The Ultimate Repairing a Small Engine Quiz


By: Staff

6 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Does the sound of a V8 get your motor running? How about something with a little less oomph? For true gearheads, size doesn’t matter. Small engines are just as interesting — and so is keeping them in working order.

But when dealing with repairs to a small engine, the rules of the road just aren’t the same as large engines. After all, lawn mowers, chainsaws, outboard boats, and snowmobiles are all powered by small engines — not exactly your average motor vehicles! On the other hand, there are some important steps that you’re bound to recognize. For instance, what’s the first step to any small engine repair? Will the answer surprise you? Find out by taking this quiz!

There are other basic questions you will want to know the answers to as well. For example, do you know what is the best system you should use for servicing your small engines? And do you understand what the term “viscosity” means as it relates to small engine upkeep? Even the most skilled mechanics don’t always know the answers to these tricky questions. Do you? Knowing the facts in these areas will help you keep your small engine functioning at its best, and it will make a difference in how often it’ll need major repairs. This is particularly true if you’re the kind of person who loves the outdoors and activities that involve all kinds of machinery. However, once in a while, even the handiest small engine expert is bound to run into a problem they can’t fix. So, you should ask yourself: do you know what is the best course of action to take if you’re stuck?

But just because you know a thing or two off-hand doesn’t mean you’ll be firing on all cylinders. You absolutely need to know the specifics of these machines if you want to keep them humming for years to come. As an example, can you name the type of ignition systems that are used in small engines? And how many types of carburetors are usually used in small engines? You can’t just buy any old replacement parts and expect them to work perfectly in your chainsaw. It also helps to be aware of how small engines regularly function. Do you know what four-stroke engines mix with gasoline in order to run? And can you tell how most single-cylinder engines are cooled? It’s important to understand these systems because they can be a source of a lot of problems that require engine repair.

All this knowledge and more is required if you want to be a true expert on the process of repairing a small engine. Some of it you may have picked up just by working on your car or truck — but unless you’ve really gotten your hands greasy handling small engines before, there are probably still some gaps in what you know. Do you have what it takes to deal with small engine repair? Get under the hood of this quiz and find out!

What is the best system for servicing your small engine?

It is best to service your small engine regularly. That way you can rely on the machine to work. You'll also save time because you only need to shop for parts and take the engine apart once and you can catch potential problems earlier.


What are small gas engines usually cooled by?

Combustion and friction produce heat that can damage the engine parts. To prevent this, air is used to cool the engine and lubricant is used to reduce the amount of friction.


What’s the first step to any small engine repair?

It’s best to disconnect the spark plugs before working on an engine.


What should battery terminals be cleaned with?

Battery cables and terminals should be cleaned with a little baking soda and a stiff wire brush.


What does the term “viscosity” describe?

Viscosity is the thickness of an oil, grease, or other lubricant.


Which of the following small engine parts are an example of a wear part?

Wear parts, such as bearings, wear out as part of their function and are designed to be replaceable.


Most small engines can be repaired using standard general procedures, but some have specific or unusual requirements. What’s the best way to proceed if you’re stuck?

If you have trouble with a repair, many equipment manufacturers can provide copies of their products’ repair manuals.


If there is white or blue smoke coming from the tailpipe, what might be wrong?

White or blue exhaust is a sign that the engine is burning oil.


Which of the following are types of ignition systems used with small engines?

Magneto-powered and battery-powered are both examples of ignition systems.


What force does a mechanical governor use to determine the load on an engine?

A governor controls the speed of an engine by returning the engine to a set speed when it is slowed by a heavy load. A mechanical governor uses the centrifugal force of the engine's weight to measure the load on an engine; an air vane governor uses air speed from the rotating flywheel to determine the load.


What does a choke do?

A choke controls the air entering the air-fuel mixture.


What does fuel stabilizer do?

Fuel stabilizer should be added to the fuel when a vehicle or piece of equipment is being stored, to prevent damage during storage.


How long does it take for gasoline to break down?

Untreated gasoline breaks down after about a month, which causes starting or running problems.


What do four-stroke engines mix in with gasoline?

Gasoline is a combustible liquid that burns really slowly unless it is mixed with something else to make it extremely explosive. Four-stroke engines mix gasoline with air, two-stroke engines mix gasoline with oil.


What controls the speed of the engine?

The throttle controls the speed of the engine by controlling the amount of gasoline-air mixture that is delivered to the engine. The carburetor mixes the correct proportion of gasoline and air and the muffler mutes the noisy sound of the engine.


In a mechanical breaker ignition system, what provides the spark to ignite the fuel?

A mechanical breaker ignition system uses electricity to provide a spark. A magneto-powered ignition system uses magnetism and a battery-powered ignition system relies on a battery.


What component delivers the engine's power to the various parts of the machine (e.g. the wheels, the blades)?

The flywheel, a round-shaped, weighted wheel, delivers the engine's power to the various parts of the machine (e.g. the wheels, the blades). The crankshaft moves the piston up and down in the cylinder via the connecting rod.


How often should you change your engine oil?

You should change your engine oil after every 25 hours of use. Most small engines come with a service chart, which helps you keep track of which parts need to be serviced when.


What are in-line fuel filters usually made of?

In-line fuel filters are usually made of disposable pleated paper, which should be replaced when cleaning the fuel system. Other engines have a fuel strainer in the bottom of the fuel tank, or a removable sediment bowl type strainer in the fuel line.


What are the two types of air cleaners used in a small engine?

Air cleaners keep particles in the air from blocking the carburetor. There are two types: oil baths, which can be cleaned and dry cleaners, which must be replaced.


How many types of carburetors are usually used in small engines?

There are three types of carburetors that are usually used in small engines: natural draft, downdraft and updraft. These describe the direction of air flow from the inlet to the engine.


How many systems does a gasoline powered engine have?

An internal combustion, gasoline-powered engine has six systems: fuel, exhaust, ignition, combustion, cooling, and lubrication. Each of these systems has many components.


What will an incorrectly adjusted governor do to an engine?

An incorrectly adjusted governor will damage or destroy an engine by causing it to operate at excessively high speeds. All governors operate differently, so read your service manual to see how to correctly adjust yours.


What should the density of a conventional battery cell be?

The density of the liquid electrolyte in each battery cell in a conventional battery should be 1.26 to 1.28. If it measures less than 1.25 on a hydrometer, it needs to be recharged.


How much voltage does a new spark plug require?

A new spark plug requires 5, 000 volts to work. An old spark plug can require double as much.


What should you use to mix the correct ratio of oil and fuel for your engine's lubricating system?

Two-stroke engines are lubricated by mixing oil and gasoline. You can buy a premixed product, or mix it yourself using a vented gas canister that is set aside for mixing only.


What is the most common viscosity for lubricating grease?

Some engines require that their parts be lubricated using lubrication grease, a high viscosity petroleum products. Most lubricating greases have a viscosity of 80-90.


What temperature does an internal combustion engine reach?

An internal combustion engine reaches about 4, 500 degrees Fahrenheit (2, 200 degrees Celsius). Therefore, an engine's cooling system is an essential component of its functioning.


How are most single-cylinder engines cooled?

Most single-cylinder engines are cooled by air that is generated by fan blades on a flywheel. This system is easy to service; it just needs to be cleaned of debris.


Which of the following problems could cause the engine to overheat?

Many problems can cause an engine to overheat, such as a gasket that needs to be replaced.


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