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What’s Included in a Complete Vehicle Inspection?

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auto technician using flashlight to check engine under the hoodPerhaps there’s a clang the place there was a click on, or smoke the place there was a drip. Whether or not your car is appearing odd otherwise you simply need to be sure it’s outfitted to deal with a lengthy street journey, the best place to start out is at Firestone Complete Auto Care. A radical inspection is among the best methods you’ll be able to assist keep your car’s efficiency. You’ll know what you want now, and what can wait. Discover out what’s included in our Complete Vehicle Inspection, and the way your car may benefit.

The In-and-Outs of a Complete Vehicle Inspection

Once we say “full,” we imply it. Your car is checked from bumper to bumper, in and out. Right here’s the way it goes!Complete Vehicle Inspection Infographic

Primary Checks

First, one in every of our ASE-licensed auto technicians checks your wiper blades, headlights, and air filter. However what are they in search of?

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Wiper Blades:

The technician seems for bent, torn, or lacking blades, and to see if the wiper arm is offering the correct quantity of strain to take care of agency blade contact with the windshield.


The place there’s a bulb, there’s an inspection. The technician checks operation of headlights, brake lights, license plate lights, parking lights, hazard lights, and extra!

Air Filter:

Your air filter is eliminated and examined for dust and particles. If the filter is lacking or too soiled to carry out its job, it in all probability must be changed. We’ll let you recognize.

Fluid Degree and Situation Checks

Subsequent, the technician dives into your vehicle’s many fluids!

Windshield Washer Fluid:

Is your wiper fluid reservoir drier than Route sixty six in mid-July? A technician inspects and refills your wiper fluid, if wanted, after which confirms that the washer pump and hoses work correctly.

Motor Oil:

As soon as your engine is cool, the technician checks the oil degree on the dipstick and notes the oil consistency. They aren’t so involved with the oil shade since shade isn’t the only indicator that it’s time for an oil change. Many oils are darker than others when new. As an alternative, the technician is checking for oil that seems thick, gritty, or milky. These oil consistencies might point out you’re overdue for an oil change.

Energy Steering Fluid:

Your energy steering fluid makes it simpler to show the wheel in your car. With out it, steering would take some muscle! The technician checks the fluid in the pump reservoir and appears for indicators of leakage in the pump, hoses, gear field, and/or rack and pinion meeting. Grayish or blackish fluid might imply you might have inner steering issues.

Grasp Cylinder Fluid:

The grasp cylinder is an important a part of your braking system. It’s a pump that forces brake fluid to go the place it must go, so you possibly can cease whenever you need to cease. A technician inspects the grasp cylinder for leaks and injury. They search for fluid that’s foamy, discolored, or displaying indicators of contamination—all of which might level to a problem in the brake system.

Brake Fluid:

In contrast to Fred Flintstone, you possibly can’t truly use your ft to cease your vehicle. As an alternative, you push the brake pedal and brake fluid helps flip your push into strain that strikes the remainder of the braking elements, thereby slowing or stopping your car. Should you’re low on brake fluid, you might discover that once you push the brake pedal, it feels tender or goes down all the best way to the car flooring. A technician checks in case your brake fluid must be changed per the producer’s tips. They could carry out a test drive as properly.

Transmission Fluid:

Transmission fluid works as each a lubricator and temperature regulator contained in the engine. The technician follows your producer’s suggestions for checking the transmission fluid degree, and should advocate fluid alternative if it’s brown or smells burnt.


Coolant/antifreeze ranges have to be maintained to assist forestall your engine from overheating. A technician visually inspects the coolant fluid degree. If the engine is heat, a degree of 1.5″ under the radiator filler neck is suitable. If the engine is chilly, they’ll look to see that the radiator tubes usually are not uncovered.

Hoses, Belts, and Wires Analysis

A car half could also be completely good, but when it’s not appropriately related to the remainder of the car, you may as nicely name it damaged!


With a poorly functioning belt tensioner or timing belt, your car’s engine goes to wrestle to carry out its best. It might even fail. A technician checks that each belts are functioning correctly and should advocate alternative if it’s near your producer’s scheduled maintenance.

Spark Plugs and Ignition Wires:

Collectively, spark plugs and ignition wires ship the electrical energy your engine wants to start out after which run, run, run! A technician appears for indicators that both one is worn to the purpose of needing alternative—as a result of a car that gained’t begin doesn’t spark pleasure!

Energy Steering Hoses:

Keep in mind what we stated about energy steering fluid? It applies to the facility steering hoses, too! Dangerous or leaking energy steering hoses could make it a lot more durable so that you can steer your vehicle. A technician appears for indicators of wear and tear and tear alongside the hoses that would put your vehicle dealing with in jeopardy.

Battery Cost and Connections Verify

Our car battery inspection is so thorough that it deserves its personal part!


A technician will pop the hood and look at the battery and surrounding area for:

  • Extreme filth/contaminants on the battery case
  • Corrosion on the battery terminals, cables, or tray
  • A leaking or swollen battery case
  • Unfastened or melted battery posts

These are all indicators it is perhaps time for a battery alternative.

Battery Equipment:

Your battery equipment embrace the battery cables, insulation, terminal bolts, and maintain-down hardware. A technician checks the size of the cables, verifies that the insulation is unbroken, after which inspects the terminal bolts for corrosion. Additionally they look at the maintain-down tray to make sure it’s mechanically sound—a battery that bounces round can’t do its job very nicely!

Battery Beginning/Charging:

A technician performs a computerized battery test to gauge how a lot cost is left in your battery. The test may even decide the temperature at which your battery may fail.

Steering and Suspension Examine

Let your technician know if one thing has felt “off” once you drive. If the issue has to do together with your car’s steering and suspension, that is when your technician will have the ability to troubleshoot the signs.


The U-joints, or common joints, maintain the driveshaft in place—and the driveshaft is required in your wheels to show! Worn U-joints could make a clunking noise when shifting gears, or a squealing sound when driving slowly. A technician might carry out a test drive, however may also verify for looseness and rusting in every U-joint.

Ball Joints:

Ball joints perform like human hip joints. They’re a key a part of your entrance suspension system and provide help to management your vehicle. As a result of the quantity and sort of ball joints can range from vehicle to vehicle, the technician first consults the producer’s specifications and inspection procedures earlier than analyzing ball joints or recommending a alternative.

Fixed Velocity Boots/Joints:

Fixed velocity, or CV, boots are sometimes the very first thing that wants alternative in the suspension system. CV boots cowl and shield CV joints, which assist your car flip left and proper. A technician inspects the boots for holes or tears that would permit contaminants to wreck the joints.

Shocks and Struts:

Shock and strut put on can reveal itself in some ways, like vehicle rattling, swerving/dipping when braking, vibration in the steering wheel, or hassle stopping. A technician checks for structural injury and performs a test drive to personally “really feel” for indicators that shocks, struts, or mount assemblies have to be changed.

Tire Upkeep Verify

Your tires are the one issues touching the street if you drive. That makes them one among your car’s most necessary elements! Our technicians give tires the eye they deserve.

Tire Strain:

It’s our coverage that each one tires serviced in our amenities be inflated to the chilly inflation strain specified by the vehicle producer. We’ll examine that your tire inflation matches the producer’s suggestions, and together with your permission, modify it as wanted.

Tire Tread Depth:

With out correct tread depth, your tires can’t grip the street like they’re imagined to! A technician will measure the tread depth at three places in the inside and outer tread grooves. If irregular tire put on is clear, they’ll measure the tread on the lowest level, as that is the basis of most tire failure incidents. By regulation, technicians are usually not allowed to repair tires with 2/32″ or much less tread depth. The tires have to be changed.

Tire Situation:

You won’t have a flat tire, however that doesn’t imply you’re driving on good tires. A technician will rotate and examine every tire, marking areas displaying cuts, punctures, uneven put on, curb injury, ply separation, cupping, breaks, and extra. They’ll advocate a tire alternative in the event that they discover:

  • A tire tread depth of two/32” or much less
  • Twine, ply, or tread separation
  • Uncovered cords or belting supplies


An alignment adjusts the angles at which your tires come into contact with the street. A technician might advocate an alignment in the event that they discover uneven tire put on, a crooked steering wheel, or if elements of your steering/suspension are being changed.

Brake System Inspection

At Firestone Complete Auto Care, we consider that each one energy is ineffective with out stopping energy. That’s why the ultimate a part of your inspection includes a thorough brake examine the place all 4 wheels are eliminated—it’s the one means the technician can get a full view of your brake system’s items and elements.

Brake Pads:

Most individuals are accustomed to brake pads, the plates that apply strain to the rotors to sluggish your car. Brake pads squeak and squeal when it’s time for them to get replaced. A technician will measure brake pad thickness in line with your producer’s suggestions. In case your state has legal guidelines relating to minimal lining or pad thickness, they’ll seek the advice of these as properly!

Brake Calipers:

Brake calipers squeeze the brake pads towards the rotors to sluggish your car. A technician will look at the caliper assemblies for looseness, rust, and indicators of leakage.

Brake Rotors:

On the similar time, the technician will verify brake rotors for scoring, overheating, and bodily injury like cracks. Such indicators might additionally sign caliper hassle.

Discover Out What You Want Now & What Can Wait

It may be onerous to consider, however this listing nonetheless doesn’t cowl every thing that’s examined throughout a Complete Vehicle Inspection. Our technicians go above and past to offer you a 360-diploma view of your car’s well being to be able to determine what it is advisable to do on your vehicle proper now, and what can wait until your subsequent go to.

Paying for a Complete Vehicle Inspection is a small price to pay for peace of thoughts on the street—and you may’t put a price on that. Name at present or schedule an appointment on-line for an reasonably priced vehicle inspection at your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care.


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