Basic car safety check & maintenance for you car | Show me / Tell me

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Getting to know your car

Understanding how to perform basic safety checks and maintenance on your car is necessary as part of your driving test. More importantly, once you have passed your driving test it could help save lives.

For example, knowing how to check your tyre pressure and their tread depth could save you having a serious incident even at low speed!

Below is the questions and responses you could be asked during your driving test but I will also cover this during the course of your driving lessons so you are completely confident when it comes to test time.

Show me/Tell me

Your test begins with one Show Me question and one Tell Me question. These relate to the maintenance and operation of your car and failure to answer both correctly will result in a driver fault - remember you are only allowed 15 in total on your test report.

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Below are the questions you could be asked. Click a question to show how it could be responded to on your test day

'Tell me' questions

A1 : Brakes should be tested as you set off by applying gentle pressure at slow speed. Brakes should not feel spongy or slack and the vehicle should not pull to one side.

A2 : Recommended pressures can be found In the manufacturer's guide. Use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.

A3 : Tyres should be checked to ensure there are no cuts or bulges. There should be 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference. This can be checked with a tyre depth guage or the depth markers in the tyres themselves.

A4 : Adjust the rigid part of the restraint so that it is close to the back of your head and level with your eyes or top of your ears.

A5 : Turn on the relevant switch and walk around the car checking that they are working,

A6 : The ABS warning light would become illuminated on the instrument panel if there is a fault.

A7 : Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.

A8 : Identify reservoir, check fluid level is between high/low markings.

A9 : Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap and describe how to top up to correct level.

A10 : Explain how the washer fluid should be filled to a level between the min and max markers on the side of the reservoir. They can be checked by simply operating them.

'Show me' questions

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.

A12 : Apply footbrake firmly. Demonstrate by applying parking brake so that when it is fully applied it secures itself and is not at the end of the working travel.

A13 : Check is carried out by pressing gently on the control (turn on ignition if necessary).

A14 : 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.

A15 : Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help. As this is now a show me question the examiner may check the brake lights for you. You may need to switch the ignition on, however you should not start the engine.

A16 : Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen. You may need to switch the ignition on, however, you should not start the engine.

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.

A18 : Operate the rear fog switch after switching on dipped headlights, check switch is illuminated and explain that they should only be used when visibility is reduced to 100 metres or less.

A19 : Move the stalk attached to the steering column forwards which will illuminate a blue warning light on the instrument panel.

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