Show Me / Tell Me



The DSA “Show Me, Tell Me” questions test your knowledge on basic car safety and maintenance. At the beginning of your practical driving test the driving test examiner will ask you one “show me” question and one “tell me” question. Answer either of these two questions incorrectly and you will gain a driving test fault.

There are 19 different questions, which are asked in set combinations, below you will find all the questions and their answers.


(Q1) Open the bonnet and show me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil.

Answer: Identify the engine oil dipstick.  Tell examiner you would remove dipstick, wipe oil off, dip oil again and check the oil is between the maximum and minimum makers.  (Do not remove dipstick).


(Q2) Show me or explain how you would check the power steering is working.

Answer: You can make two simple checks.

  1. as you start the engine put slight pressure on steering wheel. When the engine starts you will feel the wheel move. (On test do not start engine!)
  2. as soon as you drive off turn your wheels slightly left then right. It should not feel stiff. (on test do not start engine)


(Q3) Open the bonnet and tell me how you would check the engine coolant level.

Answer: Identify the coolant bottle. On this car when the engine is cold the correct coolant level is on the weld of the bottle (approx. middle of bottle).


(Q4) Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear. Keep safe control of your car.

Answer: Press foot bake to secure the car. Pull handbrake to make sure it feels firm and is not at its end of travel.


(Q5) Identify the windscreen washer bottle  and tell me how you would check its level.

Answer: Open bonnet and show examiner the washer bottle. You would fill it to the filler cap with water or screen wash.


(Q6) Show me how you would check the horn is working.

Answer: Press the centre of steering wheel to operate the horn.


(Q7) Open the bonnet and identify the brake fluid reservoir and tell me how you know the correct safe level of the fluid.

Answer: Open the bonnet and show examiner the brake fluid reservoir and check fluid in-between max and min arrows.


(Q8) Show me how you would check the indicators are working.

Answer: Press the hazard warning switch and walk around the car checking all six indicators are working.


(Q9) Show me how you would check the brake lights are working. I can help you if needed.

Answer: Turn on ignition. Do not start engine. Press foot brake and look in your mirror for a reflection. If no reflection can be seen ask the examiner to check your lights at the rear of the car.


(Q10) Tell me how you would check your brakes before you would start a journey.

Answer: Press the brake pedal. It should feel firm. You would also brake gently just after moving off to check the car stops smoothly and in a straight line.


(Q11) Tell me how you would check the head lights and tail lights are working. Do not exit the car.

Answer: You would turn on the light switch and tell the examiner you would walk around the car and check all the lights are working. Two front and rear side lights, two head lights, and don’t forget the numberplate light.


(Q12) Tell me how you would check your tyre pressures and where would you find the correct information for the correct pressure.

Answer: When the tyres are cold you would remove the valve cap and put a pressure gauge on valve. You would then check in the cars handbook for the correct pressure. You would also check the spare tyre in the boot.


(Q13) How would you check your tyres to make sure they are safe for to use your car on the road.

Answer: You would check the tread depth.This must be a minimum of 1.6mm around 3/4 of the breadth of the tyre. Also check for nails or screws in the tread and any damage to the wall of the tyre.


(Q14) Show me how you would clean the front windscreen using the wash wipers.

Answer: Turn on ignition and pull wiper stalk towards the wheel. The water will squirt then the wipers will wipe. The wiper will stop by itself at the bottom of the windscreen when you let go.


(Q15) Show me how you would set the demisters to clear the front and back screens. Do not start the engine.

Answer: Turn the three dials fully to the right (max heat, max fan and air flow to windscreen). Press heated rear window switch.


(Q16) Show me how you would switch the rear fog lights on. Explain when to use them.

Answer: Turn the ignition on. Turn light switch to dipped. Press fog light button. Orange light will show on speedometer. Explain the 100m rule  or snow rule for use of fog lights.


(Q17) Show me how you would change from dipped to main beam headlights and how you would know main beam was on.

Answer: Turn on ignition, turn lights to dipped, push indicator stalk forwards. A blue light will come on the fuel gauge area of instrument panel to show main beam is on.


(Q18) How should the head restraint be adjusted to provide the best protection to your neck?

Answer: The top of my ear should be level with the middle of the head rest and the head rest as close to the back of my head as possible.


(Q19) Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with the anti lock breaking system on this car.

Answer: When I turn the ignition on the ABS light will show. It will go out after 10 seconds if the system is OK. If it comes on while I am driving the system has a fault.


Top Tips

  • Remember to close the car door in the car park when you check lights and engine bay.
  • Anything that is electrical turn on the ignition not the engine.
  • Check the bonnet is shut after you close it by trying to pull it up again.