Vehicle inspections and diagnostics:
it really does pay to find out what is going on with your vehicle
Your questions about vehicle inspections and diagnostics answered:
What is a vehicle inspection?
A vehicle inspection is a process of detailed observation that informs you of the condition of a vehicle. It allows you to make decisions concerning maintenance.
A vehicle inspection can:
· Inform you of a vehicle’s true condition
· Let you know if it is safe to drive
· Identify potential problems
· Put you in control of your maintenance budget
· Give you peace of mind
When inspecting a vehicle, we take into account its usage and look for things that may need attention as a result of that usage. For instance, if a vehicle is driven long distances at speed, there may be wear in bearings and other mechanical parts. If it is used occasionally around town on short journeys it may have rusty brakes, or plastics and/or rubber may have deteriorated.
The vehicle inspection allows you to assess a repair’s value, according to your situation and the age of the vehicle.
How does a vehicle inspection differ from vehicle diagnostics?
Diagnostics are designed to investigate problems and find out why something is not working. Unlike a vehicle inspection, it involves disassembly and testing of parts. Depending on the decisions you make during an inspection, you may need to have some diagnostics done to discover the nature of a necessary repair.
I get my vehicle serviced regularly, so why would I need an inspection?
If you are following the manufacturer’s service schedule you could be ill-informed as to the actual condition of your vehicle. These service schedules are designed to keep costs down and make sure that the vehicle survives for five years only – the typical duration of a manufacturer’s warranty. If you want to keep your vehicle longer than five years, and depending on your driving style and environmental conditions that the vehicle is subjected to, the vehicle may need more thorough maintenance to avoid high repair costs at or shortly after the warranty expiration. A vehicle inspection will highlight areas that require attention well before they become a problem and allow you to take measures to mitigate their effects. At The Garage, we always suggest different options so you can choose what suits you best according to your budget, lifestyle etc. By the time the warning light comes on, unnecessary damage may have already been done!
My dealership/an independent inspector gave my vehicle an inspection already. Why would I need The Garage to do another one?
Dealer inspections tend to be very basic simply because their main interest is to sell new vehicles on a rotating 5-year basis or after 190,000 kilometers. The Garage, on the other hand, is committed to keeping your vehicle in good condition for as long as you want to use it, and will give you information that will allow you to make decisions that will serve your best interests.
People who go to an independent inspector think that it is ‘safer’ to get an authority that has no commercial interest to inspect their vehicle and that they won’t be pressured into expensive, unnecessary repairs. Then they ask their local independent shop to estimate for the work they recommend be done. Unfortunately, the people who do the inspections are not working on vehicles on a daily basis and are therefore not best qualified to advise. Any reputable independent shop needs to do their own inspection in order to be able to validate and stand by the repair they perform. It is incumbent on the independent shop to do this and this is also in the best interests of the customer.
Another garage offered me a free inspection. Why would I pay The Garage for one?
Every inspection has a cost attached to it. If a garage offers a free inspection, they will be looking for a return on their investment, so the ultimate purpose of the inspection is to find work to do. If, on the other hand, you pay for the inspection, you get the truth about the condition of your vehicle and you are empowered to make your own choices and decisions. At The Garage, once an inspection is done and paid for, you have a ‘clean’ situation; you know the condition of your vehicle and you are free to take it wherever you wish to get any necessary repairs done. Having a trusting relationship with an automotive business and its technicians is much less costly, and much more enjoyable, than trying to be the professional yourself because you feel you cannot trust anyone.