Can You Name These Engine Parts in 11 Minutes?


By: Robin Tyler

6 Min Quiz

Image: Witthaya Prasongsin/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

There is nothing more frustrating than getting into your car, turning the key in the ignition ... and nothing. Your engine just won’t start, and you are going nowhere.

That’s because if your car’s engine is not working, the wheels can’t turn. It is that simple. A car engine provides the necessary power to get you going. Of course, it is far more complicated than that. The power created by the combustion of the fuel/air mixture needs to be fed through the gearing system (or transmission) to the differential and then finally to the wheels.

How did those magnificent people of more than a century ago figure this all out? Thank goodness they did, right? A car engine is a mass of parts, all needing to work perfectly so your engine can run properly but also efficiently. But just how much do you know about engines and the parts they're made from? Can you name them from just an image? It's not easy because they are so many. Let’s test you and see just how many of them you actually can identify.

But you are going to have to be quick because we expect you to finish this quiz in 11 minutes! Let's get started.

What part ensures the air coming into the engine is clean?

The air entering your car's engine needs to be clean. This is the air filter's job. Depending on the roads you drive on, it should be replaced every 15,000 to 30,000 miles, and more often if you drive on dusty, unpaved roads.


Name the part that moves the engine valves.

Valve lifters do exactly what their name suggests. They help to lift the valves within the engine, opening and closing them when needed. They are also known as hydraulic tappets.


Which of these connects a number of engine parts together using sprockets?

The fan belt is made from rubber. It connects several components of the engine, including the cooling fan, alternator and the crankshaft pulley. Sometimes you may hear a loud squealing coming from beneath the hood. That's a worn fan belt.


Along which systems are gases produced during the combustion of the fuel/air mixture moved?

The by-products of the combustion of the gas/air mixture during combustion are various gasses. These need to be removed from the engine through the exhaust system, starting with the exhaust manifold which collects the gases from the various cylinders then sends them down the exhaust system and out the tailpipe​.


In this image, we have a part that helps remove impurities from the lubricant in your engine. Can you name it?

Oil keeps all the moving parts of an engine lubricated. An oil filter helps to remove impurities in the oil that might damage the engine. From time to time, you would need to replace the filter as it will get clogged up. Don't worry; your mechanic should do this when you have your car serviced.


Which part moves gasoline from the tank to the engine?

Depending on the engine, fuel pumps come in a range of configurations and types. Essentially though, they are responsible for pumping fuel along the fuel line to the engine under pressure.


An engine losing compression won't run properly. Which engine part ensures this doesn't happen?

If there is a compression problem in a cars engine, it will run poorly, if at all. A compression ring helps to form a seal with the cylinder wall within the engine.


What is the name of the system that starts your car?

Without the ignition system, a car will simply not start. There are many parts to an ignition system, including the battery, coil and solenoid, to name a few.


Name the fasteners you find connected to the cylinder head.

Also called head bolts, cylinder head bolts secure a cylinder head and its gasket to the engine block. To remove the cylinder head, you have to unscrew them. And of course, together with their gasket, they need to form a perfect seal.


Can you name the engine part that cools the air in a turbocharged engine?

An intercooler is part of a turbocharged engine only. By reducing the temperature of the air into the turbocharger, it is made denser, thus creating more power.


Which of these turns the engine over during startup?

When you turn the key in your ignition, the starter motor engages. It turns the engine over, starting it. If your starter motor fails, your engine cannot start.


Which part of the engine is also known as the cylinder sleeve?

This hollow tube fits into the cylinder bore within the engine. The pistons then move within this tight, sealed environment, compressing the fuel/air mixture to be combusted.


Gas is transported from the gas tank to the engine along this.

The fuel line is made of reinforced rubber to stop it from perishing. That doesn't mean that it cannot be damaged. In Hollywood movies, you always see the bad guys cutting the fuel line of the hero's car.


Can you name the car part which includes a set of teeth?

A sprocket is a wheel with a set of teeth on the outer circumference. It drives items like the chain or timing belt.


Moving pistons rotate which part of the engine?

When fuel burns in the engine, it pushes the pistons, which in turn rotate the crankshaft. This causes the vehicle to move. Well, a few other things have to happen, but that is essentially the gist of it.


Can you name the part that regulates the transfer of coolant from the radiator to the engine?

A thermostat ensures that coolant is only pumped from the radiator once the engine has warmed up sufficiently. It allows the coolant to be pushed through the engine whenever it is needed. The coolant then removes the heat from the engine and dissipates it while in the radiator. This process then repeats when needed.


Which of these engine parts is often shortened to just a few letters?

An engine with a single overhead camshaft (OHC) only had one of these engine parts. But what does it do? It opens and closes the exhaust and intake valves.


Can you name the part found in modern engines that uses sensors to ensure the motor runs optimally at all times?

An integral part of modern engines, an engine control unit or ECU is the brain of the engine. It uses a series of sensors that ensure the engine runs optimally at all times.


Which of these forms the connection between the spark plugs and the ignition coil?

The high tension leads play a crucial part in a car engine. They conduct the electrical current from the ignition coil to the spark plugs, which create the spark to start combustion in the engine.


From the options below, name the engine parts that open and close to let the air/fuel mixture into the engine?

The valves within an engine open and close in sequence to let the air and fuel mixture in. They then seal when combustion takes place and let out the gases produced.


Small but important, this part "sparks" your engine into life.

Connected to the ignition coil, the spark plug provides the spark that ignites the fuel/air mixture, which then provides the combustion to run the engine.


Which engine part connects the crankshaft to the piston?

The piston within the cylinder is connected to the crankshaft by the connecting rod. In fact, there are usually two of these connected to each piston. Why two? Well, if they were to fail, it would cause massive damage to your engine.


Name the engine part of various sizes that help to reduce friction between components.

Bearings reduce friction between components within the engine. They protect and support various parts, including the crankshaft and connecting rods.


Which small ring controls the rate of oil consumption within the cylinders of the engine?

This ring is found under the umbrella of the piston rings. And what does the oil control ring do? It makes sure the correct amount of oil is used in the cylinders of the engine.


Name the engine part that turns the linear motion of the pistons into a rotational motion, which turns the wheels and moves the car?

Pistons move linearly, up and down, essentially. The crankshaft, which is connected to the transmission through a flywheel, turns that movement into a rotational one. This is needed to move a vehicle forward (or backward, depending on the gear selected).


Do you know the name of the engine part that sprays gasoline into each cylinder?

Fuel can be delivered straight into the combustion chamber by injectors or mixed with air first, at which the intake stroke of the piston is performed.


Which part of a car engine helps to stop crank vibrations?

This counterweighted engine shaft helps offset unwanted crankshaft vibrations. Vibrations in an engine can lead to problems further down the line, so this is a crucial part on a vehicle.


From the options below, name the engine part that charges your battery as you drive.

Not only does an alternator charge your battery, but​ it also powers most of the electrical systems on a vehicle. If it is faulty, your battery will quickly run flat.


Which of these parts releases the gases created through combustion within the engine?

It is essential for all the gasses created by the combustion process to be released into the exhaust system. This valve does that. They are then processed through the catalytic converter and released through the tailpipe.


This engine part allows the mixture of fuel and air into the engine to be combusted. Do you know what it is called?

The air intake manifold is essential to how your engine runs. It allows the fuel/air mixture into the cylinder of the engine where it will combust, prompting it to run. It does this by evenly distributing the air/fuel mixture to the intake ports.


From the options below, select the engine parts that move within a cylinder.

A piston moves up and down within the cylinder, compressing the air/gas mixture, which is then ignited by a spark from the spark plug. Pistons are connected to connecting rods.


Forming a protective cover, this part is bolted to an engine's cylinder head. Name it.

The valve cover forms a protective cover over the cylinder head of the engine. This stops all kinds of dirt, grime and other debris from getting into the engine and fouling it up. Early engines didn't have valve covers. These are sometimes called rocker covers.


Spark plugs need to fire in certain order. This helps them do that. Can you name the car part in this image?

A distributor makes sure the spark plugs fire in the right order. If they do not, the vehicle will not run properly. The distributor is part of the ignition system.


What is the name of this engine part that is essentially a water reservoir?

A radiator dissipates the heat that engine coolant carries from the engine into it. It then circulates it back into the engine to do the same again. If your radiator is leaking, your car's engine will overheat.


Cast from metal, this holds a range of crucial engine parts such as the crankshaft, pistons and more. Any ideas what it is called?

The engine block is made of metal and houses the crankshaft, pistons and cylinders amongst many other parts. In some vehicles, the engine block is made out of aluminum, so it weighs less. Engine blocks are also called cylinder blocks.


In older engines, this part is responsible for allowing the correct amount of fuel and air into the engine to be combusted.

The carburetor controls the amount of air and fuel entering the engine. This is only found on older engines, however. Modern power units simply do not use a carburetor.


When the oil is not lubricating your engine, it is stored here. Name the engine part, please.

This is the reservoir where the oil used to lubricate the engine sits when it is not running. This would need to be drained when you perform an oil change. To do this, simply remove the bolt at the bottom of the pan and let the oil drain into a container.


By what other name is a horizontally opposed engine known?

A boxer engine, or horizontally opposed engine, sees cylinders arranged on either side of a crankshaft. These are sometimes found in Porsche cars.


Which part of your engine helps start the motor when you turn the key?

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 place to check.


This engine part is never found on a gasoline-powered car, only on a diesel engine vehicle. What is it?

All the other parts are found on a gasoline-powered vehicle except a glow plug. That is just found in diesel-powered cars. A glow plug is essentially a small heater that warms up the engine before it starts. This allows the fuel/air mixture to burn properly from the start.


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