Automotive Service Trivia

Here’s your chance to put all that random automotive knowledge rattling around in your head to the test. Take the quiz, then tell us in the comment section how you did! Answers are at the bottom of the page.


  1. What does a connecting rod connect?
  1. What type of transmission was most common in U.S. cars in the 1940s?

3. Who was the first President of the US to formally make the change from horses to automobiles?

  1. The world’s first speeding ticket was issued in Dayton, Ohio in 1904. Who received it and how fast was he going?
  1. Where and when was the world’s longest traffic jam?
  1. In 1895, how many cars were registered to US citizens?
  1. How long does it take the average airbag to inflate?
  2. What musical note are most car horns tuned in?
  1. In what year was the first car insurance policy purchased?
  1. Who invented the original windshield wiper?

11. What year were seatbelts made mandatory in U.S. cars?
12. What year were driver and passenger side airbags required in cars?

13. Who perfected the type of storage battery we use in cars?
14. What year were cars required to use unleaded fuel?

15. What was the price per barrel of crude petroleum in 1901?
16. What year were gasoline engines first located under the hood in the U.S.?

17. The clean air act of 1963 gave us a very important emission device that is still with us today. What is it?
18. Why did it become illegal to manufacture automobiles with chrome-plated trim in the U.S. and why?

19. We sometimes hear about fuel-cell powered cars in the news. What does the fuel cell utilize to produce electricity and what are the by-products of this process?

20. From where did the term “dashboard” originate?

21. In 1926 at a Massachusetts Public Works Commission hearing it was argued that automobiles not be equipped or banned from having a new automotive accessory that had been introduced 4 years earlier. The question is: What automotive accessory was Massachusetts attempting to ban from use in the automobile?
22. Where and when was the first traffic signal put into use?

23. Between 1972 and 1982, the average speed on the congested freeways of Los Angeles dropped from 60 mph to what?

24. Manufacturers started installing brake lights in rear windows after a suggestion by whom?

ANSWERS: 1. The Piston to the crankshaft 2. Three-speed manual 3. William H. Taft 4. Harry Meyers of Dayton, Ohio received the world’s first speeding ticket in 1904 for going 12-miles an hour through town. 5. In 1980 over a 175-kilometre (108.74 miles) stretch of the French Autoroute between Paris and Lyon. 6. 4! (By comparison, 254-million automobiles were registered to US citizens in 2007.) 7. 40 milliseconds 8. F 9. 1897 10. May Anderson, in New York City in 1902 11. 1964 12. 1998 13. Thomas Edison 14. 1975 15. A Nickel 16. 1900 17. The PCV Valve 18. It was part of an effort to conserve resources for the American war effort. 19. Hydrogen and oxygen; Heat and water. 20. From the old stage coach days the dashboard was a vertically mounted board that is positioned so that it deflects debris from the horse’s hoofs called “dash”. 21. The radio 22. The first traffic signal was unveiled at the corner of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio in 1914. It was manually operated by a traffic officer stationed in a nearby booth. 23. 17 mph! 24. Elizabeth Dole


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