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Show Tell Questions

These are all of the official questions that you could be asked at the start of your practical test.

You will be asked two of the following questions at the start of the practical test.

Each question you get incorrect will result in a driver (minor) fault being recorded on the marking sheet.

1) Indicators - "Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working."

Answer (Show)

Turn on ignition; apply each direction indicator individually; walk around the vehicle to ensure that they are working. Alternatively turn on the hazard warning lights and walk around the vehicle to check bulbs are working correctly.

2) Brakes - "Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before you start a journey."

Answer (Tell)

After starting the engine press the brake pedal several times to ensure it does not feel spongy or slack. When applying the brakes on the move the vehicle should slow down and stop as normal, and not pull to either side.

3) Screen Wash Level - "Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level."

Answer (Tell)

Open the bonnet and point out the screen wash reservoir. Explain that it should be checked and topped up with screen wash regularly, and not be allowed to run out.

4) Brake Lights - "Show / Explain to me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car."

Answer (Show/Explain)

Turn on ignition, but do not start the engine. Press brake pedal and ask someone (the examiner) to go behind the vehicle and check that all of the lights are working. Alternatively you could explain if you are by yourself then you could reverse up to a reflective surface like a window and see the reflection of the lights.

5) Power Steering - "Show me / Explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey."

Answer (Show/Explain)

Apply gentle pressure to the wheel with one hand whilst starting the engine with the other hand. Once the engine starts there should be a noticeable movement of the wheel as the system begins to operate. If the steering becomes noticeably heavy whilst driving there may be a fault with the system.

6) Tyre Pressures - "Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked."

Answer (Tell)

Pressures can be found in either the manufactures handbook or an information plate located somewhere on the vehicle body of some cars. Pressures should be checked using a reliable pressure gauge when the tyres are cold, especially before starting a long journey, or extra weight is to be carried. Ensure the spare tyre is checked too, and all valve caps are replaced one checked.

7) Hand Brake - "Show me how you would check the hand brake (sometimes called the parking or holding brake) for excessive wear."

Answer (Show)

If releasing the handbrake to demonstrate, then first ensure that the foot brake is pressed FIRMLY to ensure the vehicle doesn't roll. Demonstrate by applying handbrake, explaining that when fully applied the vehicle should secure itself, and the lever should not come to the end of its working travel.

8) Oil Level - "Open the bonnet and identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil."

Answer (Show)

Open the bonnet and point out the engine oil dipstick. Then explain that you would check the oil on a regular basis, particularly before starting a long journey. You should check the oil when the engine is cold and the car is parked on a flat level ground. Check it by pulling out the dipstick and wiping clean, then re-dipping and checking the level against the minimum and maximum markers on the stick.

9) Engine Coolant / Radiator - "Open the bonnet and identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level."

Answer (Show)

Open the bonnet and identify the reservoir and point out the high and low level markings on the header tank. Explain that if topping up is required then this should be done when the engine is cold to avoid burning your hand.

10) Head Restraint - "Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash."

Answer (Tell)

Explain that the head restraint should be adjusted so that the rigid part (centre) of the head restraint is level with the eyes or top of the ears, and as close as possible the back of the head whilst still being comfortable so that it offers maximum support in the event of a crash.

11) Brake Fluid - "Open the bonnet and identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid."

Answer (Show)

Open the bonnet and identify the brake fluid reservoir. Point out the minimum and maximum markings and explain that the level should be between these.

12) Tyre Condition and Tread - Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe for use on the road.

Answer (Tell)

Explain that you should regularly inspect the tyres ensuring that there is no cuts, bulges or other obvious damage. Then explain that there should be 1.6mm of tread depth across the centre 3/4 breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.

13) Washers and Wipers - "Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washers and wipers."

Answer (Show)

Turn on ignition if necessary and operate the screen washer switch / button / lever.

14) Headlights and Tail Lights - "Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working."

Answer (Tell)

Explain that you would turn on ignition if necessary and turn the headlights on. Then explain that you would walk around the vehicle to check the lights are all working. As this is a 'Tell me' question, there is no need to physically get out of the car and check them unless the examiner asks you to.

15) Heaters and Demisters - "Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens."

Answer (Show)

Turn on ignition if necessary. Turn on rear (and front if fitted) screen heaters. Then show how to set fan speed to high, temperature to high, flow direction to the windscreen, and direct vents towards the windows. Also show how to turn on Air Conditioning, as this will help to remove the moisture from the air inside the car.

16) Rear Fog Lights - Show me how you would switch on the rear fog lights and explain when you would use them.

Answer (Show)

Turn on ignition and switch headlights to dipped beam setting, then operate the fog light switch and identify the warning light on the dashboard. Explain that fog light should only be used when visibility is reduced to less than 100 meters.

17) Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) - "Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with the anti lock braking system."

Answer (Tell)

Explain that if there was a fault with the system the ABS warning light on the dashboard would either stay on flash.

18) Main Beam Lights - "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."

Answer (Show)

Turn in ignition, then switch normal headlights (dipped beam) on. Then turn on main / full beam (very bright headlights) and identify the warning light on the dashboard (usually a blue light).

19) Horn - " Show me how you would check that the horn is working."

Answer (Show)

Press the horn control, turning on ignition first if necessary. The horn can only be operated if the car is parked off of the public road. The horn must not be used between the hours of 11.30pm and 7am.