Safety check questions for car tests.
At the start of each driving test you will be asked two questions about vehicle safety checks and basic car maintenance.
Typical questions are below.
If you get one or both questions wrong you will pick up a minor fault.
Even if you get both answers wrong you do not get a serious fault!
Information is in the DSA publication ‘Driving: The Essential Skills’.
Also see the Manufacturer’s Handbook for the car.
UNDER THE BONNET
Q: 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.
A: Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.
Q: 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.
A: Identify high/low level markings on header tank (where fitted) or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.
Q: Open the bonnet identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is, and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.
A: Identify reservoir and explain how to check level. Check your car’s manual to see how to do this.
Q: 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.
A: Identify reservoir, check level against high/low markings.
Q: Show me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working.
A: Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), walk round vehicle.
Q: Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.
A: Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch and walking around the vehicle to check functioning of all indicators.
Q: Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car. (I can assist you, if you need to switch the ignition on, please don’t start the engine)
A: Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help. (may need to switch ignition on, prompt not to start engine)
Q: 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
A: Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light
Q: 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)
Q: Tell me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car.
A: Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors etc, or ask someone to help.
Q: Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
A: Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.
Q: Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system
A: Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti lock braking system
Q: Show me how you would check the parking brake for excessive wear.
A: Demonstrate by applying parking brake that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel
STEERING AND TYRES
Q: Show me/explain how you would check that the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey.
A: 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.
Q: Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.
A: 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.
Q: 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.
A: No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.
CLEAN / CLEAR WINDSCREEN
Q: Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wiper
A: Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen (turn ignition on if necessary.
Q: Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens
A: 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
Q: Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off-road only).
A: Check is carried out by using the control (turn on ignition if necessary).
Q: Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash
A: 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 as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. N.B. Some restraints might not be adjustable