Show me / Tell me




As part of the driving test questions the examiner will ask you:


tread depth
  • 1. How to perform a number of technical checks on your car
  • Some of these checks will require you to be able to open and close the bonnet. Inability to do this constitutes a fault. And also

  • 2. How to operate a number of the secondary controls
  • These questions are generally referred to as ‘Show me’ / ‘Tell me’ questions. This page lists examples of what you may be asked.
  • Printable PDF version available here


Tell me questions

The asterisks (*) indicates questions which require the bonnet to be opened and the part identified

*Tell me how you check the engine oil level

A. Remove the dipstick and wipe the end with a clean cloth or rag. Replace the dipstick and remove it again to check the oil on the end which must be between the minimum & maximum markers.

brake fluid level

*Tell me how you check the brake fluid level

A. The fluid must show between the minimum and maximum marker levels on the side of the brake fluid reservoir.



coolant level

*Tell me how you check the engine coolant level

A. The coolant fluid must show between the minimum and maximum marker levels on the side of the coolant reservoir.



*Tell me how you check windscreen washer fluid level

A. The washer fluid reservoir does not have external markings. Remove the cap and make a visual check of the level.  This should be topped up regularly with water & screenwash additive (not anti-freeze) to help clear dirt & grime and to stop it freezing in Winter.


Tell me how you check that the footbrake is working before starting a journey

A. The brakes should not feel spongy or pull to one side and should be tested as soon as you pull away where safe to do so.


tyre pressure

Tell me where you find the recommended tyre pressures and how you check them

A. Details will be in the manufacturers guide and normally on the passenger/driver side door pillar. The pressure should be checked when the tyres are cold and the spare should be checked as well and valve caps should be replaced.




tread depth

Tell me how you check the tyre’s tread depth and that their general condition is safe

A. There must be no cuts or bulges, a minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three quarters of the width of the tyre and around the whole circumference. All modern tyres will have a 'tread depth marker' in the main tread that gives an easy method of checking the tread is ok.


Tell me how you check the brake lights are working

A. I would press the brake pedal when there is a reflected view of the rear of the car e.g.  off another parked car or a shop window, or ask a friend to press the pedal so I could check the lights myself.


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 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


Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working

A. Turn on lights (turn ignition if necessary), walk around the car and check that the lights are on.


ABS warning

Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with the anti lock braking system

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


Show me questions

Show me / explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working

A. Gentle turning pressure on the wheel as the engine is started would result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate


Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear

A. Demonstrate this by applying the footbrake to keep the car steady, disengaging and reapplying the parking brake to show that it secures itself and is not at the end of its working travel


Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only)

A. By giving the horn a short burst taking care not to frighten any pedestrians


Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working

A. Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch and walk around the car to check functioning of all indicators.


Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washers and wipers

A. Operate windscreen washer control and then activate the windscreen wipers (turn on ignition if necessary).


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 air vents at both sides to point towards the side windows, use the control switch to direct hot air onto the windscreen then operate the fan, press the heated rear screen switch to clear the rear window


Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them

A. 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


Show me how you would switch on your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car

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



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