Show me / Tell me Questions
During your driving test you’ll be asked 2 questions about vehicle safety checks. One will be to show them something and the other to tell them something. If you get either or both questions wrong you usually just get 1 minor fault but it is possible to fail the test on this section if you lose control of the car as you are performing the checks.
Do not turn the car on unless the examiner is sitting in the passenger seat. Turning the engine on while you are alone in the car counts as driving without a licence. Many cars now have a diagnostic system which shows you any problems with the vehicle on the dashboard.
You are not allowed to just say that the car would just tell you of any problems because the system may be faulty where as a manual check is more reliable. The only exception to this is the question about testing your ABS as it’s safer to see if the light is on than put yourself into a skid to find out! Below are the questions you could be asked and examples of how they could be responded to on your test day.
A1: Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.
A2: Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.
A3: The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.
A4: No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.
A5: Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).
A6: Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.
A7: Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), and then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).
A8: Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or ask someone to help.
A9: If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey, 2 simple checks can be made.
Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.
A10: Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.
A11: Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.
A12: Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum and maximum markers.
A13: Identify high and low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.
A14: Identify reservoir, check level against high and low markings.
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