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Under the bonnet - Preparing for your driving test

Aviva Car Insurance

There’s nothing quite like the freedom of hitting the road in your own car. The driving test now includes a ‘show me or tell me’ section where the examiner will question the pupil on what’s under the bonnet and ask some other technical questions.  Take a look as we break down what you need to know:

Please note: Check your car manual or ask your mechanic to show you where the following items are located under the bonnet of your car as each car model can differ.

The main aspects you’ll need to check under the bonnet include the engine coolant reservoir, the engine oil level, the brake fluid reservoir and the windscreen washer fluid level.

Engine coolant level/reservoir

Point to the coolant reservoir and tell your examiner you would check the levels are between the maximum and minimum marks on the tank, or if there’s only one mark, then up to that mark. 

Top tip: Mention you would always make sure the engine has cooled down first if performing a check, to avoid getting burned. You would then carefully unscrew the tank lid to allow any pressure to escape slowly.

Engine oil level

Indicate the dipstick and oil cap. To check the levels, you will pull out the dipstick and dry it off, then put it back in for a moment and pull out to check where the oil mark sits between the minimum and maximum marks. 

Top tip: Explain that engine oil levels need to be checked every month and will be refilled via the filler cap. Be sure to mention you would have the car parked on a level surface to give an accurate reading.

Brake fluid level

Point to the brake fluid reservoir and tell your examiner you would check the level is between the minimum and maximum level. It is vital to keep an eye on hygiene in the brake fluid reservoir, so no dirt enters and affects brake performance.

Top tip: Brake fluid is toxic, so when filling this you must be careful to avoid any contact with your skin, and also the paintwork on your car.

Windscreen washer fluid

The windscreen reservoir does not have any minimum and maximum external marking, so you will need to remove the cap and have a visual check of the level.

Top tip: This will need to be checked regularly, especially before embarking on a long journey.

Tyre check

Your tyres should not have any cuts or bulges and must be at the legal 1.6mm tread depth. Tell your examiner that the recommended tyre pressure can be found in your manufacturer’s guide and a certified pressure gauge should be used at all times. For full details on tyre safety, have a look at our article here.

Aviva Driving School level one, Educate package will provide you with the required 12 EDT lessons with a Road Safety Authority approved instructor. Level two, Achieve will give you extensive preparation for the driving test, and level three, Decision will provide fully licenced drivers with specific techniques to really enhance their safe driving skills. Accompanied driver cover* is available for these packages. Click here for full details.

Now that you have under-the-bonnet knowledge to be reckoned with, don’t forget to protect that car you know so well! Simply call us on 1890 33 22 11 or visit Aviva car insurance to see what options best suit you.

For car insurance, you’re safe in the hands of Aviva.

*If you undertake Level One (Educate) you may avail of 6 months Free Accompanied Driver Cover on an Aviva policyholder's* existing Aviva private motor policy**. 6 months cover equates to 50% discount on annual motor policy.

** The Aviva policyholder in this context includes one of following eligible individuals namely, a parent, guardian, spouse, partner, aunt, uncle or grandparent.

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