Cowley’s School of Motoring

Show Me/Tell Me Questions

Show Me Questions

1. Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.

Test the brakes as you set off. Car should stop promptly and not pull to one side. The brake pedal should feel firm not spongy or slack.

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

You will find this in the manufacturer’s handbook. Use a reliable pressure gauge, sometimes found at a petrol station. Check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold and don’t forget spare tyre.

3. 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 that the middle of the restraint is level with the middle of your head. There is normally a button to adjust the head restraint.

4. Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.

The legal minimum tread depth requirement is 1.6mm across the central three quarters and around the outer circumfrence of the tyre. You can check this using a tread depth gauge. Also check the tyre visually for any cuts, bulges or any other damage.

5. Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

6. Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.

Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.

checking tyre pressure
How to check the tread depth of a car tyre

7. Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

You can do this two ways;

  1.  Turn on the left indicators and then get out and check, then repeat the process for the right.
  2.  Turn on the hazard lights and check all around the car.

As this is only a Tell Me question there is no need to exit the vehicle, just explain the process to the examiner.

8. Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car.

Press the brake pedal and either ask someone to check for you or use a reflective serface. 

9. Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey.

If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey, 2 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.

10. Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Operate the switch to turn them on, you will most likly need the ignition and lights already on.

Fog lights should be used in heavy fog when visability is reduced to less than 100m. 

11. Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on.

Turn them on, you may need the ignition and lights already on.

Explain you can see the blue warning light.

12. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil.

Point to the dipstick and explain you would take it out wipe it clean, re-dip it and then check between the minmum and maximum. 

13. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant.

Identify high and low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, you can get this topped at a garage.

14. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

Identify reservoir, check level against high and low markings.

Tell Me Questions

  1. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen?
  2. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?
  3. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?
  4. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?
  5. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn?
  6. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?
  7. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d open and close the side window?

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