Show Me – Tell Me

The “Show Me – Tell Me” section of your DSA Driving Test consists of questions on basic concepts of car maintenance and safety. Taking place at the very beginning of your practical test, the examiner will ask you two questions drawn from a pool of 19 questions – one from the ‘show me’ list, and one from the ‘tell me’ list.

Answering either of these questions incorrectly will be marked down as a minor driving fault, so you should make sure and learn the entire set of questions and the corresponding answers as it might mean the difference between passing and failing your overall test.

Here are all the possible questions that can be asked, together with sample answers:

Q1. Engine Coolant

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.

A. Open the bonnet, point out the the coolant tank and read the level against the markings. If the coolant level falls below the minimum mark then you will need to top up with coolant fluid, usually to the maximum level.

Q2. Brake Fluid

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. Open the bonnet, point out the brake fluid reservoir and read the level against the markings. The level should be higher than the minimum level but lower than the maximum level.

Q3. Power Steering

Show me/explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.

A. Before starting your journey you can detect a fault with power-assisted steering in two ways. Firstly, with the engine running and the vehicle stationery, applying a slight pressure to the steering wheel should result in a small but detectable amount of movement to the wheels because of the power-assisted steering.

Secondly if you turn the steering wheel as soon as you start to move off you will immediately notice whether or not the power-assisted steering is working.

Q4. Engine Oil

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.

A. Open the bonnet, point out the dipstick, unscrew and/or remove it, then read the level against the markings. The level should be higher than the minimum level but lower than the maximum level.

Q5. Windscreen Washer Fluid

Open the bonnet, identify where the Windscreen Washer reservoir is and tell me how you check the level?

A. Open the bonnet, point out the windscreen fluid reservoir, then read the level against the markings. If there are no markings on the outside then you may need to open the lid and visually inspect the level inside.

Q6. Horn

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

A. Point out the location of the horn, press the horn and listen. Your car ignition may need to be engaged for the horn to sound.

Q7. Brake Lights

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. Pount out the location of the brake pedal. The two most common methods of checking the brake lights are working are to look for your brake lights reflecting in windows or mirrors, or to ask another person to look for you while you operate the brake pedal. You may need to engage the ignition switch for the brake lights to work, however you do not need to start the car engine.

Q8. Brake Function

Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.

A. Brakes can only be tested with the car in motion, so you would start the car engine and begin to move off before applying the brakes. If the brakes are not operating correctly they may feel spongy or ineffective, or the brakes may pull the car slightly in one direction.

Q9. Front and Rear Light Function

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

A. Front and rear light function can be tested by engaging the ignition (but not the engine), turning on the car lights, exiting the car, and walking around car to visually inspect that the lights are on.

Q10. Indicator Lights

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

A. Point out the location and mode of operation of the indicator or hazard warning lights, then you would active the lights, exiting and walking around the car to visually inspect that the lights are on.

Q11. Tyre Pressure

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

A. Recommended tyre pressure information should be found in the manual supplied by the car manufacturer, usually stored in the glove box section of the dashboard. Tyre pressure can be measured using either a reliable manual tyre pressure gauge, or by using an automatic tyre pressure gauge such as commonly found at a garage. To get a true reading the tyres should be cold, so this should be done at the start of a journey. You should remember to also check the tyre pressure of the spare tyre. And you should always remember to put the valve dust caps back on when you are finished.

Q12. Parking Brake

Show me how you would check the parking brake for excessive wear.

A. Point out the location of the parking brake. You would pull the parking brake upwards, feeling increasing resistance, until the brake comes to the end of it’s working travel and won’t tighten any further. When working correctly, your car should remain stationery in neutral gear on an incline with your parking brake applied.

Q13. Head Restraint

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 on your seat is designed to be used at the same height as your eyes or the top of your ears, and close to the back of your head as is comfortable. Most modern head restraints are adjustable to allow you to change the height or distance from your head in order to provide the best protection in the event of a crash.

Q14. Tyre Tread Condition

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. Tread depth should measure a minimum of 1.6mm in height, across the central 75% of the breadth of the tyre, around the entire outer circumference of the tire. A tyre that is in generally safe condition will also have no cuts or bulges.

Q15. Windscreen Cleaning

Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.

A. Point out the location and method of operation of the windscreen washer and wipers. You may have to engage the ignition (but not the engine) for this to work.

Q16. Demister Controls

Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens.

A. Point out the location and method of operation of the fan, temperature, direction/source and heated screen controls for both windscreen and windows. You may have to engage the ignition (but not start the engine) for this to work.

Q17. Anti-Lock Braking System

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

A. Point out the location of the Anti-Lock Braking System warning light on the driver display section of the dashboard. This will display an error status light if the ABS is not working correctly.

Q18. Main Beam Headlights

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. Point out the location and method of operation of the dip / main beam headlight switch. You may have to engage the ignition (but not start the engine) for this to work. Point out the location of the main beam warning light on the driver display section of the dashboard, to demonstrate how you would know the main beam was on whilst inside the car.

Q19. Fog Lights

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).

A. Point out the location and method of operation of the rear fog light switch. You may have to engage the ignition (but not start the engine) for this to work. Point out the location of the rear fog light warning light on the driver display section of the dashboard, to demonstrate how you would know the rear fog lights were on whilst inside the car. Explain correct usage of the rear fog light.