How well do you think you know the parts of a car? Or maybe you don’t at all.
Take this quiz to see if your car mechanic skills are on point. And if you’re more of a car-part rookie, you’re bound to learn a little more about how your vehicle works.
What’s this car part?
This part controls the flow of air and fuel, mixing them into the right ratio for combustion so that an engine runs properly. Carburetors (sometimes spelled carburettors) have largely been replaced by fuel injection in newer cars. The pictured carbureters are two-barreled, designed for use with certain automobiles that need a higher air flow rate because of greater engine displacement.
Can you identify this car part?
Power Steering Pump
A power steering pump keeps your steering wheel easy to turn. It uses a hydraulic mechanism to provide energy to the wheel, ensuring that it requires less effort to move. The power steering pump is near your engine. Usually, you can check your power steering fluid in a reservoir between the engine and the battery.
How about these gizmos?
ABS Control Unit
Anti-locking braking systems (ABS brakes) keep a car’s braking system safe and efficient. They prevent wheels from locking up when you brake, which helps the wheels retain their grip on the road so you don’t skid across lanes. You’ll see a yellow ABS light pop up on your dash when yours isn’t working.
How about this?
It doesn’t look like your home thermostat, but this is a car thermostat. It helps regulate your car engine by controlling coolant flow between the radiator and engine with its open-and-shut action. It’s located near the water pump under your hood.
Do you know what this is?
The car starter motor gets your engine to turn over and on. Not to be confused with the ignition switch, the starter is a decently hefty part that is bolted to the transmission or engine case. If the car starter fails, your vehicle isn’t going anywhere.
How about these parts?
You know the name but did you know this little part (around the size of a big screw) can conduct 20,000 to 100,000 volts to ignite your combustion engine? Spark plugs are in the cylinder head of your car’s engine, and you can swap them out relatively easily yourself. Which is a good thing because they typically need to be switched up every 30,000 miles if you’re on top of your upkeep.
The radiator may be one of the better-known parts of your car, since you’re more likely to pour in your own radiator fluid yourself. The radiator is right under your hood and at the front. The radiator keeps your car from overheating by circulating water and coolant.
Oxygen sensors, or O2 sensors, started being installed in vehicles in the late 1970s as a way to monitor car emissions. You’ll find one by the catalytic converter and one by the exhaust. Many cars will have four O2 sensors. If they sense something is off, your “Check Engine” light will go on.
What’s this part?
No, those aren’t bracelets. Those are piston rings. They fit on the piston, the moveable end of the combustion chamber (the non-moving end is called the cylinder head). The rings keep the piston and the cylinder sealed together properly. There are two top rings and an oil ring on a piston.
What’s this part?
The muffler dampens the sound coming from a car’s engine. You’ll see the connected exhaust pipe sticking out of the back bottom of a vehicle. Mufflers were first added to cars in the late 1890s and it’s a good thing for our ears.
How about this?
Know what this does?
The catalytic converter is another way of controlling vehicle pollution. It works by converting the toxic gases in exhaust to less toxic emissions through the use of oxidation and reduction catalysts. It usually goes near the muffler and the engine exhaust manifold.
Can you identify this part?
The drive shaft is attached to the transmission in a car. This component moves power from the engine to a car’s wheels. It’s literally the driving force for your car and located underneath it.
What’s this disc-shaped part?
What are these?