Vehicle inspections can be a nervous experience for any of us who rely on vehicles for work and quality of life. A failed inspection could mean being stuck in place, or relying on other means to get to -and-from the places you need to go. It can be even more concerning if you own a business that uses vehicles to make profits, where audits and sidelined vehicles can cause even bigger problems.
It’s a good idea to stay on top of your local requirements either way, since driving a vehicle that didn’t pass inspection is usually illegal. This could add a whole new layer of stress if you choose to drive around until you can pass inspection, since you’ll always be worried about an officer noticing the vehicle is out of order. Beyond the legal implications, there are also the concerns over the safety of the vehicle to consider. Authorities mandate inspections because an un-inspected vehicle can have any number of problems that make it a danger to the driver, the passengers, other motorists and pedestrians.
Further, using a vehicle checklist alleviates many of the challenges that can occur during the inspection process. With a complete checklist, you can take your vehicle to the inspector knowing what to expect, and to eliminate any surprises. Finally, a good inspection checklist can keep your vehicles in top shape between inspections, as you can use this information when dealing with a mechanic (or performing your own repairs) to ensure that lingering problems don’t become costly repairs down the road.
What Should I Include In My Vehicle Inspections Checklist?
The following is a general overview of the type of items that should be included in your vehicle inspections checklist. Of course, a complete vehicle inspections checklist will be much more detailed, but these should provide an idea of what inspectors typically look for during inspections.
Of course, every inspections checklist should include relevant details about the state of your vehicle. Much of it is common sense--that is, the parts of your car that must function properly to avoid mishaps on the road. This includes such items as the tires, brakes, power steering, battery and the like, as well as any components in and around the car’s engine. The parts under the hood will likely garner the most attention, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook the other parts. Check the templates provided here for more detailed information about which items should be included.
Work vehicles will probably require additional considerations depending on the industry. This may include items such as first-aid kits and safety measures. It may also include specific checks that are required within a company, such as cosmetic and cleanliness requirements. These are discretionary, but no less important for the best vehicle checklists.
Be sure to include details about the inspector who will be performing checks on your vehicle. This is for accountability, in case you want to commit a follow-up or hold someone responsible for improper work, or if you simply have questions about the results of the inspection at a later date. Hopefully, the inspector follows all necessary protocols to ensure your car is roadworthy without any extra contacts, but it’s still advisable to cover yourself just in case.
Making Your Own Vehicle Checklist
Sometimes creating a checklist consists of taking the relevant parts from several different templates and adjusting them according to your needs. The following are a free points to consider when when making your own vehicle inspection checklists:
Consider the purpose of your vehicle inspection and maintenance checklist and adjust your list items accordingly. There may be different items on your list for a work truck versus a family car, for instance. The checklists provided should give a clear picture of the items needed, so you can select which ones fit your needs.
The language of your vehicle inspections checklist should be kept as simple as possible to avoid any misunderstandings. There will be a need for vehicle-related jargon, but nothing you’d have to look up later before inspection.
Be specific about each part of your checklist. Rather than “check tires”, for example, consider adding notes about the air pressure and the amount of wear-and-tear on your wheels.