As part of your practical test, you will be asked to show or tell how you would carry out safety and maintenance checks on your car. You will need to answer two questions correctly. Answering one or both of your questions incorrectly will count as one driving fault in your test.
Below is the full list the examiner will choose their two questions from (Category B tests only). You instructor will go through these with you. You should learn all of them with either your instructor or a suitable relative/friend. They will also be very valuable to you in your future driving.
Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil.
Open the bonnet, identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe how to check oil level against the minimum/maximum markers. (item 2 on engine pic -
Tell me how you’d check the power-
If the steering becomes heavy the system may not be working properly. 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.
Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant.
Open the bonnet, identify high/low level markings on header tank (where fitted) or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level. (item 4 on engine pic -
Open the bonnet, identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.
Open the bonnet, identify reservoir and explain how to check level. Check your car's manual to see how to do this. (item 3 on engine pic -
Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.
Open the bonnet, identify reservoir, check level against high/low markings. (item 1 on engine pic -
Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.
Explain you’d operate the hazard warning switch and walk round the vehicle to check functioning of all indicators.
Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car.
Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or ask someone to help.
Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.
Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.
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).
Tell me where you’d find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.
Manufacturer's guide (sometimes there is a sticker inside door or elsewhere on vehicle), use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don't forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.
Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.
No cuts, bulges, nails etc. The legal minimum is 1.6mm of tread depth across the central 3/4 of the breadth (width) of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.
Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them.
Turn on dipped headlights first then operate the rear fog light switch. Check the orange 'jelly fish' warning light is on. Fog lights should only be used if visibility is seriously reduced to less than 100 metres. (NB: switch on ignition, turn on headlights (two clicks) then twist the fog light switch upwards twice -
Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.
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. N.B. Some restraints might not be adjustable.
Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system.
The 'ABS' warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti lock braking system.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT START THE ENGINE FOR ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS OTHER THAN POWER ASSISTED STEERING IF REQUIRED.
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen?
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn?
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?
When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d open and close the side window?
Your instructor will go through these on a lesson as part of training.
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