Vehicle Inspection made simple

The Basics Of Vehicle Inspection

Purchasing a vehicle is a scary task. A great deal of money is at stake with a bad automobile. If you lack mechanical knowledge of how an automobile works there is a deep-rooted fear that one might be purchasing a lemon. To avoid this potential disaster one must inspect the vehicle. While taking the car to a mechanic is the best idea, sometimes it is not possible. This is when you must do it yourself.


The paint on an automobile seems like a minor factor when you think about how automobiles work. Well, the finish is a major indicator of the overall condition of the vehicle. Feel the base of the vehicle closest to the ground. In areas where winters brings in snow it is possible that the finish has decayed. People will cover this up by covering the rusted out section with tape and painting it to match the finish. As fewer car frames are metal this is becoming a lesser issue today.


CarEngineLooking at an engine is a daunting task. So many hoses, devices and components attach it is easy to get lost. Under the hood one should look for the "oil cap" on top of the motor. The large metal block has a seem that runs around the engine. This seam is free from oil. If it is leaking than a gasket needs replaced. As a general note an engine compartment covered in fluids is bad.

Other Fluids

Under the hood one can also find several fluid reservoirs. Check these for their best level. A coolant reservoir is first inspected. If overfilled don't worry as this is not a major issue, if it is running low then leaks are a concern. The other major reservoir is the engine oil. Take out the dip stick, wipe it off, and dip. The amount shown will hopefully be "full".


Belts are inexpensive to replace yourself but labor intensive when done by mechanics. Belts attach to the side of the engine. Inspecting belts  is only done when the engine is not running. Run your hand along the belt. You should feel a smooth synthetic belt with a few grooves for traction. If you feel shredded plastic then the belt shredded and will need replacement.


Tire inspection is simple. Check for even wear and that an acceptable amount of tread is on the tire. They should all be the correct sizes.

Test Drive

Finally you should test drive the vehicle. Feel the gas pedal and make sure the vehicle is responsive. If the vehicle drags you may have a fuel pump issue. Brakes work steadily . If the brakes whistle than the pads may need replaced. Keep these common maintenance issues in mind when inspecting a vehicle.