Vehicle Safety Questions for the Driving Test

(car test category B 1st July 2008)

 


This is often called the "Show me/Tell me" part of the test.


You are asked to identify various parts of the engine and to demonstrate how you would carry out basic checks and maintenance. In the L-test only one driving fault is allocated to this section of the test.

 

Example 1
Examiner:
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.
Your Response:
Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe how to check oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.

 

Example 2
Examiner:
Show me/explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.
Your Response:
Before starting a journey two 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. If the steering is heavy the system is not working properly.

 

Example 3
Examiner:
Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level.
Your Response:
Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted or the radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

 

Example 4
Examiner:
Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear, keeping safe control of the vehicle.
Your Response:
Apply footbrake firmly. Demonstrate by applying parking brake (handbrake) so that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel.

 

Example 5
Examiner:
Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.
Your Response:
Identify reservoir and explain how to check level.

 

Example 6 
Examiner:
Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only).
Your Response:
Check is carried out by using control. (You may need to switch the ignition on, but you should not start the engine.)

 

Example 7
Examiner:
Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.
Your Response:
Identify reservoir, check level against high/low markings.

 

Example 8
Examiner:
Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.
Your Response:
Apply the indicators or hazard warning switch and check functioning of all indicators. (You may need to switch the ignition on, but you should not start the engine.)

 

Example 9
Examiner:
Tell me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car. (I can assist you with this if you wish.) If you need to switch the ignition on, please don't start the engine.
Your Response:
Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help. (The examiner is allowed to check for you.)

 

Example 10
Examiner:
Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
Your Response:
With the engine running, brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. The vehicle should not pull to one side.

 

Example 11
Examiner:
Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working. (No need to exit the vehicle)
Your Response:
Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round the vehicle. (As this is a 'Tell Me' question, there is no need to physically check the lights.)

Example 12
Examiner:
Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.
Your Response:
Manufacturer's guide (usually to be found somewhere on the vehicle) or owner's manual; use a reliable pressure gauge; check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold; don't forget the spare tyre; remember to refit valve caps.

Example 13
Examiner:
Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.
Your Response:
No cuts and bulges, a minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarter of the breath of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference. (The tyre depth can be checked by inserting a 20p coin into the main grooves of the tyre. If the outer band of the coin is visible when inserted, then the tyre does not have sufficient depth)

 

Example 14
Examiner:
Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.
Your Response:
Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen. (You may need to switch the ignition on, but you should not start the engine.)

 

Example 15
Examiner:

Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively. This should include both front and rear screens.
Your Response:
Set all relevant controls, including fan, temperature, air direction/source and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows. Engine does not have to be started for this demonstration.

 

Example 16
Examiner:
Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them. (No need to exit vehicle.) 
Your Response:
Operate switch; turn on dipped headlights (and ignition, if necessary, but without starting the engine). Check warning lights is on. Explain when to use for lights.

 

Example 17
Examiner:
Show me how you switch your headlights from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.
Your Response:
Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary); check with main beam warning light.

 

Example 18
Examiner:
Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.
Your Response:
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. NB: Some restraints might not be adjustable.

 

Example 19
Examiner:
Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.
Your Response:
Warning light should be illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.


 

New links to book your theory and practical driving tests

The online booking system for theory and practical driving tests has been relaunched bannered as Directgov.

 

New friendly links are available:

 

You can find out more about the theory and practical tests by visiting the Driving Standards Agency’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/dsagov and watching ‘Are you ready?: a guide for learners’.