Vehicle Safety Check Questions & Answers

Last updated 01/07/2008

  1. Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working?
    Answer: Apply the hazard warning switch and check functioning of all indicators.
  2. Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey?
    Answer: Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.
  3. Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level?
    Answer: Identify reservoir and explain how to check level.
  4. 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).
    Answer: Switch on ignition but no need to start engine then operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help.
  5. Show me / explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey?
    Answer: If the steering becomes heavy the system may not be working properly. So before starting a journey two simple checks can be made. Hold steering wheel at 2 o’ clock position, then start engine. The wheel should drop slightly. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.
  6. Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear?
    Answer: Make sure you keep safe control of the vehicle by applying the footbrake firmly, then demonstrate by applying parking brake (handbrake) so that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel.
  7. 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?
    Answer: Identify dipstick / oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.
  8. 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?
    Answer: Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted, and describe how to top up to correct level with water mixed with anti-freeze.
  9. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash?
    Answer: 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.
  10. 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?
    Answer: Identify reservoir, check level against high/low markings. But with this car there would be a digital reading on the dashboard should the level be too low, as the reservoir has no max/min markings.
  11. Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.
    Answer: Manufacturer’s guide will give the tyre pressures, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.
  12. 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?
    Answer: 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.
  13. Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only)?
    Answer: Check is carried out by pressing horn. (Turn on ignition if necessary).
  14. Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers?
    Answer: Turn ignition on,( not engine) then operate control to wash and wipe windscreen.
  15. Tell me how you would check that the headlights & tail lights are working? (No need to exit vehicle)
    Answer: Operate light switch, then walk round vehicle. (As this is a "Tell Me" question, there is no need to physically check the lights)
  16. Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens?
    Answer: Switch on ignition, (not engine). 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.
  17. 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)
    Answer: Turn on dipped headlights. Then operate fog light switch. Check warning light is on. (Fog lights will not operate without headlights). Only necessary when visibility drops below 100 metres.
  18. 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?
    Answer: Switch on headlights then operate dip/main-beam switch. Check with main- beam warning light.
  19. Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system?
    Answer: Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.
  20. Show me how to open & close all the windows.
    Answer: Switch on ignition, (not engine). Press down the window switches, on the driver’s side door handle, then lift the same switches.