While browsing Facebook over my morning coffee, I saw a friend of mine share his score on one of those online knowledge quizzes. This particular one intrigued me, because as a lifelong car guy, I figured hey, I ought to smoke that “What do you know about car engines?” quiz. Little did I know when I started the quiz that it was put together by someone who clearly doesn’t know what the hell they are talking about.
I’m sure I am not the only car guy out there who absolutely fell in love with Marisa Tomei’s character, Mona Lisa Vito, in “My Cousin Vinny,” especially after this scene. Sadly, the “car knowledge quiz” I am talking about is filled with similar “bullshit questions.”
If you are a mechanic by profession, do yourself a favor and do not take the quiz. If you are a serious car guy, I also recommend that you don’t take it. If you are at all like me, you will just get annoyed by how poorly the questions and answers are worded. It starts very early on in the quiz, and sadly, they get progressively worse as the quiz goes on. I finally started taking screen captures of them…
If you plan on taking this quiz, let this serve as a spoiler alert as I am not only going to post some of the more annoying questions, I am going to discuss why they are annoying.
First of all, the starter relay, or starter solenoid, does not start the freaking car. The starter motor, more commonly referred to simply as “the starter” does. The starter relay, or solenoid, is between your starter button/ignition key and is what causes the starter motor to engage the engine. Some cars have the solenoid on the starter while other cars it is completely separate. So, is this question about the starter motor, or about the solenoid/relay? Based on the answers given, the only reasonable answer is Electromagnetic principles (and this was the right answer), but this question is horribly worded.
The Wankel engine, or rotary engine, is unique in many ways, and specifically it is unique in two ways that are both answers to this question. The Wankel engine has neither valves nor pistons. So, which do you choose? I chose pistons, and that was the correct answer, according to the creator of this quiz, but since there are two valid answers and you can only choose one, it is yet another bullshit question.
So, I get to this question and again, I’m befuddled. The Honda Civic is not an electric car per se, although there have been electric versions made and it is also available as a Hybrid. The Toyota Mirai on the other hand is a hydrogen fuel cell car, also not an electric car. Sadly, in this instance I chose the wrong option.
Okay, so what honing are they talking about? I assumed they meant the cylinder walls, but even making that assumption, the first three answers are all correct. A properly honed cylinder wall helps with lubrication of the piston, it allows the piston to smoothly travel in cylinder, and it helps the piston compression rings seat in properly ensuring a tight seal. I got a number of their bullshit questions right using a process of elimination, but in this case, that only drops one of the four answers. To the creator of this quiz, proper lubrication was the correct answer.
Radiator thermostat? I know what a radiator is, and I know what a thermostat is, but I have no idea what the hell a “radiator thermostat” is. That said, the correct answer is easily chosen (it opens), but again, the wording is utterly ridiculous.
Uh, what? A harmonic balancer is not a tool, it is an engine part. There are some tools that are used to remove the harmonic balancer, but installation, at least in my experience does not require any special tools. For those who don’t know, the harmonic balancer is a part that is designed to help balance (hence the name) the crankshaft in engines that are not internally balanced. The harmonic balancer mounts on the end of the crankshaft. Again, the answer is easy to choose (crankshaft) but the question was obviously written by someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about.
There were some other equally stupid questions in this quiz, but I only included a few of them. It just goes to show you, any moron can put together an online quiz. Just because the quiz exists does not mean anything in it is legitimate.