Photo: Studiotan/Shutterstock It’s time to see where the rubber meets the road. Match each car part to the right function in your vehicle with this quiz from NAPA AUTO PARTS. START THE QUIZ Question 1 of 12 Score: 0 Photo: totojang1977/Shutterstock Photo: Vereshchagin Dmitry/Shutterstock This car part is the muscleman that gets your wheels moving. It’s strong enough to support the car’s weight, passengers and cargo, and built to withstand the forces created by driving and braking. What is it? The axle is a critical component on any wheeled vehicle. It transfers the power created by the engine to the vehicle itself, getting you and your crew on the road. Axles distribute the weight of the car and are connected to the steering, acceleration and braking mechanisms. Clutch Axle Radiator NEXT QUESTION Question 2 of 12 Score: 0 Photo: Soloviova Liudmyla/Shutterstock Photo: Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock Which of these parts converts an engine’s power into the torque (or rotational force) required to move the car? Think of your transmission as the middleman between your car’s engine and axle. The engine creates lots of power for your car, but rotates at a much faster rate (600 to 7,000 RPMs) than you would want your wheels to turn (0 to 1,800 RPMs). The transmission steps in between the two and uses a series of gears to convert the engine’s raw power into the exact amount of power you need to speed up, slow down or stop your car. Transmission Fuel pump Piston NEXT QUESTION Question 3 of 12 Score: 0 Photo: mimagephotography/Shutterstock Photo: Napa This car part gives your engine the burst of energy it needs to start up when you’re ready to hit the road. What is it? The battery is where your car stores the electricity needed to turn over the engine when you hit the ignition. To do this, it has to put a lot of power out in a short burst, which is why it’s so important to not tamper or play with a battery and its cables. Once your engine is up and running, other engine mechanisms take over to keep your car running without draining the remaining battery power. Alternator Radiator Battery NEXT QUESTION Question 4 of 12 Score: 0 Photo: OH studio image gallery/Shutterstock Photo: Vlad Kochelaevskiy/Shutterstock Which car part lets the driver change gears to ensure a smoother ride when speeding up and slowing down? When your car is running, the engine is always spinning. The clutch is a lever that connects to the transmission, so the driver can control when the drivetrain is engaged (going from stopped to moving) and choose the best gear for your speed, lessening wear and tear on the engine. Shock absorber Ignition oil Clutch NEXT QUESTION Question 5 of 12 Score: 0 Photo: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock Photo: Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock Which part produces the power used by your lights, wipers, air conditioning, stereo and your car’s other electrical components? Once your car’s battery starts the engine, the alternator takes over as the car’s electrical power supply for all the electrical components. The alternator also recharges your battery while the car is running, so it is ready to crank up next time. Piston Alternator Battery NEXT QUESTION Question 6 of 12 Score: 0 Photo: Panumas Yanuthai/Shutterstock Photo: NosorogUA/Shutterstock If your engine gets too hot, it can cause tremendous damage. Which car part runs water and coolant through the system to keep your engine at an acceptable temperature? While a radiator in your home helps warm up a room, a car’s radiator does the opposite, pulling heat away from the engine. When your engine gets too hot, the radiator sends water and coolant through the system. These fluids absorb some of the engine’s heat, return to the radiator to cool, and are sent back into the engine to help keep it from getting too hot. Radiator Thermostat Muffler NEXT QUESTION Question 7 of 12 Score: 0 Photo: Marc Bruxelle/Shutterstock Photo: BACHTUB DMITRII/Shutterstock This part attaches the body of the car to the suspension system, making sure your ride is as smooth as possible. What is it? Struts are the big brothers of shock absorbers. In addition to helping keep your car from bouncing as it goes over bumps, struts also support the weight of the car body and secure it to the suspension system, as well as keep the wheel aligned correctly on the car. Accelerator Distributor Strut NEXT QUESTION Question 8 of 12 Score: 0 Photo: dean bertoncelj/Shutterstock Photo: Stason4ik/Shutterstock Which part kicks off your car’s refrigeration cycle when you turn on the air conditioner? The compressor is the heart of your car’s air conditioning unit. When your AC is not running, the refrigerant (Freon) is a hot gas. The compressor takes this gaseous coolant, pressurizes (or compresses) it and sends it to the condenser, which then converts it into a high-pressured liquid that runs through your AC unit to keep you cool. Catalytic converter Compressor Thermostat NEXT QUESTION Question 9 of 12 Score: 0 Photo: ESB Professional Photo: Maxx-Studio/Shutterstock This part takes the power created by tiny explosions in the engine and transfers it to the crankshaft and gearbox to power your entire vehicle. What is it? The pistons are one of the most important parts of a car engine. When your spark plugs ignite, compressed gas in the engine’s cylinders create tiny explosions that push the pistons down, transferring that energy into the power used to run your car. Piston Spark plug Fuel pump NEXT QUESTION Question 10 of 12 Score: 0 Photo: FXQuadro/Shutterstock Carburetor Which car part preps your fuel to be sent into the engine? The carburetor is what delivers — and meters — fuel to the car’s engine. When air is pulled into the engine by the air intake, the carburetor mixes it with fuel and sends it to the cylinders, where it is ignited, pushing down the pistons to power the vehicle. Chassis Ignition coil Carburetor NEXT QUESTION Question 11 of 12 Score: 0 Photo: LanaElcova/Shutterstock Photo: Slavoljub Pantelic/Shutterstock In older vehicles, this part may decrease your miles per gallon, but it’s still critical for helping minimize air pollution from cars. What is it? Your car exhaust is full of toxic compounds, and the job of the catalytic converter is to change those pollutants into less-harmful compounds. As the exhaust from your engine flows through the catalytic converter toward the muffler, the hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides created by your engine are converted into carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen and oxygen — each of which are far less harmful to air-breathing animals and the environment. Fuel injector Power steering pump Catalytic converter NEXT QUESTION Question 12 of 12 Score: 0 Photo: Syda Productions/Shutterstock Photo: eugenegurkov/Shutterstock Which car part helps you slow down when you hit the brakes? Brake rotors are round, flat pieces of steel that fit on the inside of your car’s wheels. When you hit the brakes, two brake pads – one on each side of the rotor – compress, squeezing the rotor, which slows or stops the vehicle. Accelerator Rotor Distributor GET YOUR SCORE You scored out of 12 Photo: Studiotan/Shutterstock TRY AGAIN Try your knowledge on these other quizzes. Famous movie and TV cars: test your knowledge HOV history: how much do you know? 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