Before you start your practical driving test, your driving examiner will ask you two questions to test your knowledge of the car that you are about to drive. These questions are called the “show-me tell-me” questions and each wrong answer will result in a minor driving fault.
There are 19 questions for you to know and it is recommended that you familiarise yourself well with them to give a good first impression. Below is the complete list of the questions from which your driving examiner will choose two at random to ask you.
Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens
You will need to set all relevant controls including; fan, temperature, air direction/source and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows. However engine does not have to be started for this demonstration.
Show me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working
Start the engine by turning the ignition on and operate the switch for the car lights. Walk round the car and check that your headlights and tail lights are working perfectly (you may need to turn the full beam on as well).
Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey
You are expected to say that the brake pedal should not have a spongy or slack feeling when you depress it and as you move off to start your journey, you will test the pedal again to make sure the vehicle does not pull up to one side as a result.
Show me how you would check that the horn is working
This is the easiest of all questions and only requires you to operate the horn to hear a noise coming out of it.
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
You should lift up the bonnet and look for the engine oil dipstick and point it to the driving examiner. Then you will need to say that if the oil level recorded on the dipstick is between the minimum and maximum marks, you know you have sufficient oil in your engine.
Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car
When driving at night on long stretches of the road, you might need to change the headlights on your car from dipped to main beam so that you can see further ahead of you and by operating the relevant switch, you will see that the main beam warning light on your dashboard glows indicating that main beam is now ON.
Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level
Open the bonnet, look for the windscreen washer reservoir and point it to the driving examiner and tell him that the level of fluid contained in the reservoir can be seen against the container and it needs to be between the maximum and minimum mark.
Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressure for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked
The recommended tyre pressure will be written in the car manufacturer’s manual. Tyre pressures should be checked with a reliable pressure gauge when the tyres are cold – and that includes the spare wheel in the car. After checking the pressure, the valve caps should be put back on.
Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them. (No need to exit vehicle)
You will need to operate the relevant switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Then you will have to explain the use of the rear fog lights - tell the examiner that you will operate your rear fog lights when the visibility is seriously reduced (eg when there's thick fog) so that drivers behind you are able to see your vehicle and that as soon as visibility is improved you will turn them off to avoid dazzling other drivers.
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
Lift up the bonnet, look for the radiator and point it to the driving examiner. Then tell him that if the level of engine coolant you see against the tank is between the low and high level marks, then you know you have the correct level of coolant.
Show me how you would check the parking brake for excessive wear
You will need to apply the handbrake (parking brake) and show the examiner that the vehicle has secured itself now ie it will not move forwards or roll backwards. You will also need to point out that when you applied the handbrake, it did not go all the way up and reached the end of its working travel which shows that there is no excessive wear.
Show me/explain how you would check that the power assisted steering (where fitted) is working before starting a journey
A working steering will always feel light. When you start the engine and turn gently the steering wheel, you should feel a noticeable movement in the wheels. Also as you move off, you could try turning the steering wheel and if a lot of effort is required, you will know there is a problem with the steering.
Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check you have a safe level of hydraulic fluid
You will be required to lift up the bonnet, look for the brake fluid reservoir and point it out to the driving examiner. Then tell him that if the level of hydraulic fluid against the container is between the maximum and minimum mark, you know that you have enough brake fluid for your car.
Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working
If you have not started your car yet, then turn the ignition on and switch on the left indicator and walk round the car to make sure it is working. Do the same for the right indicator. Alternatively, you could put the hazards lights on and check.
Tell me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car
When you start your car, you can depress the brake pedal and look for the reflection of the brake lights in windows, garage doors or you can ask somebody to go at the back of your car and have a look for you instead.
Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and their general condition is safe to use on the road
Your tyres should not have any cuts or bulges and should have 1.6mm of tread depth across the central and three quarters of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.
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 of your seat should be adjusted so that the rigid part 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. Please note that in some cars, the head restraints might not be adjustable.
Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers
First you need to know where the control to operate the windscreen washer and wipers is located. Then you will need to operate the washer (usually by pressing the control towards you), this will then pump the liquid from the washer onto your windscreen and start the wipers automatically for a few seconds. If the windscreen is still not clean, do it again. (Some cars require that you turn the ignition on)
Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system
If there is a fault with the anti lock braking system on the car you are driving, the warning light should illuminate to notify you of the fault.