Archives For June 2020

Automatic Driving Lessons In North Dublin- Servicing Your Car

Servicing your car annually is essential in keeping your car in good condition. Usually, servicing your car is once a year but if you do a lot of driving, the RSA recommend you do it every 15000 kilometres. Failure to service regularly results in increased wear and tear of your engine, increased fuel consumption and the possibility of engine failure. If you do not service your engine, you will not know if your car needs oil or coolant and if these fluids get too low you are in for a lot of trouble. If your engine has no oil, your engine will cease and if you have no coolant your engine will overheat and could go on fire while you drive.

When you bring your car to a garage and ask for a standard service, you will usually get an oil change, replacement of the spark plugs, top up your coolant and brake fluid levels and they also might fill your windscreen washer fluid level. All of these are essential in engine health.

When you check your oil levels and you see that your oil is dark black, you know you need to replace the oil. Oil, when it is fresh, is usually transparent and you can nearly see through it. After time, when the oil is being churned around the engine, the oil picks up carbon molecules inside the engine turning the oil jet black. When you see this have your oil replaced. You will notice you’re engine sounds much smoother when you do an oil change.

Usually, as the oil is draining out of the tank, the mechanic will change your spark plugs. Usually, you would replace the spark plugs every 60000 kilometres. This is only a guideline and always follow the manufacturer’s specification. Spark plugs are essential in creating the spark which starts your engine.

“Your spark plugs are what supply the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture, creating the explosion which makes your engine produce power. … Your spark plugs, along with the electrical and timing equipment which powers them, are part of what’s known as your ignition system.” May 21, 2019- Google

During your service, your coolant level will be topped up. Normally your mechanic will not need to drain and replace all the fluid and normally they will fill the tank to the top. Your mechanic will be looking for dirt and grim and if they see this inside your tank there may be another issue that could need addressing. Always keep an eye of coolant levels in between servicing as driving a car with low or no coolant could result in an engine fire at the side of the road.

Your mechanic will also check your brake fluid level. This fluid is not used as much as oil or coolant and sometimes it does not need any fluid. Always check your level before you bring the car to the garage and check the level when you bring the car home. You will know if you need brake fluid when your brakes feel soft and spongy when you press them. If ever you feel this, check your brake fluid levels at once.

Hopefully, you are not driving around with no water in your windscreen washer tank. Keeping this topped up is essential to being able to see out of your windscreen. Your mechanic will top this up for you but you need to keep on top of this yourself. There is nothing worse than a dirty truck driving past and spraying mud onto your windscreen and not being able to clear it.

Always look after your car’s health. It can save you expensive repair jobs and more importantly, it will keep you and other road users safe.

The RSA has a downloadable booklet and it is a great help in looking after your engine. Click here for RSA BOOKLET

Automatic Driving Lessons In North Dublin- Driving In The Rain

When you are driving in the rain, visibility is always poor. To make matters worse, if you have not got your window demisters on, your windows will fog up and you won’t be able to see a thing. Before you start a journey, always make sure your windows are clear and you can see out all of your windows. Always keep a cloth in your car so you can wipe the inside of the windows before you drive. Do not wipe your windows when your car is moving.

So to stop your windows fogging up while you are driving, turn on your demisters. All cars are different and their demisters will be different in the way you use them but the principle is always the same. The windscreen demister is simply directing the car’s temperature controls to the windscreen. To activate this look on your dash for the symbol that looks like the picture below.


In some cars, there is a button and in other cars, you would turn a dial and point the dial at this symbol. Either way, you are activating the windscreen demister. Once activated, this will blow air onto your windscreen and also out your side vents. Always make sure that your side vents are directed at the side windows and not closed or pointing into the car. If the windows are really foggy, turn the air up full and turn your heat on full. Do this until all fog has cleared.

When the windows have cleared, dial down the power of the air and dial down the heat. The air doesn’t have to be really hot once the windows are cleared. Always drive with this setting on and your windows will never fog up again.

When you have this setting on, always make sure you have fresh air coming into the car. The button below shows the air circulation. It usually looks something like this:

When this setting is on it means you are using the same air over and over again. Only use this setting when driving in heavy traffic or you are driving through an area with really bad smells or smoke. Always bring fresh air in through the car by making sure the setting is off.

To demist your back window, select the setting below:

This button will be in every make and model of car and it always demists the rear window. When it is cold or damp outside, always keep this on as your rear window can fog up very quickly.

If you are doing your driving test and the conditions outside are cold and wet, always drive with your demisters on. If you go to do a manoeuvre like reversing around a corner and your rear window is foggy, you will fail your exam for not using the cars secondary controls properly. The tester wants to see you are ready for all aspects of the test and use of secondary controls when needed goes a long way. 


Automatic Driving Lessons In North Dublin-Cockpit Drill

What is the cockpit drill?

The cockpit drill is a sequence of checks which you should carry out whenever you get into your vehicle and intend to drive. The ‘cockpit drill’ includes various safety and comfort checks which are done before turning the vehicle on, these include fastening your seatbelt and adjusting your mirrors. During your driving test, you should perform the cockpit drill at the beginning of your test to ensure you are safe and comfortably positioned to begin your drive.

Why do I have to do the cockpit drill?

The simple answer is that it will help make sure your drive is problem-free. You don’t want to drive off and then remember you aren’t wearing your seatbelt, you also don’t want to get onto the main road only to realise your mirrors aren’t correctly positioned. You should make sure your cockpit drill has been done on the lesson before your practical driving test so you can jump straight into your car and not have performed all of your checks again. Your examiner will realise that you had already been sitting in the vehicle and therefore adjusting the seat/mirrors will not be necessary again.

What do I have to check?

1) Doors – Check your door is shut and that your passengers doors are shut

The reason for this is obvious as you don’t want you or your passengers door to fly open when you take a turn. Check your door by pulling the door handle (not the opening lever) towards you, also ask all your passengers to check their doors.

2) Seat & steering – Adjust your seat according to your size to a safe driving position

You need to be able to reach your foot pedals without stretching, use your left foot to depress the clutch and make sure it goes all the way down to the floor of the car without you feeling you are too close or too far. If you need to adjust your seat, a bar is normally directly under your knees which you should pull up, you should use one hand to hold on to the steering wheel to pull you closer and prevent your seat from flying back. You will also find a recline adjustment in the form of a round dial (usually on the right side of the driver’s seat), you should adjust it so that you aren’t leaned back too far and are generally comfortable with your seat position. You shouldn’t be too close/too far from the steering wheel because this will make steering very tricky. Finally, you need to adjust your head restraint so that the top of your head is level with the top of your head restraint, figure 1 below shows the optimum driving position.

3) Mirrors – Adjust your doors mirrors and your rearview mirror

Your wing-mirrors should give you the best possible view of the situation behind you and from your rearview, you should be able to see out all the back window and being able to see the outline of the interior of your car.

4) Neutral and handbrake.

Once your car’s mirrors are in order, simply check that your car is in neutral and that your handbrake is up.

5) Seatbelt

Now that you know the vehicle is safe, put your seatbelt on, making sure the belt is straight and not twisted. Also, make sure the seatbelt goes over your right shoulder and across your chest. Do not go under your armpit.

Turn the ignition and you are ready to drive.

Automatic Driving Lessons In North Dublin- Parallel Parking

What is parallel parking?

Parallel parking is a means of parking your vehicle parallel to the road, usually in a line of other vehicles.

Typically, you’ll drive your vehicle alongside the one in front of the available space, before reversing it in.

It’s generally considered one of the trickier skills for new drivers to learn, but becomes second nature with practice and can be essential when hunting for a parking space in a busy street after you’ve passed your test.

When do I need to parallel park?

Parallel parking allows you to park in a smaller space than would be possible if you were driving forward into it.

Driving forward into a roadside space is usually only do-able if two spaces in a row are unoccupied.

By reversing in, a driver can take advantage of a single empty space, not too much longer than the car.

Most residential roads accommodate roadside parking as standard, and in town and city centres where space is a premium, parallel parking might be the only option to get a space.

These instructions assume you’re parking on the left-hand side of the road (i.e. with the flow of traffic).

If parking on the right-hand side, the directions are reversed.

This is a general guide and while the principles will remain the same, your driving instructor might have their own preferred methods and reference points for teaching. First things first:

  • Make sure the space you are aiming to park in is big enough.
  • Indicate, then pull up alongside the space and check there’s a minimum of two feet either end.
  • Edge forward slowly, until the centre of your passenger side front window is roughly lined up with the front of the car in front of your space – if it’s facing the same way as you. (If it’s parked facing the opposite way, line up your passenger window with its back bumper).
  • Check your mirrors, and turn to check your blind spot.
  • Once you are happy it is safe, slowly begin reversing, looking behind you over your left shoulder and through the rear windscreen.
  • Slowly reversing now, roughly line up your back tyres with the back bumper of the the car in front of your space.
  • Now apply your handbrake and check your blindspot again, as when you turn to reverse into the space, the front of your car will swing out into the road slightly – so you will need to ensure nothing is coming.
  • If it is safe to do so, turn the steering wheel one complete turn to the left. Keep things nice and steady, concentrating on achieving a full turn.
  • Start slowly reversing, using the nearside mirror to check the position of the kerb, and the rear view mirror to see the vehicle behind you.
  • Once you can see the kerb in your nearside mirror and you’re clear of the car in front, it’s time to stop the car and starting turning the steering wheel to the right.
  • This time, use full lock, bringing the front of your car in towards the kerb. The trick here is fast steering but slow reversing – so quick hands, but steady feet.
  • Straighten up your position on the road, by again turning the steering wheel to the left so the car is reversing back straight.

Driving Lessons In North Dublin- Applying For Your Learner Permit

When you decide you want to learn how to drive, it is not as easy as jumping behind the wheel of a car. There are steps involved that you must take in order to get your driving license. The first step in applying for your license is picking up a copy of The Official Driver Theory Test Questions and Answers book or app. After taking time to study the material, you are now ready to book The Theory Test. You can book the test by calling 1980 606 106 or online When booking your test, have your credit card details and your PPS number. When you are booking you will be asked what category license you wish to hold. A car licence is a B License.

Once you pass The Theory Test, you will receive a pass certificate. Keep this pass certificate safe as you will need it to apply for your Learners Permit. To apply for your Learner Permit, go to

When you book an appointment with the NDLS, you will need a lot of different documents.

  • Fully completed application form for a learner permit D201
  • Original driver theory test pass certificate (dated within two years)
  • Photographic I.D.
  • Proof of your personal public services number (PPSN)
  • Evidence of address dated within the last six months is required if your current address is not recorded on your permit and it differs from that provided to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) if and when you applied for a PSC
  • Evidence of residency entitlement, (if you hold a public services card and your place of birth or nationality are within the European Union/European Economic Area, it is adequate to present the PSC)
  • Fully completed NDLS eyesight report form, dated within three months
  • Fully completed NDLS medical report form, dated within three months, if required in your case
  • Application fee of €35.00

Having all the paperwork in order is essential in applying for your Learner Permit. It can be frustrating at times trying to get it all organized but the rewards are worth it in the end. You need to hold your Learner Permit for 6 months before you can apply for your Full Licence.

Once you have your Learner Permit you are allowed to learn how to drive. Chose an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) from your local area. It is always best to choose local instructors as they will know the roads and the test centre where you will be doing your test. Study the Rules Of The Road Ebook. This book is a step by step guide in learning how to drive and is a great tool for learner drivers.

Choose a sponsor who you think is a safe driver and work with them and help each other along the way. Be patient and document your progress and learning will become fun.

Automatic Driving Lessons In North Dublin Cockpit Drill

After the under the bonnet checks, the tester will ask you to sit in the car. When you sit in the car, the tester will ask you to demonstrate a few simple tasks. The tester will remain outside the car and ask you to turn on your parking light, dipped headlights and full beams. They will ask you to demonstrate both your indicators from the front, left and right. The tester will then walk to the back of your car. As they walk to the back, they are examining your tyres and making sure the car is safe. From the back of the car, they will again ask you to turn on your backlights, demonstrate both indicators and also ask you the press the brake pedal. The tester is checking that all your bulbs are in working order and you also know how to use these controls when they are needed. If you do not know how to use these controls are any bulb is not working, your driving test will be terminated.

Now the tester will get into the car beside you. This is where the tester will ask you to demonstrate the secondary controls and also the cockpit drill. The cockpit drill is basically knowing that you are safe and secure before you start the engine. We naturally do these checks without thinking about them, but you must be able to explain them and why we do them. It is good to rehearse your answers and answer them in an order you can remember.

The first part of the cockpit drill is making sure your door is closed securely. I can’t stress this enough. That is the first part of the cockpit drill and if the tester asks you to explain the cockpit drill I would start here. You can explain to the tester that you would make sure my door is closed securely to avoid it opening while driving.

After we say that the door is closed securely, we would talk about our seat position. We would say that we would adjust our seat so that we can see out the windows, reach the pedals comfortably and also be able to reach the steering wheel comfortably.

As you can see from the diagram, we would have a gentle bend in the elbows and gentle bend in the knees. You don’t want to be reaching the pedals or stretching out to the steering wheel. This can be very uncomfortable and can be dangerous. It is essential that you can see out the windows and reach the controls.

After the seat is in position, it is time to adjust the mirrors. We always adjust our mirrors after we adjust the seat. First, we adjust the inside mirror. We can hold it with both hands and gently adjust it so that you can see out the whole back window

This is an excellent diagram as it shows in the interior mirror the whole of the back window and also you can see the rim of the inside of your own car. This is a perfect position as you can see everything out your back window. Next is the wing mirrors. All cars are different and usually there is a toggle on the driver’s door that is used to adjust the wing mirrors. We would adjust the wing mirrors so that we can see the back corner of our own car, usually aim for the back door handle. This is the perfect position to get the best view of traffic behind.

After we have adjusted our mirrors, we would simply say “from here I would check to see if my car is in neutral and that my handbrake is up.” If you are driving an automatic, instead of having the car in neutral, you would say “I would make sure my car is in Park mode.” We do this to make sure the car is secured for when we start the engine. If the car is in gear and we don’t check this and turn the key the car will jump forward. This could be disastrous for your test.

Last on the cockpit drill is your seatbelt. Always wear your seat belt and always make sure it is fastened securely. Now that you have explained all these the tester will ask you to start the ignition and you are ready to drive.