You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions. These are also known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. The idea of these is that it is the responsibility of any road user to ensure the vehicle they are using is in a suitable condition to be on the road. The questions that are asked are all checks that you should regularly perform on your vehicle to maintain its suitability to be on the roads.
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. This will be asked during the drive.
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. This will be asked at the start of the test before you begin driving.
Here are the questions and answers that you will need to study;
1) Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and TELL ME how you would check that the engine has enough oil.
Identify the dipstick, pull it out and wipe it clean, place it back into the holder then pull it out again and check the oil level against the min/max markings. Always ensure the car is on a flat surface before checking any of the fluid levels, NEVER check the oil or fill up the oil if the engine is still hot or warm.
2) Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and TELL ME how you would check the engine has the correct level.
Identify the engine coolant tank and check the min/max markings. If the coolant is below the min mark then more coolant will need to be added. To do this, unscrew the cap and pour in coolant until the max mark is reached. Always ensure the car is on a flat surface before checking any of the fluid levels, NEVER open the engine coolant tank when the engine is hot or warm.
3) 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.
Identify the brake fluid reservoir and check the fluid level against the min/max levels. Always ensure the car is on a flat surface before checking any of the fluid levels.
4) TELL ME how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
This is a 3 stage process, start by pressing the brake pedal when you have power to the car but the engine is off, it should feel firm and there should be some resistance, then take the handbrake off whilst you are pressing the brake pedal to make sure the car remains still, if both of these worked, you can in a controlled manner start the car moving and apply pressure to the brake pedal, the car should slow down and stop whilst maintaining a straight line.
5) TELL ME how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car. (I can assist you, if you need to switch the ignition on, please don't start the engine).
Explain that you would press the brake pedal and whilst this is pressed you would have someone stood at the back of the car to check that all 3 brake lights come on, if there is no one available to help with this you could use a reflective surface (shop window, garage door) and use the mirrors to check for yourself.
6) TELL ME how you would check that the direction indicators are working correctly.
Explain that you would turn on your hazard warning lights and then wal around the car checking that all the indicators are flashing as they should.
7) TELL ME how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working properly.
Explain that you would twist the stalk on the left of the steering wheel (this may be located in a different location on other vehicles) to the desired setting, the options you have are OFF, AUTO, SIDE LIGHTS and DIPPED/MAIN BEAM LIGHTS and at you would then get out and check the lights at the front and back of the car to make sure they are all working correctly.
8) TELL 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.
Explain that you would pull the stalk on the left of the steering wheel towards you (this may be in a different location in other vehicles) the dipped headlight indicator (green light) on the dashboard will change to the main beam indicator (blue light). You would need to have already turned on your dipped headlights in order to turn on your main beam lights, otherwise all you will do is flash your main beam lights but they won't stay on. Pull the stalk towards you again to turn them back off.
9) TELL ME how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them. (No need to exit vehicle).
Twist the inner part of the stalk on the left side of the wheel (this may be different in different vehicles) forward once to turn on the front fog lights and again to turn on the rear fog lights, check the warning light on the dashboard has come on. Fog lights are only to be used if visibility is reduced to less than 100m.
10) TELL ME where you would find the information for the recomended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.
Explain that the information would be found in the cars manufacture guide, you would use a reliable pressure gauge, checking the tyres only when they are cold, that you would refit the valve caps after checking and that you would also check the spare tyre.
11) TELL ME how you would check the tyres to make sure they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the roads.
Explain that you would check to make sure that there are no cuts or bulges and that there is a minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth across the central 3/4's of the breadth of tthe tyre and around the entire outer circumference.
12) TELL ME how you would adjust the head restraint to provide the best protection in the event of an accident.
Explain that you would press the button at the bottom of the inner pole (this may be different in different vehicles) and then either push or pull the head restraint until the middle of the restraint is lins with the middle of your head when you are sat in your normal driving position.
13) TELL ME how you would know if there was a problem with the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS).
Explain that an orange light saying ABS would appear on the dashboard if there was a problem, please note this light will come on and then go off everytime you give power to the car, there is only a problem if the light stays on.
14) TELL ME how you would check the power assisted steering is working properly before starting a journey.
Explain that whilst driving if the steering becomes heavy there may be a problem with the system and that to check before starting a journey you would turn and hold the wheel with your left hand and whilst doing this you would turn the engine on this should result in a slight but noticeable movement of the wheel as the system kicks in, explain that the steering will then be much lighter than it was before turning the engine on.
15) When it's safe to do so, can you SHOW ME how you would wash and clean the rear windscreen?
Ensuring you maintain control of the vehicle and are focussed on the drive, twist and hold the end of the stalk on the right hand side of the wheel forwards, water will spray onto the rear windscreen and will continue to do so whilst you hold the stalk, the rear wiper will also start to operate, let go of the stalk when you feel enough water has been sprayed onto the screen to sufficiently clean the window, the wiper will continue to operate, to turn this off twist the same controller back to its original position. When safe to do so glance into your rear view mirror to ensure the window is clean if not repeat the process. If you have excess water remaining on the rear window twist the same contoller once to turn on the rear wiper, turn it off again when happy.
16) When it's safe to do so, can you SHOW ME how you would wash and clean the front windscreen?
Ensuring you maintain control of the vehicle and are focussed on the drive, pull and hold the stalk on the righthand side of the wheel towards you, water will spray onto the front windscreen and will continue to do so whilst you hold the stalk, the front wipers will also start to operate (make sure you don't spray for too long as this can affect your forward vision) let go of the stalk when you feel enough water has sprayed onto the windscreen to sufficiently clean the window, the wipers will automatically stop operating after a few more wipes. Repeat this process if the window is not clean enough or gets dirty again. If there is any excess water left on the front windscreen push the same righthand stalk down to start the auto wipers, the auto wipers will operate to the level required whilst there is water on the front windscreen you can if necessary push the stalk down again if the water hasn't cleared but there is not enough for the automatic sensors to pick it up.
17) When it's safe to do so, can you SHOW ME how you'd switch on your dipped headlights?
Ensuring you maintain control of the vehicle and are focussed on the drive, twist the outer edge of the stalk on the left hand side of the wheel forwards as far as it can go. The different light settings you have on this stalk are OFF, AUTO, SIDE LIGHTS and DIPPED/FULL BEAM LIGHTS. You will know your dipped headlights have been successfully turned on because you will get a green dipped headlight light on the lower central screen on your dashboard. Twist the outer edge of the stalk back the other way all the way to turn them off again (or as much is desired if you want ne of the other light settings).
18) When it's safe to do so, can you SHOW ME how you'd set the rear demister?
Ensuring you maintain control of the vehicle and are focussed on the drive, press the central button on the furthest right dial, that are located infront of your gear stick, you will know it is on as an orange light will come on, on the dial. This will turn off automatically after about 5 minutes, if at this point the rear screen still isn't clear repeat the process, you can manually turn the rear demister off if you chose to do so by pressing the same button again.
19) When it's safe to do so, can you SHOW ME how you'd operate the horn?
Ensuring you maintain control of the vehicle and are focussed on the drive, check to make sure you are not going to affect or frighten any other road users (including pedestrians) and then press either the left or right of the middle of the steering wheel there is a symbol that looks like a horn on both sides of the middle of the wheel to show you where to press.
20) When it's safe to do so, can you SHOW ME how you'd demister the front windscreen?
Ensuring you maintain control of the vehicle and are focussed on the drive, twist the left dial located in front of the gear stick all the way to the right until the little white line is lined up with the upper most picture, this will mean the fans are directed towards the front windscreen, twist the central dial round to the right until you get the desired power, twist the right hand dial to set the temperature (hot will desteam quicker than cold).
21) When it's safe to do so, can you SHOW ME how you'd open and close the side window?
Ensuring you maintain control of the vehicle and are focussed on the drive push down the front right window button located on your doors arm, this will open your window, pull the same controller up to close your window, please be aware you have 4 buttons located there and each one controls a different window, the position of the button indicates which window you will be operating i.e front right button = front right window etc.