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Before you start the driving ability part of your test, you’ll have an eyesight check and be asked 2 ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions. The examiner will ask you one ‘show me’ question, where you’ll have to show them how you’d carry out a vehicle safety check. You’ll also be asked one ‘tell me’ question, where you’ll have to explain to the examiner how you’d carry out the check.
Here are 19 possible ‘show me, tell me’ questions you may be asked in this part of the test.
Question 1: Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil.
Answer The dip-stick is identified on the picture at the bottom of this page. This involves you opening the bonnet. You would check by removing the dip-stick, wiping it clean of oil, dipping it back in, removing it again and the oil should leave a mark between the maximum and minimum marker.
Question 2: Tell me how you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that it has the correct level.
Answer: The coolant tank is identified in the picture just below. This involves you opening the bonnet. The coolant can be checked by looking at the maximum and minimum levels found on the side (never open the coolant when it’s hot).
Question 3: Tell me where the windscreen washer reservoir is and how you would check the windscreen washer level.
Answer: This is identified in the picture just below. This involves you opening the bonnet. It can be checked by opening it up and checking that it has sufficient washer fluid inside.
Question 4: Tell me where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.
Answer: The brake fluid reservoir is identified in the picture just below. This involves you opening the bonnet. It can be checked by looking at the maximum and minimum levels found on the side of the brake fluid reservoir.
Question 5: Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
Answer: Tell the examiner you would start the car, drive forward slowly and try the foot brake. It should stop the car and the pedal should feel firm and not spongy. The car should not pull to one side.
Question 6: Tell me how you would check the tyre pressure and how you would know how much air to put in to the tyre.
Answer: Tyre pressure information can be found in the car manual. You can check the tyre pressure by using a tyre pressure gauge.
Question 7: Tell me how you can check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on.
Answer: The tread depth can be measured using a tread depth gauge. The legal minimum amount of tread should me no less than 1.6mm of tread in the central ¾ of the tyre and there shouldn’t be any cuts or bulges on the edge of the tyre.
Question 8: Tell me how you would make sure that the head restraint is correctly adjusted.
Answer: Tell the examiner that the head restraint should be adjusted so that the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as your eyes (or top of your ears) and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable.
Question 9: Tell me how you would check the headlights & tail lights are working.
Answer: Turn the ignition on and turn the headlights on. Tell the examiner that you would then get out and check that both front headlights and the back tail lights are working properly (check from the pavement).
Question 10: Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.
Answer: Tell the examiner that you would start the engine and a warning light will stay illuminated on the dashboard if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.
Question 11: Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on the car (examiner can help).
Answer: Ask the examiner if they can check the back of the car while you turn the ignition on and press the foot brake to activate the brake lights (don’t start the car though). You might also be able to see the reflection of the lights on a wall or in windows.
Question 12: Show me/explain how you can check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.
Answer: Tell the examiner that you would start the car and move the steering wheel a little left and right. It should feel easy and light to steer and not heavy.
Question 13: Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.
Answer: Turn the ignition on and operate the windscreen washer lever.
Question 14: Show me how you can check the direction indicators are working.
Answer: Turn the hazard warning lights on, get out and check from the pavement that the front indicators are working and the back ones (both sides).
Question 15: Show me how you would set the demister controls to demist the front and rear screens.
Answer: Press demister buttons to operate front and rear demisters
Question 16: Show me how you can check the horn is working (off road only).
Answer: Press the centre of the steering wheel (the horn) and you should hear that it works.
Question 17: Show me how you would switch on the fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them.
Answer: Turn the ignition on. Turn the dipped headlights on and then the rear fog light. Check that the warning light is on for the fog light (no need to get out or switch the engine on). Explain that you would only use the fog light(s) if visibility was poor and that you could not see further than 100 metres.
Question 18: Show me how you can check the handbrake (parking brake) for excessive wear.
Answer: When the handbrake is applied, the car should remain still and secure. The handbrake should not come up too far and should remain in place.
Question 19: Show me how you would switch your headlights from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst in the car.
Answer: Turn the ignition on. Twist the end of the light switch from off position, then side lights, then to dipped. You then need to push the lever away from you for the main beam. Tell the examiner that you can see the (blue) main beam warning light is displayed on the dashboard.