Driving tests

2: Starting and stopping the engine

This lesson is to ensure that you know how to safely start and stop the engine.

Toyota Land Cruiser 200 VX Ltd start button

Vehicle safety

Park the car off the road and in a safe place with the handbrake on and the gearbox in neutral for a manual car or park (P) in an automatic car.

Driver actions

Starting the engine:

  • Make sure the handbrake or park brake is on – with push button handbrakes, look for the dashboard light (usually a red exclamation mark “!” in a red circle)
  • Make sure the gearbox is in neutral for a manual car or park for an automatic car
  • Press the clutch pedal with the left foot (if the car is manual)
  • Press the brake pedal with the right foot (automatic and manual cars)
  • If the car has a key, turn the key to start the engine and let go as soon as the engine has started. If you are driving a very old car (perhaps pre-1980s) you may have to give the car some choke if it’s cold
  • If the car has push button ignition, push the button for long enough for the engine to start
  • Check the gauges and warning lights as the vehicle goes through its initial post-start check. All warning lights should extinguish, unless there’s one warning the engine is still cold.

Stopping the engine:

  • Push the clutch in (manual car) and press the brake pedal
  • Put the handbrake or park brake on
  • Put the gearbox in neutral for a manual car or park for an automatic car
  • Check that only the handbrake/park brake light is displaying
  • In a car with a key ignition, turn the key to the off position and remove it from the ignition.
  • In a car with push button ignition, press the start/stop button to stop the engine.

Perform all tasks at least twice.

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