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It is extremely important to check your car is in good working order on a regular basis. During your practical driving test your examiner will ask you one question about basic car maintenance at the Test Centre before you move off to start your test, then one on the move during your test. Study/watch/read so you can show the examiner that you are a serious, confident driver!
Test Centre Questions before you Move Off
Q1. Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
As you move off check the brakes. They should not feel spongy and the car should not pull to one side.
Q2. Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.
Information will be found in the car manual. Check the tyre pressures by using a reliable pressure gauge when the tyres are cold. Don't forget the spare and remember to refit the valve caps.
Q3. Tell me how you would check the tyres to show that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.
A safe tyre will have no cuts or bulges. The tread depth should be at least 1.6mm across the central 3/4s of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.
Q4. Show me/explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey. If the steering becomes heavy the steering may be faulty. Alternatively gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained whilst the engine is started, should result in slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate.
Q5. Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system (ABS)
Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with your ABS.
Q6. 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 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 (some restraints might not move!).
Q7. 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).
Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors etc, or ask someone to help.
Q8. Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working.
Turn on lights, walk around car and check that the lights are on.
Q9. Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working correctly.
Activate the hazard warning lights and walk around the car to see if all the indicators are working correctly.
Q10. 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.
Operate switch, internally can check with main beam warning light (blue in colour).
Q11. Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light and explain when you would use it.
Turn on dipped headlight then rear fog light. Check warning light is on. Use in fog or when visibility reduced to less than 100m.
Q12. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check the engine has the correct level.
Identify the engine coolant tank and check the coolant level against the min/max levels.
Q13. 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.
Identify the brake fluid reservoir and check the fluid level against the min/max levels.
Q14. Open the bonnet, identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.
Identify the windscreen washer reservoir and check the fluid level visually (no min/max levels).
Q15. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has enough oil.
Identify the dipstick, pull it out, clean it with a clean cloth, re-dip and check the oil level against the min/max levels.
Questions Whilst Driving
Q15. When safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean your rear / front windscreen?
Q16. When safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?
Q17. When safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set your rear demister?
Q18. When safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn?
Q19 When safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist your front windscreen?
Q20. When safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate your side window?
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