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These multiple-choice quizzes will challenge your knowledge of basic and even advanced automotive systems and are based on ASE G1 test prep questions. The winners will be randomly selected from all correct entries each week. Entries must be received by midnight Sunday following each puzzle’s publication. Chances of winning are dependent upon the number of correct entries received. Employees of Babcox Media, Tomorrow’s Technician, sponsors and advertisers are not eligible to enter. Click here to view the contest rules.

The information for this week's PopQuiz can be found at Search ASE G1 Test Prep but pay attention - we'll give the right information but it may not be exactly as presented in the videos.

A fuel injected engine has low fuel pressure at the fuel rail test port. This could be caused by:

1 and 2 aren’t correct because either a restricted injector or closed fuel pressure regulator would show HIGHER fuel pressure. A shorted fuel injector means the injector is not opening up and flowing fuel into the engine, again, causing higher fuel pressure. The correct answer is 4. The clogged fuel filter will restrict fuel from the pump to the rail, causing lower fuel pressure.  

A vehicle comes in with a failed fuel pump, producing zero pressure at the fuel rail? What could most likely cause this?

4 is the correct answer. 1 is incorrect because a clogged return line would produce high pressure. 2 is incorrect because a missing heat shield will not in itself cause the pump to fail. A EVAP purge valve will affect evaporative emissions but not the fuel pump, so 3 is incorrect. A fuel filler cap is actually designed to help keep dirt and debris out of the fuel system. Without it, dirt and debris can get into the gas tank, damaging the fuel pump, eventually even getting to the fuel injectors.

On a four-cylinder engine, cylinders two and three have lower compression than cylinders one and four. The spark plugs in cylinders have white chalky deposits on the insulator and electrodes. What is the most likely cause?

The answer is 2. If you chose 1, this is rare and would cause round glass-like beads to form on the spark plug. It would have also affected cylinders one and four. 3? Well, a stuck PCV valve will cause black deposits. Did you choose 4? A leaking intake manifold can cause the engine management richer or leaner, but the deposits would be black. A coolant leak is the most likely cause. Internal coolant leaks can foul a spark plug and cause a misfire. The problem could be a leaking intake manifold or a head gasket, and the fouled plug might be localized to one or two adjacent cylinders. The burned coolant leaves deposits on the electrodes and insulator, creating hot spots that could cause pre-ignition and a misfire code being set. When the plug is pulled, it might have a chalky appearance on the ground strap and center electrode. Modern coolants do not cause this type of buildup quickly due to the reduction of phosphate, zinc and other additives that can contaminate the catalytic converters. Unfortunately, it also means that drivers will run a vehicle with a coolant leak for several thousand miles while the plug becomes slowly fouled. In the past, the converter would become clogged and stop the engine before significant damage was caused.

Technician A says that all spark plugs should be installed with a crush gasket. Technician B says only some applications need crush gaskets and they are typically pre-installed on the new plug. Which technician is correct?

Technician B is correct. There are two styles of spark plugs. A tapered seat spark plug has an angled shoulder that makes contact with the head and seals the plug using the tension on the threads of the spark plug’s shell. The other style of plug uses a crush gasket that looks like a washer that seals the flat part of the shoulders of the plug to the flat part around the spark plug hole. The style and diameter of the spark plug will determine the installation procedure and amount of torque. It is always a good idea to install the plugs by hand until the spark plug is finger tight. This way you avoid cross threading the plug in the head, and you can feel when the tapered shoulder or crush gasket has made contact. After that, use your toque wrench to finish the job. Look up the torque specification for the engine. There could be different specifications depending on the design of the spark plug and head. The crush washer does not need to be replaced if a spark plug is pulled for inspection. If the plug is difficult to remove and the crush washer is deformed, it is a sign a previous technician or the vehicle’s owner over tightened the spark plugs. Before you install new plugs, the spark plug wells or tubes should be free of oil, water and debris. If this type of debris is present where the crush gasket and tapered shoulders make contact, it can change the torque values.

After an engine oil and filter service, a technician can’t get the oil pressure warning light to go out after 10 seconds of running and is not in the correct range. What is the MOST likely cause?

The answer is 3. Although not a common occurrence, it is very possible that the oil pump may lose its prime during the oil change. When the used motor oil is drained from the engine the oil may also drain from the oil pump pickup tube and possibly from the oil pump itself. When new motor oil is installed the pump’s pickup tube inlet again becomes submerged, trapping air in the tube on the suction side of the oil pump. Sometimes this problem can be avoided by limiting the time the oil is drained. The trapped air will cause cavitation of the pump and prevent it from producing oil flow and pressure. Many techs tend to blame this on the oil filter and assume that the filter is blocking the flow of oil. The point being made is the oil filter was not the problem and in most cases there is a simple solution. If after the oil and filter change, the red light or low oil pressure remains for ten seconds, shut the engine off, remove the oil filter and, using an oil squirt can with the correct motor oil, squirt oil several times into the oil filter base outlet on the engine. Next, fill the filter with new motor oil and reinstall. Start the engine and check for oil pressure. In most cases, the problem will be solved. DO NOT allow the engine to run for more than ten seconds without oil pressure. Use a watch to time the ten seconds and be sure of the elapsed time. In some instances, the full ten seconds is needed for the pump to recover oil flow. If this fails, again remove the filter and crank the engine until oil spills from the engine base. DO NOT crank over ten seconds at a time. When oil spills, reinstall the oil filter, correct the oil level and restart the engine. Oil pressure should now be back to normal.

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