Show Me/ Tell Me Questions

Vehicle Safety Questions

Engine Bay These are basic safety checks that a driver should carry out to ensure the vehicle is safe for use.

Although some checks may involve the pupil in opening the bonnet to identify where fluid levels would be checked, you will not be asked to touch a hot engine or physically check fluid levels.

Show Me

As vehicle technology advances, more and more vehicles are being equipped with electronic diagnostic systems, which inform the driver of the state of the engine fluid levels and tyre pressures. It will be acceptable for a candidate to refer to the vehicle information system (if fitted) when answering questions on fluid levels or tyre pressures.

You will be asked two questions, one 'show me' and one 'tell me'. One or both questions answered incorrectly will result in one driving fault being recorded.


Show Me

  • "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."
Open the bonnet identify dipstick /oil level indicator, describe oil level check against the minimum/maximum markers.


  • "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."
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. Radiators are only opened with a cold engine.


  • "Open the bonnet, identify the windscreen washer reservoir and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level."
Open the bonnet, identify reservoir and explain how to check level.


  • "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."
Open the bonnet, identify brake fluid reservoir and explain how to check level against maximum and minimum markings.


  • "Show me how you would check the parking brake for excessive wear."
Demonstrate by applying parking brake so that when it is fully applied it secures the car and is not at the end of its working travel. Keep your foot on the footbrake.


  • "Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only)."
Sound horn by using the appropriate control (turn on ignition if necessary).


  • "Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the washers and wipers."
Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen (turn on ignition if necessary).


  • "Show me /explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey."
If 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 should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Or, turn the steering wheel as you move off, you will get an immediate indication that the power assistance is working.


  • "Show me how you would check that the direction indicators / hazard warning lights are working."
Apply the indicators / hazard warning switch and check all indicators. (May need to switch the ignition on, but do not switch the engine on.


  • "Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car. (Switch ignition but dont start engine)."
Operate brake pedal and make use of reflections in windows, garage doors etc, or ask someone to check.


  • "Show me how you would switch from dipped headlight to main beam. Explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside you car."
Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), check for the main beam warning light.


  • "Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear both front and rear windscreens effectively."
Set relevant controls which include: fan, temperature, air direction and source, plus heated screen controls, (Do not start engine).


  • "Show me how you would switch on the rear fog lights and explain when you would use them."
(stay in the car) Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary and select dipped beam) Check fog warning light is on, Explain use.


Tell Me

  • "Tell me how you would make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted to provide the best protection in the event of a crash."
The head restraint should be adjusted so that the rigid part of the restraint is at least as high as the eyes or top of the ears. The restraint should be as close to the back of the head as is comfortably possible (Not all head restraints are adjustable).


  • "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."
No cuts or bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference. Remember your spare tyre.


  • "Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working correctly 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 when you brake.


  • "Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working."
(stay in car and turn on ignition if necessary) Explain: Operate switch and then walk around vehicle, (You do not need to leave the car to check the lights).


  • "Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with the anti lock braking system."
The warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti lock braking system .


  • "Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked."
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.


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