Can You Name the Engine Parts From a Visual Clue and a Hint?


By: Diana Spasic

6 Min Quiz

Image: Samad Malik Photography / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Are you one of those people who like to know what’s under their car’s hood? Have you ever opened the hood and wondered what exactly is in there and how it all works?

When buying a new car, it can be more than useful to understand what sort of an engine that car is equipped with, how it works and which parts it includes. We all know that the very purpose of a gasoline engine is to convert fuel into motion so that you can move your car. Burning the gasoline inside an engine is the most efficient way of creating motion from gasoline today, which means that a car engine is, in fact, an internal combustion engine. But, how much more do you know?

For many people, a car engine may look like a big, hot, confusing structure built out of various tubes and wires. For others, however, it’s very clear what each of those tubes and wires is and how each little system works. To which group do you belong? Can you name a car engine part just by looking at a photo of it? We’ve thrown in some hints to help you out, so feel free to start that engine and ace this quiz!

It used to be a crucial part of internal combustion engines. Can you name it?

A carburetor’s purpose is mixing air and fuel for internal combustion engines in the correct ratio for combustion. Fuel injection has largely supplanted them over the recent years.


Can you name this mechanical engine part by looking at the photo?

A crankshaft is a mechanical part of an engine that converts reciprocating motion to rotational motion or vice versa, depending on the type of the engine.


This one should be pretty easy. What is this engine part called?

Before the widespread adoption of electronic fuel injection, most carbureted engines used mechanical fuel pumps for transferring fuel from the fuel tank into the fuel bowls of the carburetor.


What is this interesting-looking engine part called?

Spark-ignition internal combustion engines with a mechanically-timed ignition use distributors to properly route secondary or high voltage current from the ignition coil to the spark plugs.


You’ve probably seen this part many times. What is it called?

An oil pump in an internal combustion engine is used for circulating engine oil under pressure to the rotating bearings, the sliding pistons and the camshaft of the engine.


Do you recognize this essential engine part?

An air filter prevents abrasive substances from entering the engine’s cylinders to stop them from causing mechanical wear and oil contamination.


It might be tiny, but it matters a lot. What do you call this engine part?

The small end bushes are mounted in the so-called “Small end” of the connection rod. They provide relative motion of the piston to the connection rod.


It’s the part that makes the spark! Can you name it?

An ignition coil, also called a ‘spark coil,’ is an induction coil in the ignition system of an automobile that transforms the battery’s low voltage to the thousands of volts required to create an electric spark to ignite the fuel.


Are you familiar with this engine part?

Despite the fact most radiators are regularly used for heating, when it comes to internal combustion engines, radiators are used for cooling.


What is this mechanical system called?

A valvetrain is an assembly of components designed to open and close the intake of exhaust valves. A sequence of components transmits motion throughout the assembly.


How about these engine parts, do you know their name?

A conventional reciprocating internal combustion engine uses valves to control the air/fuel admix flow in and out of the combustion chamber.


This little guy is one of the most popular ones on the list! What is it called?

Étienne Lenoir used an electric spark plug on his gas engine in 1860, creating the first combustion piston engine. Lenoir is credited for the invention of the first spark plug.


Can you name this engine part just by looking at the photo?

Located in the cylinder, a piston is a component of reciprocating engines made gas-tight by piston rings. It transfers force from expanding gas in the cylinder to the crankshaft.


Can you name this curly-looking engine part?

A poppet valve is also called a mushroom valve, and it is typically used to control the quantity and timing of vapor or gas flow into the engine.


This is the boss of everything – can you name it?

An engine control unit (ECU) ensures optimal engine performance by controlling series of actuators on an internal combustion engine.


Do you recognize this important piece of engineering?

The oil pan is a reservoir for oil that’s attached to the bottom of the engine with bolts. A pump guides the oil from the pan through a filter to remove any dirt before it sends it to circulate through the engine.


What is this complex-looking part named?

The wastegate’s primary function is to protect the engine and the turbocharger by regulating the maximum boost pressure in turbocharger systems.


Do you recognize this important piece of machinery?

Some cars use a vacuum modulator to apply pressure to the throttle valve. The device senses the manifold pressure, which further increases when the engine is under a bigger load.


What do you call this snail-shaped part?

A turbocharger’s role is to force extra compressed air into the combustion chamber and thus increase an internal combustion engine’s efficiency and power output.


You’ll probably know what this engine part is called. Can you name it?

A throttle is a valve that controls the volume of vaporized fuel delivered to the cylinders of an internal combustion engine.


This one is super-easy. Do you know what it’s called?

A timing belt, or cambelt, is an important part of an internal combustion engine. It synchronizes the rotation of the camshafts and the crankshaft so that the valves open and close at the right time.


How about this engine part? Can you name it or do you need a hint?

A manifold absolute pressure sensor (MAP sensor) is one of the sensors used typically by engines that are fuel-injected. It is mostly seen in an internal combustion engine’s electronic control system.


Can you name the engine part you see in the photo?

High tension leads are the wires that connect an ignition coil, a distributor or a magneto to each of the spark plugs in many types of internal combustion engines.


What is this sophisticated piece of machinery called?

The pump that pumps diesel fuel into the cylinders of a diesel engine is called an injection pump. It’s a very complex piece of engineering, calibrated to deliver the right quantity of fuel every time.


How about this engine part? Can you name it?

Rocker arms are typically placed between the intake and exhaust valves and the pushrod. The pushrod pushes up the rocker arm and therefore pushes down the valves.


Can you name this “dramatic” engine part?

A screamer pipe is known for the loud noise it produces. It’s a type of exhaust setup fitted to some automotive turbocharged gas engines.


What is this complex mechanical device called?

The role of the intercoolers is to reduce induction air heat created by the supercharger or turbocharger and to increase the efficiency of the induction system by promoting more thorough combustion.


How about this engine part? Can you name it just by looking at it?

A starter ring gear is a carbon steel ring placed at the periphery of a flywheel of an internal combustion engine. The ring has teeth that are driven by the smaller gear of the starter motor.


Do you know what this piece of engineering is called?

The exhaust manifold channels exhaust gases away from the controlled combustion inside an engine.


What do you call this internal combustion engine part?

Piston rings have several important functions in reciprocating engines, some of which include sealing the combustion chamber to ensure minimal loss of gases to the crankcase and improving heat transfer from the piston to the cylinder wall.


How about this robust engine part, can you name it?

A cylinder head sits above the cylinders on top of the cylinder block in an internal combustion engine. The head closes in the top of the cylinder, forming a combustion chamber.


This engine part may look plain, but it’s very significant. What is it called?

Main crankshaft bearings are mounted in the crankcase. The main bearing consists of two parts: upper and lower. It also has a hole for passing oil to the feed holes in the crankshaft.


What is this vital engine part called?

A water pump makes sure the coolant keeps moving through the engine block, hoses and radiator while maintaining an optimal operating temperature.


Do you recognize the engine part from the photo? What is it called?

An intake manifold is a pipe that brings air or air/fuel mixture into the combustion chamber. It’s connected to the intake valves.


You can't turn on the engine without it. Can you name it?

Starters can be electric, pneumatic or hydraulic. In some cases, especially when it comes to very large engines, the starter can even be another internal-combustion engine.


This small engine part makes a huge difference. Can you name it?

Connecting rod bearings have a role of providing rotation motion in the crank pin within the connecting rod. A bearing always consists of two parts that are usually interchangeable.


What do you call this structure?

An engine block is the main structure of an internal combustion engine that contains the cylinders and other parts. It typically consists of the cylinder, oil galleries, coolant passages, crankcase and cylinder head(s).


Final question: Can you name this engine part?

Rocker covers are bolted on over rocker arms in internal combustion engines. They are also called valve covers, but they are also sometimes referred to as a “timing cover” or a “cam cover.”


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