The Hardest Car Quiz You'll Ever Take!


By: Steven Symes

6 Min Quiz

Image: cvdzijden - Supercar Videos

About This Quiz

Have you thoroughly lubricated those gears in your head? Are you firing on all cylinders? Is your ECU updated and running optimally? Hopefully so, because you'll need all your automotive knowledge for this test. 

Cars are complex machines, so understanding them takes a lot of knowledge and experience. People spend their entire lives learning how cars run, how to fix them, and working on improving designs. As a result, just because you learn about how cars work once doesn't mean your knowledge will stay current. Automakers and aftermarket manufacturers are constantly working to improve how vehicles of all kinds work. 

Then there's the culture that's been built up around cars. From racing to shows, clubs to car chases in movies, car culture is everywhere. It's very much affected by society and what it values, plus the evolving design and capabilities of cars. You have to be an amateur historian, sociologist, and anthropologist to have a command of this knowledge. 

The business end of the car industry is another area you should understand. It can include how automakers run, mergers, and more. This is a lot of ground to cover, and the only way to test your knowledge is to take this quiz right now! 

If a horn on your car has worked perfectly fine, then suddenly won't make sound, what's the first thing to check?

The easiest fix should always be what you start with, and in this case,​ it's a fuse. If there was a problem with the horn or wiring, you likely would have experienced intermittent problems before.


What's one disadvantage of an integrated exhaust manifold?

An integrated exhaust manifold is part of the engine block and is cooled by the water jacket, so you can't install larger headers since there won't be room to accommodate them.


What company bought Lotus Cars?

In May of 2017, Chinese automaker Geely bought Lotus by paying more than $107 million for a commanding share of stocks.


What's one feature that makes winter tires superior for cold weather?

Using winter tires in snow provides a serious benefit because they're designed to provide optimal grip in those conditions, even when compared to all-season tires.


What's the main thing that makes four-wheel drive different from all-wheel drive?

The lines between four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are sometimes blurry, but remember that four-wheel drive is usually featured on truck-based SUVs, while all-wheel drive is for cars and other unibody vehicles, usually.


If you don't have a specialized reconditioning kit, what common household item can be used to clear old headlight lenses?

The plastic lenses on headlights fog up from the material oxidizing, but toothpaste can strip off the initial layer or plastic


How does a short throw shifter make gear changes quicker?

While short throw shifters are usually shorter, it's the changed pivot point that allows you to make gear changes faster, shaving precious milliseconds off times for racing.


Why do some cars shoot flames out of the tailpipe?

With an extra rich air-fuel mixture, fuel that hasn't been burned in the cylinders makes its way to the exhaust system where it burns in the extreme heat, producing the flames.


What does "hooking up" mean in drag racing?

Spinning tires don't help a car accelerate quickly, so ideally you have little to no tire spin and instead the tires hook up quickly, giving you a better start.


What kind of supercharger is often called a blower?

A Roots-type supercharger can have a large intake sticking out of a car's hood, channeling air into the supercharger's body as the car drives.


What's different about performance camshafts?

The shape of camshaft lobes affects how long the valves are open, and how wide they open, which has a direct effect on how the engine performs.


What is the origin of the Chevy SS Sedan?

The VF Commodore, or the fourth generation of the muscle sedan, was rebadged and sold in the United States as a Chevy.


What car was the Ford GT40 based on?

After being snubbed by Ferrari, Ford sought out a vehicle it could use in endurance racing, partly settling on the Lola MK6 since it used a Ford V-8 engine already.


What cars are most commonly affected by torque steer?

Front-wheel-drive cars are mostly affected by torque steer, which is when the car pulls to one side or the other under hard acceleration.


Why do tires for off-roading have lugs that continue onto the shoulders?

When driving on soft surfaces like mud or sand, lowering the air in the tires improves grip, and having the tread on the sidewalls helps even further.


What do you call the spaces between tire lugs?

The voids in between lugs help water, mud, snow, slush, etc. escape from under the tire, boosting traction, while at the same time generating more noise.


What's the nickname for the Nissan GT-R?

After the original Nissan Skyline GT-R dominated in motorsports events, automotive press started referring to the car as Godzilla and the name stuck.


What do you call the system of passages coolant flows through in an engine?

Instead of relying on air cooling, modern engines pipe coolant through the engine through this system, regulating engine temperature accordingly.


What practice led to the creation of NASCAR?

Believe it or not, NASCAR has its origins in men who would modify their stock cars to outrun the police as they transported alcohol from where it was made to speakeasies.


What should you do to spark plugs before installing them in an engine?

While spark plugs come already gapped, there's no guarantee the gap is correct for your engine, so you must check it first.


To what does the term Hemi refer?

Despite what people think, Chrysler isn't the only automaker to create engines with hemispherical combustion chambers, which boost efficiency and, in turn, power.


What is remapping for an engine?

There are many other terms for this, but it's when you reprogram the engine control unit to make better use of bolt-on or even internal engine modifications.


Which of the following cars had hollow camshafts?

The Evo employed all kinds of trickery to make it faster and handle better, including advanced lightweighting techniques for the time, like shedding weight from the camshafts.


What was the precursor to Formula One?

In the 1920s and 1930s, the European Grand Prix was the premiere racing series in Europe, but it was suspended because of World War II.


What does it mean to dial in a turbo?

Dialing in a turbo will increase boost pressure. You just need to have an engine that can handle it.


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

Audi got the name from "quatro" or "four" in Spanish, because power goes to all four wheels of the car.


Lotus has made a reputation for adding what to cars?

Lotus is considered one of the foremost authorities on lightweighting, if not the leader in the practice, thanks to the founder's emphasis of the practice long ago.


What is turbo lag?

Larger turbos are more prone to lag because they need more time to spool up, or get the turbines spinning enough to create sufficient air movement to have an effect on performance.


Why do drag racers do burnouts before a run?

A burnout will make the tires stickier, which helps the car launch faster because stickier tires achieve more grip on the slick track, reducing the car's quarter mile time.


If your car squeals when it runs and you replace the belts but the problem continues, what should you have swapped out as well?

Most people forget that the pulleys on their car don't last forever, but like the belts, they too need to be swapped out regularly and can contribute to, or even be the sole source of, squealing noises.


What part on your car can you ruin by running the engine until the gas tank is completely dry?

Modern fuel pumps are lubricated by the fuel itself, so if they run without fuel flowing through them, they might suffer irreparable damage.


What dangerous automotive competition is nicknamed "The Race to the Clouds"?

On the last Sunday of June each year, racers from all over the world converge at the Mile 7 marker on the Pikes Peak Highway to individually race to the top of Pikes Peak.


What does the roof scoop on some race cars do?

Air conditioning provides more of a drag than a roof scoop, so it's a good way to keep the driver and navigator cool enough while racing.


What is vapor lock?

Vapor lock usually occurs when you've been riding the brakes on your vehicle excessively, like when descending a steep mountain pass, and leads to complete loss of braking power.


Where was the gas tank located on the original Jeeps?

The driver sat over the gas tank, a design that meant snipers couldn't choose to either hit the gas tank or the driver, making the Jeeps harder to stop.


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