Practical Driving Test candidates will need to answer two questions on routine vehicle safety checks at the start of the test. One question will be a "show me" (i.e. you will need to show the examiner how you would carry out the procedure) and one will be a "tell me" (only a verbal explanation of the procedure is required).
There are nineteen questions in total and they are asked in set pairs. All nineteen questions are listed below along with suitable answers.
Getting either or both of the Show Me / Tell Me questions wrong would only result in a single driving fault being marked. However, as these questions are asked at the very beginning of your test, it makes sense to show the examiner that you are well prepared for the test so make sure you know how to answer all the questions.
How you should respond : Identify the dipstick in the engine bay, and describe how you would check the oil by waiting until the engine is cold and you are parked on flat, level ground. You would pull the dipstick out, wipe it clean and put it back. You would then pull it out again and check that the oil level is between the minimum and maximum marks.
As this is a "tell me" question, you should not actually pull the dipstick out, merely pointing to it and describing how you check the level is sufficient.
How you should respond : Identify the header tank in the engine bay. Describe how you would check the coolant by waiting until the engine is cold and you are parked on flat, level ground. You would look at the side of the header tank and check that the coolant level is between the minimum and maximum marks. Explain how you would top the tank up to the maximum level by opening the lid and adding more coolant if necessary.
How you should respond : Identify the brake fluid reservoir in the engine bay. Describe how you would check that the level of brake fluid is between the minimum and maximum marks.
How you should respond : Identify the windscreen washer reservoir in the engine bay. Describe how you would carry out a visual check to ensure that the car has a sufficient level of windscreen washer fluid and top up as necessary.
How you should respond : You should tell the examiner that you would turn on the headlights by turning the ignition (but not the engine) on, operating the light switch and then walking around the car checking that all the lights come on both front and rear.
This is a "tell me" question, so you will not be expected to actually check the lights - just explain how you would do so.
How you should respond : Turn on the hazard warning lights with the triangular button on the dashboard and walk around car checking that all six lights are flashing. Don't forget to turn the lights off again when you finish.
This is a "show me" question, so you will be expected to actually check the indicators rather than just describing the method.
How you should respond : All you need to do is turn on the ignition (but not the engine) and press horn push (in the centre of the steering wheel) and ensure it sounds.
How you should respond : The "parking brake" simply means the handbrake. Place your right foot on footbrake to prevent the car rolling. Take your handbrake off and then reapply the handbrake. Describe how when you release the button, it should secure itself and not drop back down or have travelled up too high which would indicate that it had reached the end of its working travel.
This is a "show me" question, so you will be expected to actually check the handbrake rather than just describing the method.
How you should respond : Holding the steering wheel with one hand, turn the wheel to one side a little and hold the wheel in that position as you start the engine. Describe how the steering should jolt slightly as the power-assisted steering becomes operative.
This is a "show me" question, so you will be expected to actually check the steering rather than just describing the method.
How you should respond : If necessary, turn on the vehicle's ignition but do not start the engine. If there is a suitable reflective surface behind the car (eg. Windows, a garage door etc.) then apply the brakes and check for the reflections in the mirrors. If not, ask the examiner to stand to the rear of the car whilst you apply the brakes.
How you should respond : Describe how you would use a tread depth gauge to check that there is 1.6mm minimum tread depth across the central three-quarters of the width of the tyre around the complete circumference. There should be no cuts or bulges in the tyre.
How you should respond : The information is in the car handbook or manual. Describe how you would use an accurate tyre pressure gauge applied to the valve when the tyres are cold. Compare the reading to the reading in the handbook and remember to reapply the dustcaps. Don't forget to check all four tyres and the spare if you have one.
How you should respond : Brakes should feel firm, not spongy or slack and should stop the car properly without pulling to one side.
How you should respond : You should operate the wash and wipe cycle of the windscreen wipers as explained by your instructor.
How you should respond : You do not need to turn on the the engine. Turn the heat control up to maximum, switch the fan control on to full speed and ensure the air direction control is on the windscreen setting. Turn on the air conditioning if not already on and then explain that you would press the heated rear-window control once the engine was started.
How you should respond : You should turn on the ignition but not the engine and then turn on the headlights and fog lights. A warning light will appear on the dashboard. You should then explain that you would only use the fog lights when visibility was seriously reduced to 100 metres or less.
How you should respond : You should turn on the ignition but not the engine and then turn on the headlights. Move the indicator stalk into the main beam position. Explain that the blue warning light on the dashboard tells you that main beam is on and then move the indicator stalk back into its normal position to turn main beam off.
How you should respond : Explain to the examiner that the head restraint should provide the maximum protection to the head and neck by being positioned at least as high as the eye or the top of the ears and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable.
How you should respond : Explain to the examiner that, in the event of a fault, the ABS warning light would remain illuminated.