vehicle safety check questions

show me tell me examples for your driving test

These questions are taken from the official DSA documentation, published and effective from 1st July 2008.
The document is also available to download (you need Adobe PDF Reader)

Q1. 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.
A1. Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.

Q2. 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.
A2. Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level when engine is cold.

Q3. 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.
A3. Identify reservoir, check level against high/low markings.

Q4. Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.
A4. Open the bonnet and identify reservoir and explain how to check level.

Q5. Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressure should be checked.
A5. Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget the spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.

Q6. 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.
A6. Check that there are no cuts and bulges and there is at least 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.

Q7. Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
A7. Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.

Q8. Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working (No need to exit vehicle)
A8. Operate light switch (turn on the ignition if necessary), as this is a now a “Tell Me” question, there is no need to physically check the lights.

Q9. Tell me how you would make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the bet protection in the event of a crash.
A9. 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 is as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. N.B. Some restraints might not be adjustable.

Q10. Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.
A10. Warning light on the dashboard should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock system.

Q11. Show me / explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.
A11. 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.

Q12. Show me how you would check that the brakes lights are working on this car. If you need to switch the ignition on, please don’t start the engine.
A12. Operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help. As this is a “show me” question, the examiner may check the brake lights for you. You may need to switch on the ignition, however you should not start the engine.

Q13. Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.
A13. Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch and check functioning of all indicators. You may need to switch the ignition on, however you should not start the engine.

Q14. Show me how you would check the horn is working (off road only).
A14. Check is carried out by using control. You may need to switch the ignition on, however you should not start the engine.

Q15. Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear. Make sure you keep safe control of the vehicle.
A15. 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.

Q16. Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.
A16. Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen. You may need to switch on the ignition, however you should not start the engine.

Q17. Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear the windows effectively. This should include both front and rear screens.
A17. 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.

Q18. Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you should use it/them (No need to exit the vehicle, please don’t start the engine.
A18. Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain when you would use fog lights.

Q19. Show me how you would switch your headlights from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.
A19. Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.

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