10 Items To Consider While Doing A Vehicle Inspection

10 Items To Consider While Doing A Vehicle Inspection

Vehicle Inspection

Vehicle inspections are essential for keeping your car safe, efficient, and in good condition. Whether you manage a fleet of vehicles or own a private car a detailed inspection can help you avoid problems. It can save you time, money, and stress by identifying issues before they become serious. This guide will cover ten important aspects of vehicle inspection. By paying attention to these details, you can extend your car’s lifespan and keep it in top shape.

Odometer Readings

Odometer readings are very important when checking a vehicle. They show how much the car has been used. If the car has high mileage, it means it has been used a lot. This can lead to more wear and tear, meaning you might need more repairs soon. For example, a car with over 100,000 miles might need new parts like brakes or a transmission. On the other hand, if an older car has very low mileage, it could be a sign of tampering. This means someone might have changed the odometer to make it look like the car was used less than it really was. Keeping a log of odometer readings helps you track how much you drive and plan for regular maintenance.You should generally change the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Knowing your mileage helps you do this on time.

Safety Features

Safety features are critical for protecting everyone in the vehicle. Ensuring these features work properly can prevent accidents and injuries. Make sure all seat belts work correctly. They should click into place securely and show no signs of wear or fraying. Next, check the airbags. They should not have been deployed previously and should be ready to function in case of an accident. If the airbag warning light is on, it means there’s an issue that needs to be addressed. Make sure all lights are working properly. This includes headlights, taillights, turn signals, and interior lights. Working lights help you see at night and ensure other drivers can see you.


Tires are the only part of your car that touches the road. This makes their maintenance very important for safety, fuel efficiency, and overall performance. During an inspection, use a tread depth gauge to check the tread. The tread depth should meet the legal minimum requirement, which is usually 1.6mm. Check that the tires are inflated to the pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Proper inflation helps avoid blowouts and improves fuel efficiency. Look closely at the tires for any cuts, bulges, or uneven wear. Uneven wear might mean there are alignment or suspension problems. It’s a good idea to rotate your tires every 8,000 to 10,000 miles to ensure they wear evenly.

Vehicle Inspection


The engine is the most important part of your vehicle. Its condition affects how well your car runs. Start by checking all fluid levels, such as engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid. Low or dirty fluids can cause the engine to overheat or lead to mechanical failures. Look under the car and in the engine bay for any signs of leaks. Inspect belts and hoses for cracks, wear, or loose connections. When you start the engine, listen for any unusual sounds. Strange noises might indicate problems. Regular oil changes, as per the manufacturer’s guidelines, are essential. It’s also good to have a professional inspect your engine at least once a year. This helps keep the engine running smoothly and efficiently.


A reliable battery is crucial for starting your vehicle and powering its electrical components. A mechanic will use a multimeter to check the battery voltage. The voltage should be between 12.4 to 12.7 volts when the engine is off. This range indicates a fully charged battery. If the voltage is below 12.4 volts, the battery may need charging or replacement. Inspect the battery terminals and cables. Look for any white or greenish buildup, which is a sign of corrosion. Corrosion can interfere with the electrical connection, making it hard for your car to start. Clean the terminals using a mixture of baking soda and water. This will help prevent future corrosion. Ensure the battery is securely mounted. A loose battery can move around and get damaged by vibrations while driving.


Fluids are vital for keeping your vehicle running smoothly. During an inspection, check the levels and conditions of all important fluids. This includes engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. Low or dirty fluids can cause major problems and expensive repairs. Check the engine oil level using the dipstick. The oil should be between the minimum and maximum marks. If it’s too low, add more oil. The oil should also be clean, not dark or gritty. Clean oil ensures the engine runs smoothly and reduces wear on its parts. Check the coolant level in the reservoir. The coolant keeps the engine from overheating. If the level is low, top it up to the recommended level. Use the coolant type specified in your car’s manual. Regularly checking and topping off these fluids helps maintain your vehicle’s performance.

Vehicle Exterior

The outside of your vehicle is super important. It affects how much it’s worth, how it looks, and even how safe it is. So, when you’re checking it out, keep an eye out for any bumps, scratches, or spots where rust might be starting. Rust can spread fast and mess up your car’s structure, so catching it early is key. Also, take a good look at the windshield and windows. Any cracks or chips could make it hard for the driver to see properly, and they might get worse if you don’t fix them.


Checking the interior of your car is super important. It’s not just about looks—it’s about keeping things comfy and making sure your car holds its value. First up, take a look at the seats. Are they showing signs of wear and tear? Can you adjust them properly for your comfort? Make sure all the buttons and switches inside the car are working as they should. You don’t want any surprises when you’re driving! Keep your nose alert for any strange smells. If you catch a whiff of something funky, it could be a sign of mold or a leak somewhere.

Vehicle Inspection


Brakes are important for keeping you safe on the road. When you’re checking your brakes, look at the brake pads and rotors to see if they’re worn out. You can usually tell by looking at them if they need replacing. Also, make sure the brake fluid is at the right level and looks good. If it’s low or dirty, it might not work properly. When you’re driving, pay attention to how the brakes feel. Do they respond quickly when you press them? Do they make any strange noises? These could be signs that something’s not right. To keep your brakes in good shape, it’s a good idea to check them every 6 months or as often as the manufacturer recommends.

Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs)

Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) are like little warning signs from your car’s brain, telling you if something’s not right under the hood. You can find them using a special tool that scans your car’s systems. When you do a check-up on your vehicle, it’s important to look for these codes. Each code gives you a clue about a potential problem your car might have. You might need a professional mechanic to help you figure out what’s causing the code and how to fix it. Doing these routine checks can save you a lot of trouble and keep your car running smoothly for longer.

Trust Drive Nation for Comprehensive Vehicle Inspections

At Drive Nation in Houston, Texas, we understand the importance of thorough vehicle inspections. Our experienced ASE-certified technicians offer comprehensive pre-purchase inspection services that go beyond just a transaction. We aim to provide you with peace of mind by ensuring that your vehicle is thoroughly checked and any potential issues are identified and addressed promptly.

If you’re in need of general maintenance, or specialized services, Drive Nation is your trusted partner for all your automotive needs. Backed by years of experience and a commitment to quality service, we strive to exceed your expectations every time you visit our shop. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or inquire about our services. We’re open six days a week to serve you better. Your satisfaction and safety are our top priorities, and we look forward to helping you keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come.