Ottawa Township High School Drivers Education

Ottawa Township High School Drivers Education

OttawaTownshipHigh School Drivers Education

Chapter 3 – Basic Vehicle Control

3.1 – Instruments, Controls, and Devices

Speedometer – speed

  • Tells you how fast you are going

Tachometer – engine revolutions per minute

  • Tells if you if your engine is not functioning properly

Odometer - # of total miles

  • Will have to tell us every day the # of miles before you start and when you finish driving

Fuel Gage – tells you amount of gas in your car (8/8= full tank)

Calculating miles per gallon:

  • Fill fuel tank & record odometer reading
  • Drive till you have ½ a tank
  • Refill tank – record odometer reading
  • Subtract the first odometer from the second, then divide the number of miles driven by the number of gallons it took to refill the tank
  • Example:

1st Odometer Reading: 100

2nd Odometer Reading: 150

Gallons of Fuel: 10

150 – 100 = 50


Miles per Gallon = 5

Temperature Light or Gauge – engine too hot

  • Has a C or H on it. Want to make sure engine does not get too hot.

Oil Pressure Warning Light or Gauge – oil isn’t circulating at the proper pressure

  • Usually right by the hot and cold

Alternator Warning Light or Gauge – “discharge” electrical system is in trouble, battery being drained, turn off as many electrical devices as possible

  • Picture of a battery on the dashboard

Brake System Warning Light – 1 – release parking break 2- means part or all of the braking system is not working

Antilock Braking System Light (ABS) – keeps wheels from locking up

Safety Belt Light – fasten your seatbelt

  • Guy with a belt across chest will flash, sometimes you hear a dinging noise as well

Air Bag Warning Light – proper working order

  • May flash if you have airbag off- want to be off if child or pregnant woman is in front seat.

Turn-Signal Indicators – direction your turning

  • Blinking arrows that show the direction you are turning

High-Beam Indicator – glows when high beam lights are on

  • High Beams lights are? Brights Usually a blue light with 3 or 4 beams coming from it

Steering Wheel–steers the front wheels from left to right

Steering Wheel Adjustment Lever – adjust level of steering wheel

  • Usually on the left hand side under turn signal, you pull up on it to raise or lower wheel
  • Wheel can be tilted up or down for better driving comfort

Selector Lever – in cars with automatic transmissions from forward to reverse gear

  • Can be located on the steering column or on the console

Gear Shift Lever – stick shift – shifts gears in cars with manual transmission

Cruise Control – set to maintain speed – do not use in bad weather

  • Allows you to maintain a desired speed without keeping your foot on the accelerator
  • To cancel you tap the foot-brake pedal

Parking Brake – keeps car in place when in park

  • Different in all cars- can be pedal on far left, a brake-release lever on the left side under the instrument panel or a lever mounted on the floor or in the console.

Foot- Brake Pedal – pushing down on the foot-brake pedal slows or stops the vehicle

Accelerator Pedal – pushing down increases speed of vehicle, releasing it slows the vehicle

  • Located on the right of the foot-brake pedal

Safety Belts – protects you while driving (adjust properly)

  • Be sure to tug on belt to assure there is tension

Head Restraintsor head rests– helps reduce whip lash

  • Padded devices on the backs of front seats

Inside & Outside Rear View Mirrors – mirrors that show right left end of car & out rear window

  • When you are behind the wheel, you get to use the inside mirror and the left outside mirror

Blind-spot – areas that the mirrors cannot see

  • Pic on pg. 44- why you have to shoulder check during lane changes

Horn – used to alert other cars or pedestrians

Hazard Flasher Control–turns on hazard lights-warns that your vehicle is a hazard or you are in trouble (can use if you pull off interstate or following slow-moving vehicle

  • Both front and rear turn signal lights will flash at same time
  • Located on steering column or on the instrument panel

Turn-Signal Lever – “Blinker” indicates which direction you are turning

  • Left side of steering column, up=right turn & down=left turn

Windshield Wipers and Washers – used to clean the windshield

  • 1 switch usually operates both

Light Switch – controls headlights, taillights, and many other lights depending on the vehicle

  • Usually a knob or switch located on the light side of the instrument panel or on the turn-signal lever

Hood Release Lever – usually on the left side under the instrument panel

  • You pull this lever to release the hood and then you will need to operate a second release in the front of the vehicle for the hood to open

Heater, Air Conditioner & Defroster – warms and cools the inside of the vehicle – defroster keeps the windshield moisture free

  • Some cars have a separate switch for the rear-window defroster

Sun visor - pull down to help cut glare of the sun

  • Located above the windshield, can be pulled down or from side to side

Seat Adjustment Lever – adjusts the distance from the seat to the pedals

3.2 – Getting Ready to Drive

Outside Checks- Every time you get in car you should walk around the car to look for the following things…

  1. Water or oil marks under vehicle
  2. Tires
  3. Windshield, windows, headlights, and taillights are clear
  4. Back window ledge for loose objects
  5. If slam on brakes, will come forward & block vision
  6. No unwanted passengers

Inside Checks

  1. Lock all doors
  2. Adjust Seat- Needs to be done before all the following because you views may change
  3. Adjust Head Restraint
  4. Adjust mirrors
  5. Fasten Seatbelt
  6. Make sure car is in park
  7. Parking brake is on

3.3 – Driving a Vehicle with Automatic Transmission

Selector-Lever Positions

  • Park – shift to park every time you stop driving
  • Reverse – Always come to a complete stop before shifting to reverse
  • Neutral – engine stalls
  • Drive – keep firm pressure on the brake pedal every time you shift to drive
  • Low 1 and Low 2 (L1 & L2) – L2 used when driving in snow & L1 used when going up or down steep hills or pulling heavy loads
  • Allow the engine to send more power to the wheels at lower speeds

Starting the Engine:

  1. Make sure brake is set- Parking brake is on
  2. In Park
  3. If vehicle is has fuel injection and the engine is cold, keep your foot off the accelerator
  4. Turn On
  5. Check Gages, warning lights and fuel supply
  6. Tell us…Gas, miles and to put on seatbelts

3.4 – Driving a Vehicle with Manual Transmission