What To Expect During An Auto Inspection

Wondering if your vehicle is in good shape? Considering having an auto inspection performed? If so, you may be worried that the mechanic is just going to poke under the hood and say that everything is alright. Auto inspections are actually much more complicated than that, which is why it helps to understand what you can expect to happen.

Inspection Levels

A vehicle inspection is actually a very specific list of things that the mechanic will check for when looking at your vehicle. Each type of inspection is typically referred to by the amount of points that the mechanic will inspect. A basic inspection will look at all of the essential points, and cost less because fewer things are being done. Meanwhile, a more detailed inspection will cover many points, be more time consuming, and cost more money.

Your auto shop should be able to show you a list of what each type of inspection will cover so you know exactly what is being done. You'll then get a full report that states the condition of your vehicle based on each item that was inspected. You'll also know the full price of every level of vehicle inspection before the mechanic performs the work, so there are no mystery fees.

Basic Inspection

A very basic vehicle inspection is going to cover about 15 points. All four tires are going to be checked for air pressure, wear pattern, and tread depth. All of your fluids are going to be checked to make sure they are at the proper level. This includes your engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and even the windshield wiper fluid. 

Under the hood, the mechanic will also look at your belts to make sure they are in great shape, such as the serpentine belt and power steering belt. Hoses are checked to verify that they are not leaking. Your air filter will be looked at to see if it needs to be changed, and the battery will be tested to see if it is holding a charge properly.

Advanced Inspection

You can get more advanced inspections that look at as many as 150 points, but you likely do not need that. An inspection that is one level up at around 25 points is going to cover more of your essentials. Things such as the brakes, shocks, and struts are looked at to ensure they are working well. Your exhaust system, suspension, and steering components will also be inspected. These are all additional components that frequently break down, so it is worth looking at what components are included in the more advanced levels.