moves the pistons up and down within the chamber. Most modern cars have four, six or eight cylinders, although some cars have as many as 16 cylinders.
Which of these isn't a stroke in your car's internal combustion process?
The phases of a four-stroke engine are intake (where the air/fuel mix enters the chamber), compression (where the mix is squeezed into the top of the cylinder by the upward-traveling piston), power (where the mix is detonated, driving the piston back down) and exhaust (where the spent gases are expelled and the cylinder is cleared for the next cycle).
It might sound dirty to some, but you're all business, right? What function does the crankshaft have in your car?
It charges the battery.
It opens and closes the engine's valves.
It transfers energy from the engine to the transmission.
The pistons move up and down, powered by the explosions in the cylinders, but that linear movement has to be transformed into rotational energy, and through the miracle of mechanical engineering, the crankshaft makes that happen.
It changes gears in a manual transmission vehicle.
Pretty fly for a ... um, we mean, what's the job of your engine's flywheel?
Moderating the transmission
Powering the headlights
Storing rotational energy
Connected to the crankshaft, the flywheel helps to balance the uneven (sequential) firing of the engine's pistons by storing the rotational energy of the crankshaft's motion and evening out the process and helps keep the engine in consistent motion throughout the four-stroke combustion process.
Take a peek and tell us: The camshaft does what under the hood?
It opens and closes the engine's valves.
The camshaft is responsible for opening and closing the valves of your car's engine. Rotating in time with the crankshaft (it rotates once for every two rotations of the crankshaft, actually), the camshaft keeps the cylinders firing at the proper time for the desired speed.
Take a breath! Can you tell us what the engine's throttle does?
It keeps the oil circulating properly.
It controls the fuel pump.
It controls the amount of air coming into the engine.
The internal combustion process that goes on in your engine needs two things to work: fuel and air. The throttle, controlled by the gas pedal, controls how much air is coming into your engine. This, in turn, controls how much fuel is used at any given moment and therefore the speed of the engine (and the vehicle).
There's an explosion in your cylinder! What part of the engine does this move directly?
When the fuel/air mixture in your car's cylinder is detonated, it drives down the piston within the cylinder, which is connected to the crankshaft along with its fellow pistons. Working in time with each other, they move the crankshaft, which ultimately turns the vehicle's wheels.
Uh, oh. Are you feeling a bit out of sync? Engine running a little rough? It might be your spark plug — what's the problem?
They're not screwed in tightly enough.
They're the wrong size.
They're made of the wrong material.
The plugs aren't gapped correctly.
Timing is everything when it comes to an engine. The spark that detonates the air/fuel mix must come at the precise right time; a split second too early or too late and you're going to feel it through the rough running of the engine, if it runs at all. The gap between each plug's electrodes much be set, and the tolerance isn't forgiving; the gaps can be measured in thousandths of an inch.
Pay attention to the sounds! What's it probably mean when you hear a whistling noise coming from under the hood?
Oil is leaking on something hot.
It's a vacuum hose leak.
Your car's engine is pretty particular with what's coming in and out of it. When a vacuum tube cracks and a leak forms, it can not only cause a whistling sound, but it could start showing acceleration problems or idling faster than it really should. The parts are usually not that expensive, but figuring out where the leak is coming from can run up labor costs.
Slow your roll, there, friend, and tell us what "RPMs" actually measure.
How fast the crankshaft is rotating
RPMs — revolutions per minute — are a measure of how fast the crankshaft is spinning, which is a good indication of how hard the engine is working at that moment. An idling engine generally runs at about 1,000 RPMs, and at highway speeds between 3,000 and 4,000, depending on the car and road conditions. With a tachometer, you can keep an eye on your RPMs.
It's gotta go somewhere! When the engine isn't running, where does the oil go?
It stays where it was when the engine stopped.
The oil filter
The oil pan
Oil is fluid, and gravity will have its way with it once it's not under pressure anymore. Oil collects in the oil pan, located under the engine when the motor isn't running. This is also where the plug is located to remove oil from the system during an oil change.
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Keep looking. We know it's there. Where would you look to find a butterfly valve in a modern car?
The throttle body
The throttle body controls the air that comes into the car's engine by using a butterfly valve that opens and closes depending on the position of the accelerator pedal. There are also butterfly valves in carburetors, but most cars don't use that structure anymore.
Putting on the speed might turn some heads, and some nitrous oxide might just do the job. How, exactly, does NO2 work?
It lubricates the piston.
It adds extra oxygen to the system.
Nitrous oxide, known as "NOS" to racing enthusiasts, gives an engine a temporary boost by super-oxygenating the air mixing with the fuel, allowing more fuel to be burned in the same amount of time. It also lowers the temperature of the air entering the engine, making it denser and providing even more oxygen. It can also blow out your engine if you're not careful, so decide how badly you want it!
It adds an extra stroke to the four-stroke process.
Impress us with your knowledge: What is the function of cam lobes?
They direct when each valve should open.
The camshaft has a number of oblong lobes that are spaced and placed so that, as the shaft rotates, the lobes move the rocker arms that, with the tappets, open and close the valves that allow the fuel/air mix into the combustion chamber in the proper sequence.
True or false: You can run a car without oil for a limited period of time without damage.
It depends on the kind of oil last used.
It depends on the make and model of your vehicle.
So very false
Can you run a car without oil for a limited period of time? Yes, you can. Can you do it without damage? No, you cannot. The parts of your engine need a layer of lubrication to play nicely with each other. Without that, the friction and grinding action will quickly make your engine seize up. If that happens, you're going nowhere fast.
It sounds pretty, but it has a definite function: What does the harmonic balancer do in your engine?
It balances crankshaft movement to dampen vibration.
It has a rather "new-age" sounding name, but the harmonic balancer, also known as the harmonic damper and crankshaft balancer, is attached to the crankshaft and helps steady the rotation of that device to keep vibrations to a minimum. It can also serve as a pulley for drive belts in some vehicles.
It makes sure the level is steady between your tweeters and subwoofer.
Every car's got 'em, but what do the connecting rods actually connect in your engine?
The cylinder head to the engine block
The camshaft to the crankshaft
The crankshaft to the transmission
The pistons to the crankshaft
The engine's pistons move up and down, and the crankshaft moves round and round, but between the two, allowing the transformation of direction to take place, are the connecting rods. The rods are hinged in such a way to allow the energy to be transmitted smoothly between the two elements.
You want to impress, but your headlights are dim, you're cranking slow and, whoops, you just backfired. What's going on?
Your serpentine belt is slipping.
Your on-board computer is malfunctioning.
Your battery is dying.
When the car doesn't want to crank and the electrical systems are sluggish, it's a good sign that your battery isn't holding a charge. Since it can affect the fuel pump, as well, there might even be a bit of backfiring. Get it changed out before it gives up the ghost and you're calling a buddy for a ride.
Rev it up and decide if this statement is true or false: Superchargers and turbochargers are the same thing.
True - they are the exact same thing.
They are primarily the same thing, just different brands.
It depends on the make and model of your vehicle.
False — they are different animals.
While they do much the same thing — speeding up your engine by forcing more air, and therefore fuel, into the cylinders — they are different pieces of equipment. A supercharger gets its power from a belt connected to the engine, while a turbocharger uses a turbine powered by exhaust gas. Just to make it a little more confusing, a car with a twincharger uses both a turbo and supercharger.
You can probably relate to this question: Which of these pumps keeps your engine from getting overheated?
The water pump helps keep things cool by providing pressure and keeping the car's coolant (in most cases, it could be better considered an "antifreeze" pump) moving through the system, taking heat from the engine block and exchanging it with the outside air via the radiator.
Pay attention to the sounds! What does a high-pitched sound that keeps going even after the engine stops probably indicate?
Your head gasket has a leak.
Your radiator cap isn't making a seal.
If your radiator cap isn't making a tight seal, the heated coolant will turn to steam and might even whistle, just like a tea kettle. When this happens, it means the rubber gasket of the cap is probably worn out. Wait until the engine is cool before checking, though; you don't want a scalding steam facial!
You just can't stop! Even after you shut off the car, the engine keeps running for a few moments. What does this most likely mean?
You've got dirty cylinders.
When your car's engine won't stop, even though you want it to (there's actually a term for that: "dieseling"), it can mean you've either got your idle speed set too high or you've got carbon buildup in the cylinders. It also means you have a classic car; this only happens in cars that have a carburetor and not fuel-injection systems.
Get your mind in the game and answer this, if you can: What does the head gasket actually do?
Forms a seal between the cylinder head and the engine block
The cylinder heads, which form the top of the combustion chamber and contain the valves, are bolted onto the engine block, which holds the cylinders and many other vital elements. These two structures are separated by the head gasket, which forms a seal to maintain compression and to keep anything that's not supposed to enter the cylinder out.
Monitors the condition of the other gaskets
Protects the fuel line
Forms a seal between the crankshaft and the transmission
It has a name, but that name might not tell you everything you need to know: What does the intake valve actually take in?
The fuel/air mixture
The intake valve (or valves) are located at the top of the combustion chamber and open at precisely the right moment to allow the air/fuel mix into the cylinder. The mix is then compressed by the piston and detonated by a spark from the spark plug.
You sure you're running right, buddy? What's it mean when your engine is running "lean"?
Too much fuel, not enough air
Too much air, not enough fuel
When your engine is running lean, you've got too much air — or not enough fuel, depending on how you look at it — in your air/fuel mix. This will affect your performance, and may keep your car from even starting. The opposite problem, too much fuel and not enough air, is described as your engine running "rich."
It's not just you getting overheated. What greenhouse gas do automobile engines produce?
All the above
Your car may be one of your best friends, but it's not a very good friend to the environment. The biggest culprit is carbon dioxide. Studies have found that the average passenger car produces just more than 400 grams of CO2 per mile. Methane and nitrous oxide are also byproducts of the internal combustion process. Today's cars run cleaner than classics, but they still leave a mark on the environment.
Power up! What does the octane rating on gasoline actually measure?
When you pull up to the pump, you're usually given three octane choices of gasoline: 87, 90 or 93. These numbers tell you how much the fuel can be compressed before exploding in your cylinder. High-performance automobiles can make the most of high octane (highly compressible) fuel; standard car engines can use the lower 87 octane just fine.