Interesting Facts Quiz: Engines


By: Robin Tyler

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons via Gearheadgirl

About This Quiz

The internal combustion engine is certainly one of, if not the most important invention in human history.

Just think about it. What would we do without them? Well, perhaps most importantly, we wouldn't have cars, the most significant form of transport in human history.

It is always amazing to think that all those years ago, engineers sat and devised a way to not only build the internal combustion engine but then use it to drive a "horseless carriage." It boggles the mind, really. 

And soon, the internal combustion engine became more and more powerful. That power allowed it to be put into not only cars but aircraft as well. Incredible.

The engine is a complex thing, filled with many moving parts. And the amazing thing is that each is as important as the other. If one breaks, even the smallest of parts - well that could spell problems! And modern engines are not only mechanical but even have complex onboard computers that help them to run.

So in this quiz, we are going to explore interesting facts about engines and see just how much you know about them. Some questions are a breeze, while others will really test your knowledge!

Good luck!

The modern vehicle has this engine to thank for its existence.

Without the internal combustion engine, cars would not exist today as we know them.


Who invented the internal combustion engine?

It was Nikolaus Otto who invented the internal combustion engine in the late 1800s.


The explosion created by this air/fuel mix burning is called the ______?

By compressing the air/fuel mix, the piston helps to create the combustion stroke


How is the air/fuel mixture ignited?

Each cylinder in the engine has a spark plug which ignites the air/fuel mixture at the end of the compression stroke.


Pistons are connected to the crankshaft with this. What is it called?

All pistons are secured to the crankshaft via a connecting rod.


The gases formed by the combustion process are expelled from the engine and leave the vehicle through the _____?

The tailpipe is connected to the vehicle through the exhaust system.


A piston stroke is a linear motion which is changed into a rotational motion by which car part?

The crankshaft changes the linear motion of the piston stroke into a rotational one which turns the driveshaft and makes a vehicle move.


Pistons are found moving within a ______?

A piston is found within a cylinder.


Cylinders within an engine can be arranged in a numbers of ways. The three most common are inline, flat and _____?

Each arrangement has its own unique pros and cons.


Cylinders arranged in a single bank is a/an _______ arrangement.

The most common configuration for the cylinders in an engine is inline.


The main job of the spark plug within an engine is to?

The sole job of the spark plug is to provide the combustion spark that ignites the air/fuel mix.


Within the cylinder, this part moving up and down is crucial to the engine running once started.

The piston, moving within the cylinder, is what creates the compression of the air/fuel mixture which is then combusted and burns away to provide power


The camshaft in an overhead cam engine is found _______ the valves.

The name is a giveaway! Overhead cam engines have a camshaft situated above the valves. This is the most common type of layout in engines.


The ______ and ______ are linked by a timing belt to ensure they keep the valves and pistons in sync.

A timing belt is crucial to ensure the engine fires correctly by keeping valves and pistons in sync.


When the camshaft turns, it does so at what ratio to the crankshaft?

For every two turns of the turn of the crankshaft, the camshaft turns half a turn. This is achieved through gearing.


While spark plugs provide the spark to set off the combustion of the air/fuel mix, they need a ______ from the ignition to be able to achieve this.

A high-voltage charge, generated by the ignition, is needed at exactly the right time to ensure the spark plug ignites the air/fuel mixture.


Air-cooled engines are far lighter than traditional liquid-cooled engines. They do run ______, though.

Because no fluid is moving through the engine to cool it down in an air-cooled engine, they do run at higher temperatures.


Air circulation through an engine is commonly known as _________?

Most vehicles you will see on the road run normally aspirated engines.


In a turbocharged engine, the air is first ________ before it enters the combustion chamber?

Pressurizing the air leads to better performance of the engine.


The process of pressurizing the air in a turbocharged engine is known as?

The higher the pressure achieved, the greater the boost.


When you turn the key in your ignition to start the car, what begins the whole process of combustion?

The starter motor is the what sets up the whole process in action. It cranks the engine over, which in turn sees the engine operate under its own power.


What is the job of the fuel system in your vehicle?

The fuel system ensures that the correct amount of fuel is sent from the tank to the engine where it is mixed with air for the combustion process to begin.


The mixing of fuel and air is processed by which car part?

The carburetor is crucial to the whole process. It needs to mix the right amount of fuel and air, otherwise the engine runs to lean or too rich.


Name two parts that are found in the exhaust system of your car.

The tailpipe is at the end of the exhaust system and lets the gases formed by combustion out of the engine while the muffler helps to keep the sound the engine produces muffled.


Your car engine is lubricated by this liquid.

As there are so many moving parts within the engine, oil is necessary to keep everything lubricated.


Which part of the exhaust system helps burn leftover fuel and other chemicals?

The catalytic converter helps to ensure that the gas emitted by the exhaust system is as clean as possible.


What part of the engine is necessary to help turn the starter motor and start the car?

A battery is necessary to provide the initial power to turn the starter motor over and begin the ignition process.


An engine with six cylinders generates more _____ than one with four cylinders?

The more cylinders or the bigger the cylinders, the more power an engine can generate.


Why do more or larger cylinders generate more power?

By burning more fuel, an engine generates more power.


In a turbocharged engine, the air entering the engine is cooled. This is done by a _____?

Cooler air helps to generate more power.


Some cars have a dual exhaust system. Why?

Dual exhaust systems help remove the gases generated by the combustion process and helps to avoid any back pressure.


Diesel engines do not have this part in them.

A diesel engine has no spark plugs, as the air is first compressed before the fuel enters the chamber This compression generates enough heat to attain combustion.


Without this, an internal combustion engine will not run

Along with air, an internal combustion engine needs fuel to combust to provide power.


Out of gasoline and diesel, which generates more torque?

Diesel is able to generate more torque, as it has a higher energy potential than gasoline.


Engine knock is a common problem caused by _______?

When fuel is not ignited properly, it can cause a problem called engine knocking as the engine does not run as it should.


Gasoline has an octane rating. What is this?

Every engine runs best with the right gas in it. Know which octane rating your engine needs when you fill up with gas.


These connect the distributor to the spark plugs.

Hi-tension leads give the spark plugs the electrical surge they need from the distributor to be able to produce a spark.


In modern cars, this ensures the air/fuel mixture is correct in the combustion chamber and that the plugs provide a spark at the correct time.

Essentially the brains of the vehicle, the Engine Control Module is vital in ensuring an engine runs at optimal performance.


A four-stroke engine fires in what order?

Intake brings the air/fuel mix into the combustion chamber, where it is compressed and combusted, providing power, and then the exhaust gases are removed.


Engines work in a particular way, with this movement of the piston letting air and fuel into a combustion chamber. What is that stroke called?

The intake stroke allows both air and fuel into the combustion chamber, where it is burned to provide power for the vehicle.


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